California’s Farmers Let Their Marijuana Rot in the Fields

This year, harvesting your buds would leave you more in the red than simply letting them perish.
03 January 2022
1 min read
California’s Farmers Let Their Marijuana Rot in the Fields

Five years after the legalization of weed in California, it’s obvious that something is wrong with the budding industry. There are numerous reports that many small and big cannabis-growing companies in the state have chosen to let their plants rot.

Market reports for the third quarter have estimated the total dry weight of buds that would be ready for harvest in California at around 1 million pounds. However, a considerable portion of these buds never made it to the market.

When a Harvest Loses You Money

For decades, cannabis has been the most popular illicit drug in the world, and for illegal farmers, it’s always been a case of money growing on trees. It was hard to even imagine a situation when you couldn’t find a buyer for your cash crop. However, the oversupply in California has led to a sharp decline in wholesale prices.

This year, a pound of weed would sell for anything between $300 and $500. Calculate the cost of labor, add taxes to it, and you may find that you’ll lose less money abandoning your plants in the field rather than hiring a small army of trimmers and then trying to sell the produce.

This year, California's farms are full of spoilt buds like this one.

Blame It on the “Cultivation Tax”

The unique thing about legal cannabis in California compared with traditional crops is that you pay over $150 for every pound you grow. And it doesn’t matter whether you actually sell any of it.

And even if you do, very low wholesale prices guarantee that you lose money on every pound you manage to sell. The situations like this are a clear indicator that California’s marijuana industry is far from mature and has yet to overcome its growing pains.


03 January 2022