News / Economy

Medical Marijuana Growers Worry About Threat From Superstores

Containers of medical marijuana at the Harborside Health Center
Containers of medical marijuana at the Harborside Health Center

Multimedia

After weathering the fear of federal prosecution and competition from drug cartels, California's medical marijuana growers see a new threat on the horizon.  Oakland is about to become the first city to authorize large scale marijuana cultivation.  The move could generate millions of dollars in taxes and create hundreds of new jobs.  While the measure has yet to pass, current medical marijuana growers fear the move will drive many of them out of business.

Oakland, California is one step closer to becoming the Cannabis Capital of the U.S. following the city's proposal to issue licenses for large scale cultivation of medical marijuana.  The city plans to issue up to four licenses to growers willing to pay $200,000 every year and up to 8 percent of gross sales in taxes.



One of the applicants is the iGrow Superstore, which offers just about everything one needs to grow marijuana but doesn't grow any.  Co-owner Derek Peterson plans to produce up to 10,000 kilos per year if the city approves his application.

"California has done a phenomenal job of regulating the dispensaries, the sales aspect of it," said Derek Peterson. "What has never been talked about is the cultivation and transportation. That has always been in the dark."

Although the measure has yet to be approved, the issue of permits to grow unlimited amounts of cannabis has many growers green with envy.

Stephen DeAngelo is executive director of Harborside Health Center, the largest marijuana dispensary in the U.S.

"If only large growers of cannabis are licensed, then all of the small and medium-sized growers would become illegal and would be forced to close and would lose their livelihood," said Stephen DeAngelo.

Peterson disagrees.  Rather than lose business, he believes local permits could generate large revenues for the city and reduce crime associated with small scale operations.  

"You see a lot of home invasion robberies, a lot of home fires, a lot of unsafe conditions," he said. "These permitted facilities will be built out in a code-friendly matter by licensed electricians, civil engineers with LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] -certified architects, and I think that's one of the most important things for the local community."

But DeAngelo likens the development of the cannabis industry to the local wine industry.  

"To people who say that the only way to organize this industry would be with huge factories, I would ask them what Napa County [California wine region] would look like if there were only four huge industrial vineyards," he said. "It wouldn't be a very vibrant industry and I think the same thing holds true with cannabis."

Oakland's City Council is expected to pass the bill when it comes up for a final vote this month.

But the biggest change could come in November when California voters weigh in on proposition 19. It would legalize the possession and recreational use of non-medical marijuana.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.