California initiative expected to generate billions in marijuana sales

September 19, 2016

legalize-marijuana-california-environmentWith a proposed marijuana cultivation ban slated to return to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, some local officials are weighing the potential harm pot farms pose to public health and safety against the possible financial boom cannabis production can create. Recently, observers have likened the financial opportunities both in the California and SLO County marijuana markets to the Gold Rush.

Legal marijuana sales in California will grow from $2.7 billion to $6.6 billion by 2020, if voters legalize recreational cannabis in November, according to the Archview Group, a pot investment and research firm. The nationwide market for legal marijuana sales is currently $5.7 billion, a total that is expected to rise to nearly $23 billion by 2020.

California’s marijuana legalization measure currently has the support of 58 percent of voters, according to recent poll conducted by the LA Times and USC Dornsife.

Some proponents of cannabis legalization are pointing to the recent success of the Mojave Desert town of Adelanto in luring investment from the marijuana industry. Last November, the city became one of the first in California to permit medical marijuana cultivation. [AFP]

Adelanto, a city of 32,000 residents, was on the brink of bankruptcy and struggling with double-digit unemployment. But after Adelanto adopted its marijuana ordinance, high-end investors rushed in to buy up warehouses and plots of land in the two areas city officials earmarked for marijuana cultivation. Rapper Snoop Dogg; actor Tommy Chong; and Ky-Mani Marley, one of Bob Marley’s sons, have each reportedly joined the scramble to secure a producer license in the city.

City officials have issued 35 licenses to grow marijuana and expect to distribute more in the coming months. Adelanto’s marijuana ordinance requires business to obtain 40 to 50 percent of their workforce from the local population.

John “Bug” Woodard Jr, a councilman and real estate agent, said an Adelanto building that was purchased for $725,000 a couple years ago is now worth $4 million.

On Tuesday, the SLO County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on an urgency ordinance that would put a halt to new marijuana cultivation for commercial purposes. Under the urgency ordinance, individuals with marijuana prescriptions or their caregivers could cultivate up to six plants at a time.

In recent months, growers poured into the sparsely populated California Valley in eastern SLO County after a marijuana magazine stated the county does not have any regulations and is tolerant of large cannabis grows. The influx of growers has led to numerous complaints about men with guns protecting the pot farms.

Also, county inspectors have found documented gang members at several of the sites, as well as harmful chemicals, many of which are banned in California. Additionally, dangerous electrical and plumbing problems are frequently encountered at the California Valley pot farms, according to county staff.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson has thrown his weight behind the proposed marijuana moratorium, saying growers in the California Valley are threatening the safety of the community.

But, four votes are needed to adopt the moratorium, and there is a strong likelihood the regulation will not pass. Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill have expressed opposition to the proposal.

Gibson, and particularly Hill, favor the idea of attracting marijuana businesses to SLO County. Hill has said marijuana will be a big industry in California, and SLO County must capitalize on it.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote on the urgency ordinance, the supervisors are expected to discuss permanent marijuana regulations following the statewide initiative in November.



  1. flytrap says:

    I hope all of this money will compensate us for the significant increase in deaths that are going to occur from marijuana DUI’s that have been occurred in Washington state and Colorado after they legalized recreational use. How much are lives worth?

    (-8) 26 Total Votes - 9 up - 17 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I say give DUI like drinking. If you are against this flytrap, then I assume you are against drinking also?

      There on a lot of people driving out there now high on drugs. Maybe this would expedite a way to test for, like drinking and we can get more off the roads. Or we can just ignore like we do and go on our way. Maybe those on driving under the influence of drugs will just police themselves.

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • sloslo says:

        “Maybe those on driving under the influence of drugs will just police themselves.”

        LOL, yeah because self-policing has worked so well with those driving under the influence of alcohol.

        Unlike, alcohol there is no breathalyzer for people who are stoned, nor is there a legally established blood marijuana content level.

        (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
        • Duncan20903 says:

          So how many more DECADES would be reasonable before we quit letting the sycophants of prohibition to use the absence of a “breathalyzer” equivalent as an excuse to continue our societies embrace of this utter failure of public policy. Great tactics, seriously worthy of Sun Tzu. All that the propapaganda mongers have to do is absolutely nothing to keep cannabis criminalized.

          The first time I heard the lame excuse that we can’t re-legalize because we don’t have a “pot breathalyzer” was in the late 1970s when Jimmy Carter announced that he would support the decriminalization of petty possession of cannabis. Here we are, almost 4 decades later and people are still trotting out that tired old nag. Exactly how many decades are needed to invent such a device, if it’s so important? Why is it that people think it’s OK to arrest people who have not and may never go out driving impaired in the name of highway safety? It would be sheer absurdity to claim that a person choosing to enjoy cannabis causes everyone who uses it to go out driving impaired. I never do so, and quite simply because I place a high value on being alive and being able to walk from here to there on my own two legs.

