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A few years ago, looking up marijuana news headlines would net a rash of articles about drug arrests as well as political efforts to change the broken cannabis policies in the United States. These days, the cannabis news cycle features primarily stories of new legalization efforts, celebrities backing or founding cannabis companies, and the potential market impact of cannabis.
It seems like every other day, a major financial publication puts out a piece talking about cannabis stocks and the green rush. People who have profited directly off of the prohibition of cannabis now want to make a profit when it becomes legal as well.
Thanks in no small part to the creation of regulatory hurdles and expensive licensing programs, large business entities are rapidly cornering legal cannabis markets all over the United States. Small suppliers and family businesses simply cannot compete with giant warehouses in terms of production ability or scale.
Individuals with decades of experience in the field can’t obtain financing to grow their business or create one, while those with no background in cannabis are already trying to profit off legalization. They will turn out sub-standard product at a premium price for a massive margin without any sense of chagrin while trying to force smaller competition out of the market. Sadly, there’s no real way to end the corporate assimilation of the cannabis market. The best thing that you can do is to support businesses that are owned and operated by individuals in your community.
Try to support companies run by people who belong to the most affected communities, as well as businesses run by women. For a few years, when small businesses were the standard in the first recreational markets, businesses run by women and people of color were able to thrive. However, the influx of corporate money has brought with it the traditional corporate structure, which usually means businesses run by rich white men pushing out businesses with ties to the local community.
Clearly, growing your own cannabis is the ultimate fuck you to corporate interests in the industry. The lost profits that people who grow their own represent are no doubt one reason why many big business interests try to push against home grow inclusions in most legalization measures. For those who can do so, growing your own cannabis legally is liberating and more importantly, cost-effective.
For some people, it simply won’t be possible to grow their own cannabis. Some people can’t grow because their state doesn’t allow it, and others are in circumstances where it is not possible for them due to where they live or a medical condition. For others, financial issues or accessibility issues may prevent them from patronizing locally-owned businesses because a corporate one is the only one within a reasonable distance to where they live.
While it’s inevitable that some people will have to support corporate weed businesses, those with a choice should do everything in their power to find locally owned brands main right in their own community instead of some terrible corporate product.
Instead of purchasing some mid-grade cannabis for high-grade markup, try to connect directly with smaller licensed providers. If it is possible to buy directly from a grower, that can be a very beneficial arrangement for everyone involved.