Online ads from unlicensed pot shops roil California market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Online ads from unlicensed marijuana shops are creating turmoil in California’s emerging legal pot market.

State regulators have warned the popular website Weedmaps to take down ads from illegal sellers or face possible penalties.

But the company says it’s not breaking any laws, and points out that thousands of growers and sellers haven’t been able to obtain licenses in the regulated market.

The state says it’s evaluating its next steps.

Legal sales for adults began in California on Jan. 1, making the state the nation’s largest legal pot marketplace.

State-licensed shops are complaining they are being undercut by black market sellers that don’t pay taxes and have cheaper shelf prices.