With the onslaught of cannabis legalization across the USA, many farmers are turning towards cannabis cultivation. It makes sense on many levels. For one thing, cannabis is a huge industry and there are going to be many millionaires made from the industry. Farmers have the land and the tools to create the crop in abundance. They have the existing infrastructure and they have the expertise. Who better to cultivate cannabis than famers whose job it is to grow plants anyway?
A Change for the Better
In the City of Oceanside, many farmers are deciding to make the change from traditional crops to cannabis cultivation. One of the primary reasons cited is that with the rise in water and labor costs, cannabis may be a better alternative. There is no disputing that there is more money to be made from cannabis, a cash crop. The question is whether or not competition will be too stiff. The fighting is going to be fierce for the first couple of years as cannabis cultivators and distributors distinguish themselves from their competitors. Only the best will survive and there are going to be a few losers at least.
One farmer in Oceanside has made the leap from former CEO of his farm to strike out on his own marijuana cultivation program. After 40 years’ experience in the farming industry, Mike Mellano is exploring options in the cannabis cultivation sector. Recreational marijuana laws are going to come into effect on the 1st January 2018 and in the meantime companies and cultivators are gearing themselves up for the deadline. On this date, recreational marijuana will be sold in shops throughout marijuana. And these ships need supplies to fulfill the needs of their many customers.
The city of Oceanside currently has over 3000 acres of agricultural land. There may only be two options, to convert these lands to cannabis crops or to watch as they get taken over by housing estates and turned into residential areas. The fact of the matter is that there is not as much profit in traditional farming as there was in the past and it may be a good idea to change with the times. The cash value of an acre of cannabis land is estimated to be in the region of $4.2 million. This can be compared with $70,000 for strawberries and $8000 for avocados. The total estimated value of marijuana sales in California by 2020 is nearly $8 billion. In other words, it makes sense to make the change from crops to cannabis from a financial perspective.
It is presently illegal to cultivate commercial marijuana. But this is not a popular choice and pressure is being put on Oceanside City Council, who are against the initiative for marijuana cultivation. There is nowhere in San Diego County to cultivate cannabis for commercial purposes, though it can be grown for medical purposes. The push is on to get commercial cannabis cultivation passed but the city council are resisting popular public sentiment. One Pro marijuana cultivation city council member Jerry Kernstated that:
My feeling is, it is a legal crop in California…Why should we prohibit our farmers in the city of Oceanside from growing a legal crop?”
Many residents could prefer to see cannabis grown on the agricultural lands as opposed to watching it get eaten up with urban sprawl. And as for the farmers themselves it would be a huge boon, as evidenced in the huge price difference between cannabis cultivation and conventional farming crops. Medical marijuana is already legal to cultivate, there is no pressing issue as to why commercial cannabis should not be an option for farmers, as it has been ratified at the state level.
A Risky Venture
There is little question that the market is there. The real question is who is going to make a profit and what companies will be left standing. Some researchers have estimated that California has a supply glut of marijuana, to the tune of 12 times as much supply as opposed to demand. If this statistic holds up it will lead to many devastated cannabis cultivators with excess supply and little demand. They may be forced to hold off or sell at ultra-low prices. There is little doubt that many of these cannabis cultivators may go down the black-market route and sell it in other states where it is not legal. The alternative would be possibly leaving tens of thousands of dollars of cannabis to go stale.
Legalization to Take Place Anyway
One way or another, it is more than likely that Oceanside will legalize commercial marijuana growth for its citizens. If the City council vote no, then certain members of the community are determined to issue a citizen’s ballot. Signatures will be gathered and commercial cannabis growth will become a reality anyway. It makes mores sense for council members to ratify it now and put rules and regulations into place as opposed to needlessly slowing down the process for another year. Farmers in Oceanside need to make the change as soon as possible and a year might be the difference between a successful business or a failure. The first to market are usually the most successful.