Exactly how much cannabis is too much? In California, it’s when local cannabis growers start producing more than the most populous state in the United States can consume.
According to Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Associations, California growers are producing more than eight times the amount of cannabis that CA residents consume, and they’re not allowed to export it anywhere. “We are producing too much,” Allen stated, also mentioning that “state-licensed growers are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve. Some growers may stop, but many others just won’t apply for state permits.”
Medical cannabis was approved for use in California over 20 years ago, back in 1996, and recreational became legal during the last election, November 2016. Many anticipated that the market would surge to new heights, but some officials underestimated the magnitude of this growth. This is what led to the new limits and export laws that were written into the Proposition 64 legislation. In an effort to further streamline all the regulations, in June 2017, the state Legislature passed a new budget that would combine the regulations for medical and recreational marijuana, leaving the state with only one set of codes to enforce.
Lori Ajax, chief of the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, agreed with Allen’s statements. Ajax added that “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. Those people will eventually face enforcement actions for growing marijuana without a state license.”
Unfortunately, if cities continue to pass moratoriums and ban sales within their limits, that would leave very little motivation for growers to register with the legal marker, leaving black market sales a major part of the industry.