Residents of Humboldt County, California, a place long immersed in the activity of growing marijuana, are worried that legalized marijuana will undermine the black market. This could result in a drop in prices, hurting the local economy.

 

Community members will gather Tuesday night to discuss the consequences of legalized marijuana. Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace said, "We have to recognize that if we have something that is this big a piece of our economy that is subsidized by being illegal, that this is an unsustainable situation."

 

Meeting organizer Anna Hamilton of Shelter Cove believes legalized marijuana could have a devastating effect on the region, and that Humboldt County should capitalize on its name recognition as a marijuana destination.

 

"We have to embrace marijuana tourism, marijuana products and services — and marijuana has to become a part of the Humboldt County brand," she said.

 

Official word has yet to come down on whether or not supporters of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in limited quantities have enough signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot.

 

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