California Has a Cannabis Surplus And No Way To Export Any Of It

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An outspoken voice in California’s Marijuana industry is warning that the state’s cannabis growers produce eight times the pot that is consumed there and will need to reduce crops under new state regulations that will ban exports after Jan. 1.

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Association, predicts that some marijuana growers will stay in the black market and illegally send cannabis to other states. “We are producing too much,” he said, adding that state-licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve.”

Allen made these comments at a Sacramento Press Club panel discussion that included Joseph Devlin, chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement for the City of Sacramento, and Lori Ajax, chief of the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.

Devlin commented that figures he was given vary, some putting California production at five times the state consumption, while one consultant said the number may be as high 12 times what is consumed.

Ajax agreed with Allen about cannabis cultivators scaling back even while others may never apply for a state license.

“For right now, our goal is to get folks into the regulated market, as many as possible,” Ajax said, adding, “There are some people who will never come into the regulated market.”

Those people, she said, will eventually face enforcement actions for growing marijuana without a state license, while it’s still not allowed under federal law.