Overregulation and Over-taxation Stifle Advancement in the Legal Cannabis Industry
We may be different, but in this journey, we are all connected. Alone we can make a difference, but together we can change the world. We’re all on the same team, striving for the same goal of achieving wellness naturally.
The closer one gets to legal cannabis sales, the more apparent it becomes that the true innovators and pioneers of this field lie within the traditional market. The legal market, burdened by overregulation and excessive taxation, fails to foster the advancements needed for true industry growth. To label it an "industry" implies industrial progress, which the legal cannabis landscape has yet to deliver. Rather, it is the traditional market, infamously known as the black market, that has laid the foundation for the remarkable medical cannabis products we enjoy today. Merely operating a retail dispensary does not birth a new industry; it is the culmination of the efforts of those who came before.
The Legacy of Great Industries:
To grasp the magnitude of what constitutes a successful industry, we can look to examples like textiles, shipping, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and alcohol. These industries have made significant contributions to society, driving advancements, offering diverse quality options, facilitating global trade, and maintaining affordable prices. Alcohol, for instance, has thrived for centuries, presenting a variety of brands and options to suit different tastes, importing and exporting products worldwide, and ensuring accessibility. The postal service allows anyone to send a stamped letter around the globe for pennies.
State regulators have become reminiscent of the new War on Drugs, with over-taxation and overregulation hindering industrial progress. In contrast, industries such as textiles, shipping, and alcohol have demonstrated the benefits of fostering innovation, ensuring market growth, and catering to consumer demands. The cannabis industry, in its current state, lacks the necessary conditions to be considered a mature industry. It faces challenges from external forces such as lobbying casino owners, politicians, and the alcohol industry, who fear the impact of cannabis retailers, lounges, and events on their profits. Instead of fighting amongst ourselves and pointing out flaws, it is crucial for the cannabis community to unite against these common adversaries.
The legal cannabis market, although aspiring to be an industry, still has a long way to go. Only a few companies will succeed in this heavily regulated environment, and even they often resort to selling their products in the traditional market. It is no secret that legal companies find themselves compelled to supply the black market, distributing their products discreetly to far-flung destinations like New York City, where unauthorized dispensaries carrying popular brands thrive. These retailers are not selling counterfeit cannabis products, but are instead offering genuine brands like Jeeter and Stiiizy. It is unfortunate that regulators have created an environment where legal retailers feel compelled to participate in the traditional market, making it increasingly challenging to sustain a living in the licensed state markets.
The key to cultivating a successful cannabis industry lies in embracing the principles that have propelled other industries to prosperity. Collaboration, cooperation, and working towards a common goal are crucial elements that can foster growth. Undue competition and refusal to work together hinder progress and prevent the industry from developing into its full potential. By adopting a united front, the cannabis community can advocate for its interests more effectively.
However, it is essential to acknowledge that the cannabis industry is still in its nascent stage, and its development requires time and support. The challenges faced by those investing in legal cannabis ventures are undeniable, with most MSOs losing money at an alarming rate. In contrast, the traditional market, through its inherent checks and balances, self-regulates more efficiently. This leads to better products for consumers and ensures timely payments for wholesalers and retailers. The industry needs to learn what true industry development entails, and participants must strive to build a credible marketplace.
As we navigate this evolving landscape, it is crucial to extend support and positivity to those around us. Instead of dwelling on flaws and criticisms, let us focus on building a better cannabis industry together. Whether one is an enthusiast, consumer, budtender, manager, chef, cultivator, or dispensary owner, it is our collective responsibility to bring positive vibes to the industry. By expanding our legal footprint with maturity, we can transform the cannabis industry into a credible and thriving entity that benefits us all.
Email me at Mike@cannabiscactus.com if you have a cannabis testimony, a cannabis garden story, or anything that is positive to share.