Big Marijuana

Poor Quality: A Natural Side Effect of Big Marijuana


If you had to choose between spending more on a high-quality marijuana product or sacrificing some of the quality to get a lower price, which would you choose? Back in the old days, which is to say 20 or 30 years ago, quality wasn’t much of an issue. But it is an issue today, and increasingly so. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of Big Marijuana.

Like any other industry, the legal marijuana industry is open to corporate dominance. Large companies with deep pockets have the resources to take over local markets one by one. And that is exactly what’s happening. Unfortunately, the corporate mindset is focused almost exclusively on increasing profits quarter after quarter. Some of the fallout of that mindset is demonstrated in a loss of quality.

Spend Less, Get More

A recent High Times piece highlights this very issue in relation to home growers and boutique cultivators. These are people who run small growing operations using retail equipment. According to author Lance Black, Big Marijuana equipment manufacturers have adopted a new marketing trend in recent years. That trend is spending less to get more.

Put another way, equipment makers are focusing on yield. They are designing equipment intended to increase the volume of plants smaller growers can produce. But there is a tradeoff. The same equipment that increases plant yield tends to diminish plant quality. Sure. You spend less to get more volume, but you are getting more plants at the expense of the quality of each one.

People should not be surprised to see this development. Equipment makers are simply playing to a base instinct that consumers have demonstrated for ages. That instinct is easily explained by the simple reality that we all prefer to spend as little as possible to get what we want. If the savings are significant enough, we can even be convinced to accept lower quality as a trade off.

Medical Cannabis is an Exception

In fairness, the quality issue seems to be worse in the recreational market – particularly where smaller commercial and home grow operations are concerned. It doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem in the medical market. That is not without reason. In many states with both medical and recreational programs, medical providers are required to produce higher quality products that are often more potent.

You also have states like Utah, where cultivation is tightly controlled. According to the people behind the Utah Marijuana, only medical cannabis is allowed in the Beehive State. All marijuana grown in the state must be grown by licensed cultivators. Furthermore, cultivators are expected to produce a minimum volume in order to retain their licenses. Home grows are strictly prohibited.

Utah also requires that all medical cannabis products be tested for quality. Proper testing ensures minimum standards for quality are met. You could make the case that it might even encourage processors and cultivators to exceed minimum standards.

Big Marijuana on the March

Medical cannabis aside, Big Marijuana is on the march across America. A small number of companies are looking to dominate the recreational market in every state in which it exists. No doubt they are keeping an eye on a much bigger prize: nationwide recreational marijuana as a result of federal decriminalization.

Big Marijuana will undoubtedly do what every other corporate-dominated industry does: do everything in its power to give consumers dirt-cheat products that will keep them coming back. Quality will be sacrificed along the way. It will not matter to big Marijuana just as long as the profits keep rolling in.

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