Is cannabis in CA going to be overtaken by big business?

"Are we going to see the Walmart of weed after legalization?"

I would imagine that many view becoming the Wal-Mart of cannabis as their ultimate goal. Certainly if I owned a business I would want it to become as successful as possible. If Wal-Mart can exist in our retail markets it can definitely exist in the cannabis industry. It is up to policy makers to try and keep things as fair as possible. They are trying with Prop 64- like the 5 year ban on large scale licenses and other anti-vertical integration legislation. Other sections of the proposition, like the ability for the law to be changed by an internal vote makes me think that there will eventually be a Wal-Mart of cannabis, a McDonalds of cannabis, and even a Starbucks of cannabis.


Absolutely. Weedmaps Chairman of the Board, Justin Hartfield, has stated that he wants Weedmaps to become the "Philip Morris of weed." Hell, Philip Morris is investing $20M in developing a cannabis inhaler for medical use: https://www.reuters.com/article/pmi-israel-idUSL8N153292. The price of land in the Emerald Triangle of California has skyrocketed, with deep-pocketed investor groups anticipating setting up shop. The regulatory structure proposed in prop. 64, with multiple layers of licensing and environmental compliance costs virtually guarantees that only large corporations, with their economies of scale, will be able to do business profitably should the proposition pass.

But do Californians really want the current low-to-no regulatory environment? The environmental destruction of drug-cartel growing operations is well known. And personally, I’d like for local dispensaries to test every product coming in their place for banned pesticides (assuming "Big Pot" allows regulators to create a list of banned pesticides in the first place: https://dpo.st/2fnRGv2). And just recently, Reveal published a story about worker exploitation in the MJ industry: https://bit.ly/2f67DST. Legalizing and regulating the MJ industry would entitle MJ workers to all the protections other ag. workers have.


I don’t believe so. There are residency requirements in Prop 64 (meaning you have to show that you have lived here in order to be granted a license) and a moratorium on the large scale cultivation license for 5 years. In time, there will likely be consolidation as the economies of scale make businesses more competitive. But the playing field is level to start.


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