California's Marijuana Farmers Want Day In Court

A group of marijuana growers in California filed a lawsuit Tuesday in an effort to block state statutes that intend to open the marijuana grow markets up to large farms that many smaller growers fear would result in the end of their livelihoods.

The lawsuit which has been filed just week’s after the state of California made legal pot sales to the general public at retail locations, was filed on behalf of the California Growers Association in the Sacramento County Superior Court.

The argument by the Growers association is that the state’s intent to allow businesses to acquire an unlimited number permits to grow marijuana is a green light for larger operations to step in and dominate smaller farmers until they can no longer compete in the market.

The growers believe that this is in contrast with state laws that expressed the want for the newly created market for pot to built around the efforts of small to medium-sized grow operations.

The lawsuit also explains that growers pushed out of the legal market for marijuana sales would then have no choice but to turn to the black market to continue to support themselves which would undermine the effort to establish the legal marketplace.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is the agency responsible for issuing licenses in the state for cannabis cultivation but was unable for comment on this matter.

The lawsuit is specifically asking the courts to block or disallow a pattern of licensing that would allow companies to set up huge pot farms. It is unclear whether any companies had already applied for multiple licenses with the intent to establish the type of farms that spoken of by members of the Growers Association.

The new year marked the beginning of recreational marijuana sales in the state of California. The goal is to turn combine the medical marijuana and illegal pot markets in the state and transform them into a legal economic base that generates billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are all cities that have been supportive of the movement to allow recreational marijuana sales but other areas have not been so welcoming of the idea. Among the complaints that have been lodged by non-approving cities and towns is the hefty tax rates that will be attached to these sales of marijuana and the fear that marijuana businesses would continue to operate in the black market while using licensing to shield themselves from the law.



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