The cannabis market is undoubtedly one of the newest markets to become mainstream within the U.S. With wholesale prices for marijuana in California dropping down to as much as $1,400 per pound, many are wondering when a new super-seller of weed will turn up.
The prices in California are the first thing that many analysts have looked at. With prices going for as low as $800 for a pound of indoor grown weed, it is difficult to compete with markets like in Alaska, where trim (the stuff that falls off of cannabis) is going for as much as $1,200 a pound. The prices in Alaska are high for good reason too. With a relatively high flat tax per ounce on weed of around $50, the price of wholesale cannabis is much higher than in other markets. The other factor in the Alaskan weed industry that is driving up prices is the remote location of the operations. In a place like Alaska, it is much more difficult to get around and transport product given that a majority of the locations are relatively remote.
With those in Senate like majority leader Mitch McConnell, trying to legalize cannabis, the road ahead is becoming an easier challenge than many thought. A new law introduced to the government on March 26th states that it will allow the legalization of industrial hemp. Although industrial hemp has no psychoactive properties like the traditional cannabis plant, it will be a big step forward in the industry. Hemp does not get the user high, and only contains trace levels of the active components that do, which makes it very difficult if not impossible to use in the way that medicinal marijuana can be. The bill would allow for growers in the United States to cultivate the hemp plant for fibers which can be used to make rope, textiles and so on.
The new bill is important in the timeline for legalizing marijuana across the nation. If pot were legalized throughout the country, it would make it much easier for a company to come in and start opening up branded stores throughout the nation. One company that is working on this right now is known as Golden Leaf Holdings. The Canadian company, which recently launched a new chain of stores across Oregon is set to have a massive cash infusion to help them become the new Starbucks of cannabis. The CEO of Golden Lead, William Simpson recently stated that he hopes weed will be “like Starbucks is to coffee.”
The U.S. is still very much in the midst of a battle to try and figure out how states can individually operate their own cannabis markets. The only issue with a company becoming such a large player in the industry is the issue of standardized pricing. If a store were to open up, but offer different prices dependent on where the location is, it would not be a big deal. But, if a company were able to standardize prices across such a large market, it could potentially become quite a large breakthrough.
Golden Leaf is working to maintain the idea that they could be the first to start a franchised cannabis business. Owners who would like to get in will have to pay a 5% royalty to the company, while also giving a $50,000 starting fee to them as well. As new regulations are able to be created throughout the country, it seems as though the feasibility for a large company to open up stores nationwide is becoming more and more realistic. The hopes are high that efforts will continue to make cannabis a big name throughout the United States and beyond.
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