Prop 64; High Rollers Only Need Apply
What happens when the cannabis opportunity is out of the reach of the community entrepreneur?
By Nechel Best
Prop 64: Only high rollers can capitalize on cannabis economics. It’s not deep really, once again inebriating civic ignorance and political shenanigans collide, leaving us with a sobering reality: the economic benefits of marijuana legalization and the resultant cannabis industry that will intersect with everything from textiles and cosmetics manufacturing, real estate, bio-safe pesticides, security, healthcare and food and so on… is now favorably regulated for pay to play.
“Meaning if you don’t have enough money to afford the sheer volume of statutory regulations involved in “cultivating, manufacturing, producing, processing, preparing or selling marijuana or marijuana products as a licensee.”
You should not attempt to, according to the AUMA Act under Division 10, Chapter 1 General Provisions 26001 (2) (dd) (dd) “Unreasonably impracticable” means that the measures necessary to comply with the regulations require such a high investment of risk, money, time, or any other resource of asset, that the operation of a marijuana establishment is not worthy of being carried out in practice by a reasonably prudent business person.
So, while we were focused on not going to jail for an adult recreational activity usually indulged in much the same way as having a few drinks; we failed to do the basics – read the Prop, understand it and follow the money.
For Black and Brown communities that have been disproportionately stigmatized and incarcerated for illegal marijuana use, decriminalization matters. And could have meant a brighter future in which the cannabis industry impacted their lives in enterprising and respectable ways, much like the craft beer industry in San Diego. For individual adult growers of cannabis, the AUMA regulation provides these legalized rights:
11362.1. (a) (3) Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than six living marijuana plants and possess the marijuana produced by the plants;
One major factor limiting access for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses participating in the cannabis industry are potential violations to laws that are constantly in flux and the varied unstandardized rules of up to 13 government agencies that have the discretion to revoke licenses for non-compliance to environmental laws. Very little legal incentive for an industry already accustomed to being a black market.
While we have toiled with politicized social and moral stances used to brand cannabis as more harmful and criminal than alcohol and tobacco because it does not require an industrialized growth process, which would keep its profit-making potential in the hands of a few. There is a little known, yet ideal narrative that has made good on producing a sustainable, ecologically efficient business model for cannabis and food cultivation under the now replaced Prop 215. In Lemon Grove Darryl Cotton of 151 Farmers is committed to providing 1 pound of cannabis to 5 pounds of food for 1 world. Using the latest in aquaponic technology 151 Farmer’s growing methods are particularly beneficial for soil-less urban gardening which promotes food being consumed closer to where it is grown. Believing food and medicine are as healthy as their source, his organic sustainable cultivation is nutrient-rich, repels pesticide and saves natural resources like water and energy.
He sees the legalization of cannabis as a real opportunity to right many social and economic wrongs. Food scarcity could be virtually eliminated with his farm to fork approach, organic produce locally grown in urban settings provide for edible landscapes and low to no-cost groceries when backed by high yielding crops, like cannabis. 151farmers.org is a virtual library of organic farming benefits and cannabis regulation knowledge-base. Darryl’s farms have been purposely situated in communities that could benefit most from access to healthy food, naturopathic medicine and the associated commerce of legalization because he understands that winning the “war on drugs” happens here. For more information on 151 Farmers visit https://www.facebook.com/darryl.cotton.33
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986