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Drugs

California Is Growing Way Too Much Weed, and It’s a Problem

The state has an 800 percent surplus.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/David Maska

As the cannabis industry continues to expand there will be growing pains. The expansion of any new industry in its adolescence requires such issues but one headline you’ve perhaps seen regards marijuana shortage in certain states or countries. To those more aware within the cannabis industry, this comes across as false alarms. The panic is mostly manufactured.

But it appears California might have the opposite problem—the state could have too much weed. So claims a recent report by CBS 5 in California, who detailed the unique circumstance the state faces. California produces 14 to 16 million pounds of marijuana, according to the report. However, it claims Californians only consume 1.5 million to 2 million pounds of cannabis.

You can perhaps deduce that some product won’t remain within California borders. On its surface, this is nothing new. However, California Growers Association Executive director Hezekiah Allen indicated that the 800 percent surplus will force farmers and growers to keep stricter tabs on where their product goes.

“In the past, when a product left the farm there’s a really good chance the grower had no idea where it was going,” Allen told CBS 5. “But in the future, every single license holder is going to need to know exactly where every gram of product is ending up and so conditions are going to change very quickly.”

While recreational marijuana law was passed, California residents won’t be able to enjoy recreational cannabis until January 1, 2018. Then regulations will force growers to get a license and perhaps keep excess marijuana in-state, or continue to move product beyond the state borders violate federal law under the radar.

“Nobody wants to operate under the radar. They want to do this legally, They want to say, ‘Hey, look, what I’m doing is okay,’” said Dr. Aseem Sappal, Provost and Dean of Faculty at Oaksterdam University in Oakland.

Again this is a report with caveats. Whether California will continue to have excess marijuana when recreational usage becomes legal next year is debatable, as residents who previously purchased on the black market and potential visitors could buy up that product. Instead, it shows to what degree the marijuana industry continues to define itself as it grows beyond its adolescence. Well, actually, from this report it seems growing isn’t the problem at all. Now it’s about doing so legitimately.

 

Brendan Bures is the Culture Editor at The Fresh Toast. 

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