          The first State to criminalize drunken driving was New York State in 1910. The breathalyzer was not invented until 1953, and did not become the ubiquitous tool of law enforcement that we know until almost 1970. I assure you, there were plenty of people convicted of impaired driving in the intervening six decades. Today’s Courts and juries have a much easier time returning a conviction because of the now ubiquitous dash cam which allows them to view the field sobriety test.

          If you want 6 months to develop your precious device that might be acceptable. If you want another decade or three then forget about it. You’ve had your chance and decided that the propaganda value of not having such a device was more important. I’m sick and tired of hearing people say that I should be arrested because they’re scared that someone else might go out driving while impaired. You people just have no motivation to develop such a device as long as you can use the fact that it doesn’t exist in your regurgitated propaganda to maintain the absolute stupidity of the absolute prohibition of cannabis. Enough is enough.

          (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down
          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            Yea I tried to say this in shorter version but I guess some of the people just don’t get it!!!

            You know, if you just ignore things they go away. Last comment is sarcasm for those who might miss.

            (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          Guess you don’t understand sarcasm. Yes they won’t police themselves. Geez really?

          Also you DIDN’T read comment and to anxious to jump on comment (as shown missing sarcasm) I said expedite (speed up) a way for testing.

          Yes obviously there isn’t a way to test. So why don’t we? That was my POINT!!! No instead lets just…………..let them police themselves……..instead of finding a way to start testing and setting a STANDARD!!. SMFH!!!

          (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • L.A.RamsFan says:


      When you start stating something as “fact” you should really know your subject matter a litlle better:

      When Pot metabolizes in the body the main “drug” THC is absorbed by the fatty tissues of the body, it is released little-by-little over a period of time, sometimes taking months to completely disapppear. When those folks that tested “positive” for THC levels after an accident they could be completely “sober” at the time of the accident but have ingested pot some time in the recent past. No other drug metabolizes like this, they are usually gone after a few days at most, but not pot.

      Also you should know that persons can test THC positive from second hand smoke (it was thought for years you could’nt but new studies show you can, especially with the stronger strains of pot that are now available) and things like ibuprofen can cause a false positive as well.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
      • flytrap says:

        Regardless of the way it is metabolized, the simple facts are that the driving deaths in Washington and Colorado from stoned drivers has soared since marijuana was approved for recreational use in these two states. That is irrefutable. Is that what we want in California?

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
        • tomjones says:

          Actually, your claims are refutable…you should do your homework, I did.

          Police are now looking for THC in blood more often than they did before legalization, this is not accounted for at all in the studies.

          Many of these cases involve testing for THC metabolites rather than THC itself, metabolites remain in system for days to months, and say nothing regarding impairment.

          Amount of active THC in the body also has very poor correlation with degree of impairment.

          Studies in Colorado are not scientifically valid, they are performed by a group called the Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). The name alone suggests bias. And calling local law enforcement agencies and asking for numbers is not scientifically valid.

          The amount of data is scant thus far; in Washington, after one year of legalization, out of roughly 480 deaths, deaths reported as related to THC increased from about 40 to 80. This is well within the variability one might see from one year to the next anyway.

          And other studies, using much larger data sets, show little or no correlation (2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Compton and Berning).

          There, refuted, or at least raising legitimate questions regarding the data.

          Having said all this, I DO NOT condone driving while high, and I don’t believe for a minute that there are not accident-related deaths that involve THC. But lets keep it real.

          (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  2. RonHolt says:

    I do think that the “wild east” of SLO County does need some regulation to keep the situation under control. But prohibition of all grows beyond “personal use” amounts is going too far. Take the time to craft reasonable ordinances which will permit commercial growth but tax it enough to fund the regulators (including LEOs) needed to discourage the scofflaw speculators from doing whatever it takes to make a quick buck. (We already have enough of those types on Wall Street and in various seats of government.)

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. SLOBIRD says:,_Marijuana_Legalization_(2016)

    Enjoy the read! This is not the whole Proposition, but the ballot version!

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. abigchocoholic says:

    The nationwide market for legal marijuana sales is currently $5.7 billion, a total that is expected to rise to nearly $23 billion by 2020.
    Holy Mother of God, that’s a large market.

    By comparison, it dwarfs Tesla and EVS.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • sloslo says:

      I wonder what the total market for sales of cocaine and meth are? At current street prices, it might be even higher than marijuana!

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
      • Duncan20903 says:

        Anyone who is unable to differentiate between heroin/crack/meth and cannabis is in desperate need of a check up from the neck up.

        (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
        • L.A.RamsFan says:

          A “Check Up From The Neck Up?!!! Haven’t heard that one in years! Hit the nail on the head there Duncan! But then again you’re probably responding to the a-typical two martini a night alcoholic that needs a check up from the feet up!

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

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