California Cannabis Farmers Struggle to Avoid “Extinction”
According to industry experts, high taxes and licensing fees, oversupply, and the decreased value of wholesale marijuana are all causing many cannabis farmers to question whether they can stay in business. Some cultivators are simply allowing their licenses to expire, while others are combining their operations in the hopes of remaining in business. One of the biggest problems is the depressed value of wholesale cannabis and the oversaturation of product in the market. This is because there are 8,300 cultivators in the state, but only 1,200 retail facilities. This is a significant systemic issue for which there is not a clear-cut fix. Grower Mark Shaffer of Shelby Ridge said of the current state of California’s cannabis market: “This is going to be the biggest extinction event of cannabis that we’ve seen, and it’s unavoidable.”
Study Finds Cannabis Legalization Tied to Decrease in Foster Care Placements
According to a recent study from the University of Mississippi, recreational cannabis legalization is associated with an average 10 percent decrease in foster care placements. Researchers analyzed data from multiple sources to compare the number of placements in states with legal cannabis programs versus states without legal marijuana. The study also examined the possible economic impact of the reduction of foster care admissions. Using figures from an earlier study that determined it costs about $25,000 per foster care placement, researchers found that nationwide legalization would lessen the annual financial burden of foster care by about $675 million. The study authors also reviewed information from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System between 2000-2017 and found negligible differences between states prior to legalization. However, once states legalized cannabis, foster care admissions gradually decreased. Of course, more research is needed to learn how federal cannabis legalization could impact the foster care system in the U.S.
South Carolina is One Step Closer to Legalizing Medical Marijuana
South Carolina lawmakers have passed medical marijuana legislation. The bill, S150, passed the Senate and a House committee last week. It is now ready for a full House floor vote. The ultimate fate of the legislation is still unclear, as the bill has both bipartisan support and opposition in the House. Should the measure pass, it would create a restrictive medical marijuana program for South Carolinians. The only medical marijuana products patients could access would be vaporizers, oils, patches, and salves. Less than a dozen illnesses and disorders would be considered qualifying conditions for the program.