Oakland considers sanctioning large-scale grows

The City of Oakland, one of the most marijuana-friendly in the country, is tired of indoor growers starting fires, so the City Council is planning introduce legislation to sanction a few large-scale commercial grow operations. At this point,they are envisioning three to four commercial grows, located in an industrial section of the city.

While I applaud the ongoing efforts of Oakland city authorities to legitimize marijuana and bring it into the mainstream, I have many problems with this proposal.

First, it won’t work. Small growers don’t grow because the cops let them, they grow because it is profitable. All this proposal would do is flood the market, making it marginally less profitable to grow at home, but not likely to drive out small indoor growers altogether.  Mostly, it will reduce the growers’ profits, making them less likely to spend money on, say, properly hooking up their electricity.

Second, this would establish a “big business” model, in which the entire medical marijuana industry would be dominated by a few well-connected megagrowers. These few growers would reap huge profits (as Harborside, Oakland’s biggest dispensary and one of the most likely recipients of a grow permit, is already doing), while the small-time growers would be forced to either accept lower prices or be forced into an already bleak job market.

The concentration of power over the supply of medicine in the hands of a few big businesses flies directly in the face of California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana for Medical Use, which mandate that all dispensaries operate as non-profit collectives or co-operatives, and that primary caregivers may only have multiple patients “in the same city or county.”

My recommendation would be to empower a local organization to certify, anonymously, the safety of a grow. Dispensaries could demand proof of inspection from each vendor. This would address the fire hazard problem while keeping the supply side populated with actively-employed collective members.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Oakland considers sanctioning large-scale grows

  1. miss m

    Fantastic work. I am trying to sign up to word press with much difficulty, but I did get to read this and look forward to much more!

    • Get going with it already! I can’t carry this blog by myself!

      • Well, you are doing just fine so far! At least I have a photo profile now. That just took a whole day to make. I was writing a report about our meeting with Denis last night. I am not sure we want my rusty writing up here, but okay. Really, I wanted to get photos ready to match. That takes some figuring. I started with 3 notes for you and it turned into a memoir of the interview. Ooops. Get that story finished, so you can help me trouble shoot, Professor O.H.

        Setting up our Flicker…Vodpod, Zmarks, utube and all takes a minute also. Pushing the blog on FB…any way today. Orange Hair on Fb see you there.

        Like the page lay out too, now. Nice. No white writing. Easy as pie.

        Miss M

  2. Pingback: Look Out California Growers, the Weed Walmart is Coming « Orange Hair

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