Could California be growing too much marijuana? According to the Marijuana Grower’s Association, there is a glut of pot in the California. The surplus comes as people are rushing to cash in on booming business.
Hezekiah Allen, Executive Director of California Growers’ Association, said, “There’s been a lot of growing going on. California’s a great state for agriculture.”
But Allen says when it comes to California’s cannabis, there’s much more supply here than demand.
“Our organization thinks it’s probably right around eight times as much.”
California produces 14 million to 16 million tons of marijuana and consumes 1.5 million to 2 million tons. Some of the surplus is going to other states, which is – and will continue to be – illegal.
Allen said, “In the past when a product left the farm, there’s a really good chance the grower had no idea where it was going. 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.”
The sale of recreational marijuana will be legal January 1, 2018, which is also when regulations that are still being worked out will take effect. At that point, growers will have a choice—get a license and keep tons of extra marijuana in the state, or continue to farm and sell across state lines in violation of federal law and under the radar.
Dr. Aseem Sappal with Oakland’s Oaksterdam University said, “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.”
Dr. Sappal is a dean at Oaksterdam University, where students study marijuana. He says growers will want a business license, and when the retail space for marijuana opens up, there will new uses for any surplus pot.
About 75 pounds of cannabis – which is a lot – can produce perhaps 5 liters of oil. And if you look at that, then a lot of cannabis can make a little oil, and so if you talk about a surplus, that’s one very very good avenue,” said Dr. Sappal.
Allen says he would like to see the state and local governments license and open up shops for marijuana retailers to sell their products, so consumers can buy what’s being produced right here in California. Those discussions are already happening as lawmakers fine tune regulations ahead of 2018.