CALIFORNIA - THE WORLD'S LARGEST LEGAL MARIJUANA MARKETPLACE
With recent legalization, Marijuana stands to rival Silicon Valley in revenues in the world's 6th largest economy.
In the coming years, there seems to be little doubt that the marijuana industry in California will grow into a $10 billion dollar plus industry.
Medical Marijuana is already legal in California, but the passage of Proposition 64 means that California is now poised to become the World’s largest legal weed marketplace, but the marketplace has rules.
The 4 States that approved of recreational marijuana last election (Nov 2016)
Dexter Thomas went to find out who wins and who loses.
Dexter Thomas: This is what corporate marijuana looks like in California. Steve De Angelo founded Harborside Health Center in Oakland 10 years ago. It now claims to be the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country.
Dexter Thomas: So with the legalization in California a victory for you then?
Steve De Angelo: Legalization in California is not just a victory for me, it is in many ways the culmination of my life’s work I’ve been working to achieve this really for 40 years.
Dexter Thomas: The victory includes entry into a market that’s estimated to be worth more than 7 billion taxable dollars by the year 2020 under California’s medical marijuana laws. Harborside has to be a non-profit organization.
Steve De Angelo: And we typically have 30 to 40 different selections…
Dexter Thomas: In anticipation of last weeks' change in laws, De Angelo established a private holding company last year to raise money from investors. He plans the role of Harborside into a for profit company once the State writes its new legal marijuana laws. We met at Meta farm he’s building South of San Francisco.
So how big is your operation right now?
Steve De Angelo: The Harborside organization has about 200 full-time employees right now, we have 3 retail dispensaries, we have an agricultural campus, and we have an industrial campus so we’ve grown quite a bit since the days when we were completely illegal and underground.
Dexter Thomas: So how much revenue you bringing right now?
Steve De Angelo: Well, our previous 12 months was 39 million dollars, but that was before we really had our cultivation or our manufacturing in place. So we anticipated to grow very substantially over the course of the next few years, hopefully when we sit down again, we’ll have 500 employees, who have well paying jobs with great benefits, instead of 200. Eventually, we will have a national interstate market for cannabis and when that happens, we want to make sure that we’ve got the best brands and the best products to introduce to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.
Dexter Thomas: California’s new law is also intended to drive others out of the market entirely. In the Sierra Foothills North of Sacramento, we met a grower who goes by the name Tripp. He agreed to do this interview only if he could wear a disguise. Instead of joining the State approved medical marijuana industry, Tripp stayed in California’s black market, which supplies an estimated 70% of America’s weed and now with full legalization, he’s stuck on the outside looking in, locked out of the market and still worried about getting busted.
Tripp: We currently have two farms left out of three. This year one of them got raided by the local Sheriffs and eradicated.
Dexter Thomas: What’s your biggest concerned about Proposition 64?
Tripp: A large corporation coming in, people that have backgrounds in agriculture industry, on the tobacco industry.
Dexter Thomas: You’re worried about big cannabis coming in just monopolizing the entire business right?
Tripp: That is my biggest concern.
Dexter Thomas: Why don’t you just become big cannabis?
Tripp: Well, I don’t believe that. I can do a felony possession with the intent to distribute marijuana conviction. I don’t think I’m allowed to apply for a license.
Dexter Thomas: In fact, under the law that voters approved,State regulators can deny a license to anyone who has prior felony marijuana conviction in States other than California. Tripp plans to keep selling on the underground market, can make his money while he can. He’s already getting squeezed out.
Tripp: When I first got involved in the industry, it was very lucrative to transport from west coast to the east coast. We would see quite a return in our investment. We could maybe buy pounds back then for 2200$ and sell them on the east coast for 4400$ on wholesale deals. The profit has diminished, because market has gone done.
Dexter Thomas: Marijuana is still federally illegal and businessman like Steve De Angelo also faced legal scrutiny. He won a court fight with the Department of Justice in Amy, but he’s still fighting a legal battle with the IRS.
So what opportunities exist now that marijuana does not have to be in this underground economy?
Steve De Angelo: Well, California’s legal cannabis industry now has room to grow into 6 the largest economy in the world and that’s really important thing for us, because eventually, California is going to want to claim its share of the national and the international cannabis market. So, we’re looking at the creation of a vastly rich, new industry in California, something that will be without question the largest cash crop in the State, but eventually could rival Hollywood and Silicon Valley as a major driver for California’s growth.
MMJDOCTORONLINE: To buy marijuana in California and Nevada, citizens still require a medical marijuana license. You can still get a doctor's recommendation, Cannabis ID Card and grower's permits online. The process takes only a few minutes and patients don't pay unless they are approved. Your same-day documents can be used at dispensaries, delivery services, cooperatives, cannabis clubs and other points of access.
On Election Day, voters in 4 States legalized marijuana for recreational use. California was one of those States. Medical marijuana was already legal in The Golden State, but the passage of Proposition 64 means the State is now poised to become the world’s largest legal weed marketplace.
Read: "The high stakes for legal weed on election day" - http://bit.ly/2g3jLmN
Read: "The election wrecked America's underground weed economy" - http://bit.ly/2fDOD01
Read: "Trumps pick for attorney general has legal weed advocates freaking out" - http://bit.ly/2fhFvuq