California Is Losing Licensed Pot Farms By the Hundreds

by on April 7, 2023 · 3 comments

in California

By Lester Black / SFGATE / April 7, 2023

California’s legal pot market has lost hundreds of pot farms a month as farmers opt to quit the legal market. And signs indicate the industry is only continuing to shrink.

The state has lost 1,766 cultivation licenses since the beginning of last year, according to data reported by the California Department of Cannabis Control and the Cannabis Business Times. Low wholesale prices and high taxes have made it almost impossible for operators to run a profitable small business, pot industry insiders say.

The fleeing farms are reducing the total amount of space licensed to produce cannabis in California. The state has lost 23% of its total legal canopy — the combined size of all legal cannabis grows — since the beginning of 2022, according to Aaron Edelheit, a cannabis investor who analyzes California’s market. That’s over 19 million square feet of cannabis farming that has disappeared over the past year.

Max Rudsten, chief revenue officer of Monterey’s POSIBL cannabis farm, said he expects the industry to continue bleeding farms throughout the year.

“We expect this loss to accelerate as more businesses decide the same fate,” Rudsten said in an email.

Lost farms

There are 6,827 active cultivation licenses in California, according to the Department of Cannabis Control. That’s 845 fewer farm licenses than there were at the beginning of the year and 1,766 fewer licenses compared with the beginning of 2022, according to data from the California Department of Cannabis Control reported by the Cannabis Business Times.

Brian Dewey, the head of business development at the cannabis distributor Nabis, said that the significant reduction in cultivation licenses was caused by “an oversupply of bulk flower” produced by the wealth of legal farms in the cannabis market.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie April 8, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Our state, county and city governments did this. They heaped too many taxes on a budding industry in their rush to cash in on the pot business, after opposing it for decades. Our electeds did this.


Chris April 9, 2023 at 6:55 am

But are we surprised? Nope.


sealintheSelkirks April 11, 2023 at 10:45 am

Yeah, and now they can start really busting the local small-time underground dealers again so they can build up their prison numbers, increase their cop numbers ‘because all of the unlawful drug sales going on,’ and that’s always good for revenue generation which was the entire point of ‘legalization’ in the first place. And since their killing their own they’ll need to make it up somewhere else. It never had ANYTHING to do with freedom to choose unless, of course, you use the drugs alcohol (which nearly all our ‘leaders’ use) and tobacco that cause immense suffering with the addicts to those deadly drugs in comparison to cannabis…that nobody has EVER died of an overdose from.

Besides, the State always need more rented out ‘firefighters and profits off the cheap inmate labor for ‘credit card phone reps’ and corporate sewing operations, yes? And it boosts the need for DAs and judges and all the associated private profits to be made by corporations that bribe the politicians of both parties for favors but since both ‘sides’ are part of the ‘investor class’ that make all the profit from this sort of thing…

The hypocrisy is just astounding, isn’t it?

For now, I’m germinating 6 strains for my ‘state legal’ medical garden this year and getting the struggling little girls into peat pots. For those that are curious they are:
1) Mantanushka Thunderf**k purple Alaskan strain, Godbud, Gorilla Glue, Gift/Breath auto-bud local hybrid (very short growing season), Imperial Valley, and from a friend a few seeds from the best that came into Phoenix in the last ten years. Be interesting to see what those turn into. Of course half (or more) will turn out male as usual and be culled…



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