Some lawmakers and members of the marijuana industry in California are concerned that new regulations will phase out small grow operations.
In less than a month California is officially set to start legal recreational marijuana sales. While there is excitement over this landmark event, many are worried that the new regulations will favor big business.
Two California lawmakers, State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-San Rafael) and Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), are criticizing a move by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The two lawmakers have been urging the agriculture department to place a cap on the size of marijuana farms. Specifically, they wanted to require that no marijuana farm exceed 4 acres.
The Department of Food and Agriculture decided against setting any cap on the size of marijuana farms. This could give large operations a tremendous advantage by flooding the market with bulk and reducing the market price of marijuana. I
If that were to happen many of the smaller operations would struggle to stay operational as their profits margins would shrink.
“We support the protection of small family cannabis farmers — the backbone of California’s cannabis industry — and are deeply concerned that a lack of a cap on small cannabis cultivation permits is undermining the desires of California voters expressed through Proposition 64,” the two lawmakers wrote in a letter to Richard Parrott, director of the Food and Agriculture Department’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division according to the LA Times.
Many of California’s marijuana farms have been operated by the same families for several generations.
“This last minute revision rolls out the red carpet for large corporations to crush the livelihood of small family farmers who should be given a fair chance to succeed in a regulated market,” the letter also stated.