By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
The head of a state cannabis growers group said that growers in California are producing a marijuana excess, which will lead to problems down the road for many growers. He said that California growers produce up to eight times the marijuana that is consumed in the state, and there is no interstate trade allowed with cannabis due to current federal laws.
On July 26, 2017, the Sacramento Press Club held a discussion panel that included Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the California Growers Association which represents a large group of growers in the state, many of them from the states “Emerald Triangle” in Northern California. His warning was ominous as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
Some marijuana growers will stay in the black market and continue to illegally send cannabis to other states, which is also not allowed under federal law, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Assn.
“We are producing too much,” Allen said, adding state-licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve.”
He said some marijuana growers may stop, while others just won’t apply for state permits.
The panel discussion also included Lori Ajax of the newly formed state Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation and Joseph Devlin, Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement for Sacramento.
Devlin’s explained during the panel that he understood the overproduction rate was closer to five times the need for the state. But, an audience member claimed it was much higher, putting the rate at 12 times the states consumption levels.
Ajax agreed with Allen and Devlin, explaining during the discussion, “For right now, our goal is to get folks into the regulated market, as many as possible … [But] there are some people who will never come into the regulated market.”
Production of cannabis on the west coast is at high levels. Oregon produces substantially more than they can consume, and of course California has been producing weed for many decades, and even more since they legalized medical marijuana in 1996. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how the two states cope with their over production and curbing the unregulated market. License limits, plant and canopy limits and, of course, enforcement actions will all play a role.
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