Report: California marijuana growers lagging in licensing process

Nearly two months after California launched recreational marijuana sales, less than 1% of the state’s known growers have been licensed, according to a report released by a cannabis industry group.

According to a 38-page report from the California Growers Association, 0.78%, or 534, of an estimated 68,150 marijuana growers were licensed by the state as of Feb. 7.

The association cited such obstacles to licensing as cost and regulatory barriers.

If more of the state’s smaller, independent growers don’t get licensed, the black market will continue to flourish, according to the association’s report.

“The current system will not achieve its goals without fundamental and structural changes that allow small and independent businesses to enter into compliance,” the report concluded.

About 100 growers expressed their concerns with California’s cannabis regulations during a Jan. 12 meeting with three cannabis regulators.

The growers association said it hopes to work with officials in getting more growers licensed.

“We must develop a regulatory framework that will effectively curb the environmental and public safety impacts of cannabis by providing pathways to compliance for businesses currently operating in the unregulated market,” said Hezekiah Allen, the group’s executive director.

“If they are unable to comply, the unregulated market is likely to persist and there will be an unnecessary strain on law enforcement resources.”

According to Marijuana Business Daily estimates, California’s adult-use industry – which launched Jan. 1 – could generate at least $4 billion in annual retail sales over the next few years.

– Associated Press

11 comments on “Report: California marijuana growers lagging in licensing process
  1. ENLAN HE on

    Outdoor cannabis, affected by climate and season, now is the end of February, the government should grant a license as soon as possible (including temporary permits), let growers can successfully grow and harvest, otherwise a great loss, but also lead to unstable social order.

  2. Mark on

    If the state doesnt get its act together to bring the industry into compliance with its own regs as prescribed by the state law allowing the industry, then u can be sure feds will have a field day!!
    Leaving your self open and vulnerable to internal and external negative actions and consequences is ridciculous and irresponsible!!
    Especially when the industry as a whole is trying to establish its legitimacy and sustainability.

  3. Pat on

    The die was cast long ago in ca. Years ago behind closed doors with the legislature. This is how the state’s special interest operators wanted it. These include the Police Chief’s Assoc., the Teamsters, the CDFA, the CDWR, CFW, and any other regulatory agency that is seeking to cash in on this. And, of course, their “friends” the existing oligarchs. Those that didn’t rub elbows with the power brokers are left out: The 99.5%. Only one reason: The oligarchs didn’t want the competition and the other’s were more than happy to oblige as the price would be kept high so that they can get their cut, either in revenue,fees, taxes, or “penalties.”

    There are large dispensaries doing business now, under the guise of state law, where they are not complying with state law in many fundamental areas as it relates medical cannabis. Put aside rec. However, these dispensaries have the gall to jack up the prices anyway and state to the consumer that it’s the cost of doing business. It’s like 215/420 regs, but with higher prices for not doing what state law dictates.

    These businesses were given given preferential treatment, not because of how state law dictates the issuance of licenses, but via a good’ol boy network. That is the antithesis of how ca.state law is supposed to operate. Everyone should have gotten equal opportunity out the gates ( Jan. 2018 ). So, the existing oligarchy gets to participate, still not play the rules, and jack up the prices so that all the insiders get paid for what become illegally gotten gains.

    Based on the above logic, there’s enough evidence out there that makes the state and their friends look no different than the most criminal cartels out there, and the mom and pop shops/under-dogs look like saints that were lied to during the years leading up to now, as they spent thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars getting their sites ready to meet the purported compliance standards. Now, they’re stuck with likely financial ruin by a sociopathic government that doesn’t give a f**k. What does the state possibly think that all those farmers are going to do this year? Of course they knew.

    From a state of ca. perspective, it’s not so much about the protection of public health, environmental health, wildlife, and public safety. It’s totally about those agencies charged with the public trust in making money. This cat was skinned in the worst way possible. And, it’s starting to show.

