Situated right between the two biggest cannabis consumer hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast of California is poised to become potentially one of the core producers of the plant statewide (or nationally, though interstate sales are barred). This fertile region has long been ripe with vineyards, renowned for producing some of the country’s best wine. Orange County marijuana business lawyers understand that as cannabis cultivators have been cropping up in the spaces between, many farmers are beginning to see it not so much as competition but as a chance to reinvigorate the agricultural traditions that have lagged in recent decades. From Santa Barbara County to Monterey, more marijuana farmers have been licensed in the last year than anywhere else in the nation. Still, this promise is tempered by concerns that explosive unchecked growth could lead to serious problems.
To be sure, the Emerald Triangle region of Northern California (comprised of Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties) grows the most marijuana by volume, hence the nod to greenery in its new moniker. However, if the pace of cannabis farming keeps up at the current clip, the Central Coast could soon surpass the northern neighbor region. And the region has a unique advantage over the Emerald Coast: No deep roots in the gray or black market.
Our Orange County marijuana business lawyers have been at the forefront of this industry, which has ballooned to an estimated $4 billion-a-year, and climbing. It’s been beneficial to the local tax base and also presents a new wave of opportunity for agricultural entrepreneurs seeking a legally sound yet lucrative opportunity. While the new law hasn’t entirely erased the stigma surrounding marijuana, the Central Coast lacks the cumbersome challenge of working to bring into compliance well-established underground growers transitioning into above-board – but heavily-regulated -operations. The risk of government raids is much lower (though not erased completely), but so are the profits, whittled by expensive new mandates and taxes. Operational, financial and legal concerns also persist as long as the drug remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government. Continue reading