As 2022 comes to a close, we again look back at one of the most brutal years ever on both sides of the cannabis marketplace in California.
And I assure you, that is no exaggeration. On the recreational side, more and more farms went under or simply chose not to plant a crop this year. And those are the moms and pops feeling it — not those with cash reserves to burn while they wait for more shelf space to open up across the state and beyond its borders in the not-too-distant future.
But those without a permit had plenty to gripe on as well. At one point during the harvest, you could get machine-trimmed pounds for $50 a pop. This stuff would have been worth $1,200 to $1,500 a decade ago. It’s not the heat by any means, but it’s still shocking. The underground market is also prepping the transition of enforcement next year from the CAMP program to rebranded EPIC program. The big difference? Private parcels will face much more scrutiny in 2023 compared to CAMP’s targeting of public lands much of the time. A lot of people really needed a good one this year because of this. Despite the perfect conditions, they faced a flooded bottom-dollar market come harvest.
Things We’re Leaving Behind in 2022
Nepotism-Based Shelf Space
As the cannabis industry continues to do circles around the eye of the storm with people falling off the ship left and right, now is not the time to play favorites for shitty reasons. The main determining factor that should go through your head before you stock an item is whether it’s the best you can do for whatever tax bracket you are trying to serve with the said item. That’s regardless of whether you’re talking discount eighths or the mountaintop, purchase from the same ethos. Screw the free doughnuts; never buy cannabis products because someone brought free doughnuts — you’re going to have a bad time.
Getting Shot Over Big Piles of Money
As we exit 2022, the cannabis banking situation still hasn’t been figured out. It looked like it had a chance a couple of weeks back, but it fell short without the support or at least ambivalence of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The industry currently finds itself in two camps at the moment. The first is those that wanted bank accounts yesterday for their own personal safety and that of their staff. The second is those who want it as a bargaining chip to protect social equity in the national legalization debate to come. Both are great takes. Hopefully, it happens soon for the sake of nobody getting murdered over weed money. But given what happened in the Senate, we’re probably not all going to make it alive, so be careful.
There are few things that can devastate the market price of a commodity quite like overproduction. It’s a huge factor on both sides of the marketplace. On the recreational side, it has created a race to the bottom. The “top shelf” just under the true exotics is getting cheaper and cheaper, as people edged each other out 50 cents at a time to get us to this current bummer. On the illicit side, a ton of that oversupply on the recreational side finds its way to the streets. And it doesn’t have a home as it did in the past. That part is thanks to how many places have become less sketchy to grow. Why fly a box in from California when you can drive home from Maine or Oklahoma? Overproduction is the biggest factor in those $50 pounds we mentioned earlier, too.
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