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‘Big Marijuana’ is actually a thing

Dire warnings about large investors entering legal market were right, just not accurate

During the 2016 campaign, and since the passage of the law legalizing the sale and adult use of marijuana in Massachusetts, opponents of legal pot have continually pointed to the potential for wealthy investors to cash in on the billion-dollar industry and nudge smaller entrepreneurs to the side.They have labeled such corporate backers “Big Marijuana,” turning the phrase into a pejorative that scares communities out of allowing the businesses into their midst and conjures up images of megacorporations lobbying to craft the laws and regulations to maximize profits.

But is there such a thing as “big marijuana,” or is it just a bogeyman to demonize an emerging industry that banks on a one-time, and still federally, illegal substance?

“Theoretically, yes, absolutely,” said Shaleen Title, a commissioner on the state Cannabis Control Commission, when asked if “big marijuana” was a thing. “It’s something to always think about as we regulate. Does it exist right now? That’s a harder question.”

Title, the only commission member with previous experience in the legal marijuana industry, said  the agency and lawmakers were fully aware of the potential for large corporations to dominate the landscape and have written the statute to ensure a level playing field for both big and small players, including capping at three the number of licenses any one person or entity can hold. [Read More @ Commonwealth] 


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