California North Coast cannabis industry continues to be challenged, local experts say
This summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in new laws cutting a cultivation tax placed on cannabis growers and shifting excise tax collection from distributors to retail businesses.
While industry representatives applauded, they acknowledged cannabis industry in California continues to face significant issues. Leaders of the cannabis industry in Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties addressed some of those issues in a Journal Q and A. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Too much weed on the market was the cry earlier this year by the industry. What, if anything, has changed? If nothing, is the industry still likely headed in the wrong direction?
Eli Buffalo: Too much weed on the market will always be a thing especially with the state allowing multi million square foot grows after originally putting into the regulations that they were going to put a 1-acre cap on all cannabis licenses for the first five years.
That swiftly went out the window without much notice until suddenly people started constructing massive cultivation spaces and flooding the market with terrible cannabis that could only be sold for cheap.
I really don’t see much change as far as over production goes and really hope that as a producer, I can do my part in educating the consumers about the importance of sustainable and environmentally conscious indoor cultivation and regenerative, OCal or other small craft sun grown farms cultivating with good intention and considering the environment while doing so.
Scot Candell: California grows an incredible amount of high-quality cannabis – enough for the entire country. The problem is that right now only black-market growers can benefit from this national demand.
For the short term, this supply demand inequity is great for California consumers but terrible for growers. If growers can hang in there until cannabis becomes federally legal, they should be rewarded.
Dona Frank: No nothing has changed regarding a flooded cannabis market. In fact, the illegal cannabis market is stronger and more prosperous than ever.
Antonio Frazier: There is still too much product in the market for the currently limited retail options. Over 50% of the state still have some type of ban on cannabis and the unregulated hemp market is making it almost impossible to convert consumers to legal cannabis.
Merril Gilbert: Overproduction and oversupply are not unique to cannabis. This happens in every industry with a distributed production network or multiple producers trying to get in at the same price point.