California: How Much Cannabis Is Too Much?

While we hear about legal cannabis shortages such as those occurring in Canada and what recently transpired in Nevada, some growers are having the exact opposite problem: Too much weed.

California’s land lends itself as a spectacular place for agriculture, so there has been a lot of growing going on. Executive Director of the California Growers Association Hezekiah Allen says that the state is producing a surplus of cannabis-more cannabis than the people are actually using. And these growers aren’t sure about what to do with it.

But how much, in California’s cannabis industry, is too much?

“Our organization thinks its probably right around eight times as much,” said Allen. In other terms, growers within the state grow between 14 and 16 million tons of the plant. Californians only consume between 1.5 and 2 million tons.

Allen points out that some of this product inevitably makes it across state lines-a practice that is illegal and will likely remain that way. “In the past, when a product left the farm there’s a really good chance the grower had no idea where it was going,” he said. “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 regulations that Allen speaks of are expected to go into effect on January 1st, the same day that the legal recreational cannabis market goes live. Once these regulations are enacted, growers will essentially have two options:

  1. Get a license and keep literally tons of extra cannabis in-state
  2. Sell across state lines in violation of federal law

Some cannabis business owners are looking to make use of this extra cannabis once the recreational market goes live in 2018. It is worth noting that 75 pounds of cannabis can make roughly five liters of cannabis oil. 75 pounds, while it might seem like a drop in the bucket here, is still quite a lot, so this could be a way for growers to make use of their surplus supplies.


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