California currently produces more food than any other state in the country. What if legally cultivated cannabis was one of those crops?
The possibility has many farmers seriously considering adding it to their list of crops. At today’s market price 1 acre could potentially net a farmer $19 million; albeit that price would drop considerably if enough supply came onto the market. Even then though the crop is far more lucrative than the usual tomatoes, cotton, corn, etc.
This whole concept hinges on the states upcoming vote on November 8th, on Initiative #15-0103 to legalize marijuana and hemp under state law. This initiative would enact a sales tax of 15% and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, with exceptions for qualifying medical marijuana sales and cultivation.
The initiative does however have measures in place to keep big Ag out of the market for the first 5 years. This is to protect the little guy for now, but there is one role big farms can play: growing hemp, which has lower THC levels and can be used to make paper, cloth and soap.
Although there have been a number of proposed initiates in the past this one seems to have the right things and people behind it to make it all the way to the ballot box. It’s already received backing from former Facebook president Sean Parker, the Drug Policy Action and NORML.
Details of the upcoming initiative can be found at https://ballotpedia.org/California_Control,_Regulate_and_Tax_Adult_Use_of_Marijuana_Initiative_(2016)