By Hezekiah Allen
For generations, rural communities in California have lived timeless lives. As consolidation swept the nation and family farms gave way to industrial agriculture, the cannabis industry was insulated by a geo-politcs.
The politics of prohibition forced cultivators into the shadows, into remote and rural areas, and kept any one business from getting too big. Starting in the 1960’s and 1970’s rural communities started to see new residents. The geography of rural CA protected these “back to the landers” as long as they didn’t get too big.
Over time cannabis cultivation has grown to be the backbone of regional economies. It is multi-billion-dollar industry, composed of tens of thousands of independent businesses, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. And it is entirely composed of small businesses.
The cannabis industry in California offers a unique opportunity. But, realizing the full potential if that opportunity requires that we look at things differently.
For many years’ economists have refined mountains of data down to a few metrics: gross productivity and profit. These oversimplified metrics have driven the destruction of the middle class and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
In California, cannabis is about more than profit. This is about communities. Sustainability. About restoring justice by creating opportunity for thousands of independent business owners.
Success in California will be achieved by those who plan for more than just profitability. Investing in the communities where business is conducted will return. Steward the natural resources in the watershed where you operate. Cannabis in CA is about more than just profit.