SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There’s new scrutiny over medical marijuana sales in Sacramento.
A city audit found widespread trouble, including concern over pot shops’ possible unreported cash transactions and the possible hit to city tax revenue.
“To this day, we do not get complete information from any of our dispensaries,” Sacramento auditor Jorge Oseguera said.
Oseguera’s report shows city hall’s poor record keeping is part of the problem. Some dispensaries are not turning over balance sheets or profit and loss statements. In one case, the report shows the owner of a dispensary called All About Wellness would not let the city auditor inside.
“That is extremely concerning to me and is a major limitation of our ability to do our work,” Oseguera said.
The owner of All About Wellness did not respond to CBS13’s request for an interview. He did talk to Sacramento cannabis enforcement chief Joe Devlin.
“I went down to his dispensary and we’re going to arrange a day for the city auditor to come back down and talk to him,” Devlin said.
Devlin is Sacramento’s first cannabis czar. He says the auditor report reflects the challenges of regulating the newly-legal marijuana business.
“We are trying to play catch up to an industry that was out in front of us,” Devlin said.
Sacramento tax revenue on medical pot sales has increased in each of the past three years, to $5 million in 2016. That trend is expected to continue.
“This isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Devlin said.
The audit will be presented to the council next week with recommendations who the council should impose penalties on.
There are 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. In just a couple months, the same council will have to decide how many recreational marijuana licenses it will choose to hand out.