      • Pat on

        Hi Lyn. Not sure where you got “publicly traded big boys” from the comment. However, there are ( I’m not going to name them ) dispensaries that are licensed and not following state law and passing the costs down to the buyer of their products as if they were. Just go out there and look. The point is, is that the taxes are going to the government that doesn’t deserve it/shouldn’t be getting it. It’s putting the cart before the horse and waiting for the horse to catch up to pull the cart. The problem with this is that there were ( are ) plenty of potential growers/dispensaries/delivery services etc.. that may have been in a much better position to comply, and they weren’t granted a license. That’s an opportunity cost that may be near impossible to recover from while those that were selected for licensure conduct business in a manner that could be seen as consumer fraud from their end with the state being party to it. The manner in which all of this is unveiling itself has to be giving the existing black market even more “cause” to continue as such. Meaning the government itself is not playing by the very rules they’ve come up with, so why should they? It’s not right by either party. But when the government ignores the vast majority’s voice from the beginning; esp. from a group as iconic and counter-culture as the growers…What is one expecting from all that? Ca. had the opportunity to do it right. They didn’t. The legislature went for the special interest’s and politics outside of the ca. sphere for their own gain, period. Total greed and self-interest. Not for the public’s. It’s unbelievable. It’s going to get real bad largely because of the state’s failure on this issue. The manner in which the state is going about this is really a prohibition all over again. How is it not? It’s so obvious.

  4. Rick Cramer on

    Yes, Big Bro Cali is fun to work with. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Everyone wants thier cut.
    Here in Warshington we are subject to similar overlording but not near as bad as CA. That’s the nature of the beast. We own a Tier3 P&P and have lost our home and at least 1 1/2 year in setbacks. All from a bunch of detached, incompent State, County & City plebes playing around with our lives. All we can do is fight the beast. The leadership is fighting over funds and the LCB workers mostly came from State DSHS jobs. They are accustomed to treating people poorly and that aint changing any time soon

    • Pat on

      Hi Rick. I don’t agree that this is that much about big brother as it is another failure at democracy. Being managed in a reasonable manner is fine. It’s how the players were selected for licensure and how that is being carried out by the govt. of ca. It seems that when anything of real importance to the general public comes up or where there is lot’s of potential money to be made by large numbers of people, the govt. teams up with the special interests to find some manner of taking away the decision making ability from the public and/or the financial opportunities to the masses. You should never get used to it. The establishment is hoping that you and other’s will.

  5. Rebecca on

    I mean people, really what did we expect from a government that told us Cannabis (they called it marijuana just to debase it further with the public) was a dangerous drug and banned it from medicine shelves in the 1900’s because “Cannabis tinctures” worked and people were buying it instead of prescription drugs so the early big pharma got rid of cannabis with the help of the very people we are expecting NOW to regulate and fairly manage the new MJ business in the US. Good luck with that folks especially in light of who is in charge in the big white house (or should I say who is NOT in charge)!!!

  6. Lonnie Painter on

    Prop. 64 backers and its moneymen counted on the fact that voters would not read the over 60 pages of confusing bs in it. Voters got suckered. Corporate cannabis won the rest of us will lose. Farmers in the Emerald Triangle are already losing their farms and it will get worse. Big growers drove the price down to under a thousand dollars a pound. Some growers are getting $700 and even less a pound. but prices in cannabis businesses are getting almost $400 an ounce for buds including taxes. BIG money rules. Is this the end of grass roots cannabis?

  7. George Bianchini on

    It’s great that cannabis is legal in California now. I predict that cannabis busts will exceed previous levels now that it is legal, More young dark skinned kids will go to jail now that it’s legal. While rich white people like me will get even richer. Prop 64 was a Trojan horse. Beware what you wish for. I think we may need a mulligan/do over. We’ve been conned once again. I also got to say, it could be way worse with someone other than Chief Lori Ajax at the helm. Could you see a Chris Christy type running a program like this. Go ahead, try to cross that bridge. (pun intended) The license form would simply be used to find and arrest all of us. God Bless America!


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