With over 4,000 cannabis farms potentially being licensed in Southern Humboldt County alone, how do we plan to provide legal outlets to sell what those farms produce?  County officials agree that the farms average canopy size is 2300  sq. ft.; and with an average of 99 plants at 2.5 pounds per plant, we have So.Hum.producing at a minimum 1,000,000 pounds annually.

The County is considering only issuing 15 dispensary licenses. This implies that  266 farms will be trying to sell their product to each of those 15 dispensaries!!!!!  This leaves each outlet selling 67,000 pounds a year or 5,600 pounds a month!!!  Even if it was 1000 pounds a month(dispensaries average 50-100 pounds a month), this would mean only 1/10th of the cannabis grown in Humboldt County could be sold in Humboldt County. That means 9 out of every 10 farmers will still be exporting their crop.

Smokers go through 1 pound a year on average.  That equates to 1.25 grams a day. Average tourist stay is 3-5 days.  At best, this suggests 10 grams per person per stay or 45 people to smoke a pound.  45 million smokers to smoke So Hum’s annual low estimate crop, huh? It is estimated that 10% of the US population smokes.  That means every cannabis smoker in the United States will need to come through our County!! This doesn’t sound practical.

The situation for the whole State isn’t any better. There are around 1000 cannabis dispensaries in California with an estimated income of 2 billion a year. That’s 2 million dollars per dispensary.  The State estimates we have 57,000 (outdoor) cannabis farms in California producing an estimated average of 250 pounds per year each.  That is 18 million pounds produced. We need 1000 dispensaries in Humboldt County alone and a total of 20,000 dispensaries in California to move all this product within State lines. And all of this without the benefit of direct online sales – that is still illegal. Oh, and our legal production will quadruple in the next 5 years. Whoa!

If Humboldt County is to address this issue, we will need to create infrastructure that allows for more outlets, focuses on cannabis tourism simultaneously. As producers, we must diversify from bud and plan to offer added value to our product.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime for boutiques, hotels, restaurants, merchants generally and local tourist activities.

To sum up…if the State and County intend to have California cannabis farmers grow and sell legally, they need to support an unlimited number of licenses for processing facilities, dispensary facilities, cafes, festivals, and cannabis tourism facilities.  15 processing/sales licenses is the same as saying we are going to give out 4-5000 cultivation licenses and 500 of them can comply with sales laws.  There is enough weed being grown in California to have a shop selling it on every corner, just like coffee and beer! We need to get ahead of this.

The State only gets the money on in-state sales….currently they are getting at best 1/20 of that money. The State needs to increase the number of storefronts(brick and mortar or on the internet) by 20 times the current number before they will be getting all their tax money!

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