Is California Running Out of Legal Weed?


The California weed market is facing a crisis at the moment. With continued competition from illicit black market sellers and a whole lot of red tape blocking business owners from the proper licenses, experts say that legal weed in the Golden State could run out by summer.

That’s not to say that there isn’t enough product to meet consumer demand: Rather, the problem is that there is simply too much weed for the current market to handle. Because the legal market can only support about 1.8 million pounds of marijuana each year, the 9 million pounds currently produced by marijuana growers throughout California have led to more than 6 months of oversupply.

Of course, the biggest concern for most California cannabis business owners and farmers is the shortage of permanent licenses. In the time since weed was legalized in November 2016, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has issued only 9 annual farm licenses, even though almost 7,000 cannabis farms have depended on temporary licenses up until now.

In an attempt to fix the problem for now, California’s Senators have proposed SB-67 in the legislature, which would grant temporary licenses to many of these farms and businesses again. But ultimately, this would only be a band-aid solution in an industry that desperately needs more legal avenues to operate.

About the California Cannabis Licensing Process

It may sound unbelievable that from thousands of cannabis farms, only 9 have been able to secure official licensing in more than 2 years. However, when you look at the actual application process, the picture becomes a little clearer. Farmers must submit a 44 page application, with reviews often lasting for half a year at a time. Cannabis is also the only crop that must be fully compliant under the strict California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

With the current bureaucratic balloon, it makes sense that some farmers have turned to other markets to sell their crop run-off, or re-entered the California black market. But with Governor Newsom actively waging war on illegal farms throughout the state, there is renewed fear that legal businesses will also suffer in the crossfire.

Seek Help from a Qualified Business Lawyer

At Purdy & Bailey, LLP, we’ve got the skill and the experience to help you protect your legal cannabis business. We want to help you keep your doors open through this crisis, and we will use everything in our power to seek the proper licensing on your behalf. Whether you’re a grower or a seller, our San Diego legal team can give you the unique counsel and powerful advocacy you need for your business.

For a courtesy evaluation, call (858) 360-7080 today!

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