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Legalization could put $5 billion in California’s pockets

California’s impending legal cannabis market could mean a $5 billion boost for its economy, a new state-sponsored study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center has revealed.

About 29 percent of all cannabis consumers, however, may continue to fuel the illegal market at the get-go to avoid the costs of new regulations that require cannabis to be tested, tracked and taxed at 15 percent of its retail value.

State officials are on track to start issuing licenses in January to businesses hoping to grow, transport, test and sell cannabis following voter approval in November to legalize the plant for recreational use.