Corporate Weed – How Big Marijuana Impacts the Legal Cannabis Industry
Will the cannabis industry go corporate for good? What can we small businesses and dispensaries do to compete? The outlook is more positive than you might think.
The coronavirus has been impacting industries worldwide, and the legal cannabis sector is certainly no different. But we will get through this and the markets will recover eventually, whenever that might be. Even though there was a downturn in 2019 and the pandemic has been causing many people to lose money, financial analysts are still predicting that the legal cannabis industry will be worth $40 billion by 2024.
At this point, it’s no secret that the emerging legal cannabis industry has some lucrative potential. As you’d expect, big corporations are taking notice of the potential industry growth of the green rush and some already investing. Two of the most notable corporations that are making significant investments in the legal weed business include Arizona Iced Tea and Marlboro. The former made an investment in a licensing deal for a line of edibles, vape pens, and drinks, and the latter paid almost $2 billion of a large stake in a Canadian cannabis firm.
Musicians Love Weed
Even musicians, who are often thought of as sticking it to the man, are cashing in on the industry. Country legend Willie Nelson has his own weed company Willie’s Reserve, and of course, everyone knows Snoop Dogg is a likely candidate for his own industry footprint. Snoop calls his cannabis line Leafs By Snoop and he is also an investor in a large grow operation, Canopy Growth. Even beloved alt-rocker Dean Ween pitched a cannabis-friendly concert venue in Denver.
Inevitable Corporate Weed Takeover?
So with all of this big money investment in the cannabis industry, is it a deathblow for small businesses or Mom & Pop grow ops? Most people’s gut reaction would be yes. However, the legal cannabis industry has been a buy local, grassroots niche market since day one. California got the ball rolling with a statewide voter initiative, Prop 215, almost 25 years ago – all the way back in 1996. Prop 215 wouldn’t have been possible without grassroots voter support and the passion people have for cannabis medicine.
Save the Weed – Shop Local
Counterculture and grassroots support are exactly what will push back against any corporate cannabis takeover. You’d be a fool to think that corporations won’t have some kind of influence on the legal weed market. But if you want the doom and gloom of reading about corporate takeovers, you’re not going to find that here.
Craft Cannabis: A Cure for Corporate Weed
Counterculture will never die, and here is one big reason why. Take for instance the local brewery market. Even though local and craft brews are only about 5% of the overall beverage market, local establishments did well in 2019. Yes, there has been a bit of a downturn in microbrews and local artisanal coffee shops since their take off circa 2016. However, once we get through this pandemic, craft cannabis has the potential to thrive. What is craft cannabis?
Craft cannabis has been something that’s been talked about for a few years now, with states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington pairing various strains with non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and food – where legal, of course. Craft farmers grow cannabis with love – organically with as few if any pesticides as possible. Many craft cannabis growers breed their own strains as well. Industry professionals call this seed-to-sale. A breed worth his or her salt improves upon a memorable strain, making it even better with different growing mediums, better lighting, better genetics, and so on.
According to an interview from Vox, Big Marijuana isn’t inevitable. Big Marijuana is being described now as low-quality weed grown in massive warehouses by large corporations. Family and local farms are the keys to the future of the cannabis industry. The evidence for this is laid out beautifully in the book Craft Weed by Ryan Stoa. Any weed enthusiast would tell you that they’d rather opt for craft cannabis, which is small scale grow operations on family farms that understand the lineage and genetics of the plant. To fight corporate weed, we will need to continue to support our small farmers and buy local.
Keep it Loud, Keep it Locked
As previously mentioned is a lot of uncertainty and turmoil right now in the legal cannabis industry and just about every other industry. We will get through this if we work together. In the meantime, we will continue to bring you engaging and interesting content just like this article. We love getting your feedback and hearing what you have to think. Feel free to continue to do so, as well as let us know what you want our writers to cover. Cultivating the cannabis community is essential, especially in times like this.
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