There’s been an influx of celebrity and big name cannabis products to hit the market lately. And while most economists and cannabis enthusiasts alike are all for vast competition and innovation; emerging legal markets do raise some concerns about potential monopolies, government overreach and corporate cronyism seeping its toxic sludge into the increasing free market of the cannabis industry.
So what can be done to push back against corporate and bureaucratic fat cats that want a disproportionate piece of the legal cannabis pie? How do we prevent the thriving cannabis industry from becoming another big tobacco or big alcohol? According to many thought leaders in the cannabis industry, including popular travel writer and unapologetic cannabis activist Rick Steves — the answer is simple: grow your own.
“If there’s money to be made, it’s going to attract big corporate interests, and they’re going to have the clout.” Steves said in an interview with KUOW public radio.
“I like the idea of having a home grow because it gives people an option to having to buy something from a giant organization. They can just have a few plants on the window sill, and it’s not a big deal,” added Steves.
Washington was the one of the first states to legalize cannabis four years ago in 2012. This change in law was a bit of a culture shock for more conservative voters, voicing concerns of home cultivation impacting criminal behavior and a perceived potential to increase DUIs.
“A lot of people were nervous that there was a whole reservoir of decent people that were just going to ruin their lives smoking pot and our whole community would become one big giant out-of-control hemp fest,” Steves said.
Now that the public at large has had a few years to accept and digest the landscape of legal cannabis, the time is now to make a push for medical patients to grow their own medicine at home. While some dispensary owners might be concerned that this increased homegrown strategy might have a negative impact on their sales, cannabis connoisseurs understand that it’s only likely to help them. Any home brewer can make their own batch of beer, for instance, but most home brewers don’t have access to the technologies, space and capital that successful craft brewers have at their disposal. The same is true for home cannabis growers — they don’t have the connections to expert breeders like dispensaries do. In a truly free and open cannabis marketplace, this should only make the end product that much more affordable and effective.
What are your thoughts about home growers pushing back against “big marijuana”? We want to hear what you think!