Surviving as a Craft Cannabis Farmer

Surviving as a Craft Cannabis Farmer
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The time for reckoning has come. The challenges have become huge in the California cannabis market for the small craft farmers, distributors and dispensaries. This current “extinction event” is the toughest one yet, and farmers and companies are dropping like flies. The prevailing question is: Who is actually making any money along this fragile supply chain? And it keeps going back to one place: the government.  The steep taxes imposed on all segments of the chain are wiping companies out, while the state-reported revenue for the first quarter of 2022 at $294.5 million, including $152 million in cannabis excise tax, $36.3 million in cultivation tax and $106.2 million in sales tax. Granted, the farmers are no longer being charged cultivation tax for the time being, yet dispensaries are using that as an excuse to pay the farmers less for their wholesale flowers. Everyone is hurting. The Real Cost of Cultivation in California The stories circulating among the Emerald Triangle are frightening. Too many brands are either still sitting on pounds of flowers they never could sell last year, or they ended up selling for as low as $50 per pound wholesale to distributors and dispensaries. The primary beneficiaries of this dilemma are the compassion programs, as literally tons have been donated to veteran, prisoner and patient causes across the state of California. Otherwise, it’s a race to the bottom—we’ve heard some farmers selling branded wholesale flowers for as low as $3-$5 per 1/8th which is simply not sustainable.  Meanwhile, big corporate grows in other parts of California crank out thousands of pounds of mediocre greenhouse-grown cannabis which they can easily sell for very low prices to struggling dispensaries anxious to feature inexpensive products on their shelves. These mega growers also have access to their own professional teams, which include many…

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