Steve DeAngelo Wants to See an End to Corporate Cannabis, Support for Small Growers

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Cannabis industry veteran Steve DeAngelo recently wrote an opinion piece, entitled “Topple the Pyramids,” in which he addresses the shift from medical to adult-use sales in California, and how small, legacy cannabis businesses struggle in comparison to corporate cannabis ownership.

DeAngelo began his piece by looking back on the medical cannabis law in California prior to the shift toward adult-use sales. “Nobody got rich. Nobody made intergenerational wealth, but everybody was taken care of,” he said of the past. “The system worked in its basic purpose of providing high quality cannabis at affordable prices, and providing all of its participants with an adequate income and dignified lifestyle—so it grew, steadily gaining more and more in-state market share from the underground market.”

After adult-use cannabis went live on Jan. 1, 2018 in California, he found that only 10 of the 500 suppliers to DeAngelo’s cannabis business at the time, Harborside, had received state licenses. Shortly afterward, prices at Harborside increased, which sent consumers “right into the arms of all the growers who had not been licensed.” He explained that this change has affected California’s cannabis industry long term, citing sales attributed to tourists or people who have enough money not to care about the price tag.

He also spoke about the people who helped build up the cannabis industry, who have been cast out by corporate companies. “Almost everywhere I go, I find that my counterculture cannabis tribe, the people who love this plant the most, and sacrificed the most to make her legal, have been mostly purged from legal companies, and many of them have entirely lost their livelihoods,” he said, adding that this mentality has spread from California to Massachusetts and Illinois.

According to DeAngelo, only 20% of product from licensed producers has been sold in Canada since 2018, and the other 80% …

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Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

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