Are "Citizen Farmers" being Shut Out?
Will large scale cannabis factories such as those proposed in Oakland eventually destroy small mom and pop growers? An article in the New York Times discusses the current battle for the right to grow buds which is sweeping the medical marijuana industry.
According to the article by Kate McClean, “Under the proposal, which will be debated by the City Council on Tuesday, Oakland would issue four permits to operate the factories, which are currently not limited in size or scale.”
One grower, speaking for many here in Humboldt, argued, ““I think this ordinance is nothing more than a municipally sanctioned monopoly on medical cannabis.”
Reading this piece and the one written by Humboldt’s own Liz Davidson, I hope that the attention brought to the subject will stop the monopolization of the marijuana cultivation into a few huge indoor factory farms. I agree as do many of my neighbors with Stephen DeAngelo, owner of Harborside Dispensary, that we shouldn’t allow a few entrepreneurs to get rich at the expense of many mom and pop growers. He urges, ““Let’s bring these citizen farmers out of the shadows and into the light and give them a role in this new industry.” If we don’t, marijuana will become as bland and standardized as the tasteless tomatoes that can be found in any supermarket. Both the consumer and the small growers will lose and a few more large corporations will be born to suck the individuality and energy from our society.