Today, Oakland’s city council is voting whether or not to permit 4 massive marijuana factories, where weed would be mass-produced, packaged and distributed for sale, effectively destroying the livelihood of local marijuana growers. The Mega-Weed-Marts, in addition to growing herb, will also be permitted to produce marijuana products like body oils, lotions and edibles.
Oakland’s city council is looking to approve the plan to generate some cash flow through permit fees and taxes, despite the fact Oakland already forces marijuana patients to pay the highest medical marijuana tax in the state. Unfortunately, the new plan was agreed upon in principle at a council meeting last week.
One of the council members who came up with the idea of the ‘Mcdonalds-isation’ of marijuana is Rebecca Kaplan who has said, “Creating a regular, responsible, regulated permitting system to enable the creation and regulation of these industrial facilities is an important step in terms of public safety, providing jobs and revenue.”
When it comes to public safety, several dispensaries already check the marijuana they sell for pathogens and molds ensuring they are perfectly safe. Local growers are protesting against the plan, calling it the equivalent of a a McDonalds or Wal-Mart moving in, taking away their customers with bargain bin weed and effectively putting them out of work.
One of the estimated 400 growers supplying weed to the Harborside Health Center dispensary in Oakland, who wants to remain nameless, told us that “It’s Bullshit, man! I’m afraid I’m going to lose everything. I’m sure that’s how most mom and pop shop owners felt when corporations came in and forced them out of business. I got into this business to provide organic, hand-crafted, boutique medical marijuana and feed my family. If this goes through, I’m NOT going to stop growing.”
Dispensary owners argue that the industrialization of marijuana, which seems eerily reminiscent of the alcohol and tobacco industries, will destroy the selection and number of strains available to customers.
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