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

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Unlikely Before Monday

Tension builds over possible indictment of white police officer in shooting death of black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current Russian-backed rebels’ fight in east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.