Long-held fears of a corporate takeover of cannabis agriculture bubbled to the surface Friday, a day after the state released detailed regulations for what has historically been a loosey-goosey trade populated by small backwoods farmers.
The rules for the growth, distribution and sale of marijuana in California, written by three licensing agencies â the Department of Health, Department of Food and Agriculture and the Bureau of Cannabis Control â do not limit the number of licenses a grower could get or the total acreage one could farm.
Small growers were counting on the state to set limits, which they reckoned would give them a chance to get a foothold before the big operators moved in. They had hoped for a cap of 5 acres per farmer for the first five years.
âFrankly, this could be a catastrophe,â said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, an advocacy group for more than 1,000 medical marijuana farmers, business owners and patients. âIt creates a clear cut-and-dried advantage based on how much money a business has.â The complicated guidelines issued this week actually do limit the size of a marijuana grow depending on what kind of license the farmer obtains â with a maximum of about an acre per license. But, there are no limits on the number of licenses a farmer can have.
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