The first 60 days of the “legal” cannabis industry in California were quite a spectacle. Lawsuits, the local uproar in several counties, high taxes, cease and desists from the Bureau of Cannabis Control, plummeting prices, and an overall unsteadiness in the California cannabis industry as a whole. It’s time for a course correction, but how?
Medicine Box is focused on what is happening around us, not only on the local level but around the state. It is safe to say that what was once a homogenous and thriving culture, the very one that built the demand for cannabis, is slowly drawing lines and taking sides. It is becoming clear to the discerning follower that the California cannabis industry can be categorized into 4 groups:
1. Getting Legit
The sector that sees being above board and legitimate as the way of the future. They have a solid proof of concept, a product line, the perfectly zoned property ripe for local authorization and state licensing, developing relationships around the state and above all, long-term vision. They are here to run a marathon, not a sprint. Medicine Box has been training for this marathon for two years and sees itself in this group.
2. Cannabis Purgatory
This group is still attached to what the cannabis industry used to be like. They want to hold onto the past, but they also want to be part of the future. However, they aren’t taking any action in the NOW. They are either unprepared for the new regulations, failed to secure space that is properly zone, or simply haven’t taken any measures to adapt for the future. They hold onto the “good ole days” hoping for the return of the familiar gray market. Tough place to be.
3. Black Market 4 Lyfe!
The homesteaders and multi-generational back-to-the-landers that helped build the cannabis movement who have no intention of adapting to the new cannabis marketplace. They will ride the proverbial wave of the black market until it inevitably crashes.
4. Getting Out of Dodge
This last group does have a certain appeal, particularly on stressful days. It’s the “throw your hands up in the air, liquidate everything, and move to Indonesia, Central America, or Mexico” approach. These people (many folks we know and respect) have made a conscious decision to slowly bow out of the way of life that they loved for so many years and start over.
Will the cannabis industry course correct and galvanize once again? We don’t know. It may innovate so rapidly that it’ll take time for regulations to keep up and these four groups will become more distinguished. One thing is for sure: what got us here today, won’t get us through tomorrow.
Read the first part of our exploration of the changing cannabis industry: Prop 64 Loopholes and Sustainability.