Legalized cannabis has arrived on the east coast, heralded by the recent passage in NY and NJ of recreational adult-use laws . Virginia goes live on July 1. But all is not so rosy, and anyone who thinks that the experience in Colorado, Washington State and California will repeat on the east coast is seriously mistaken.
Simply stated, Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol and Big Agriculture, as well as the large corporations that succeeded out west, are all eyeing the eastern markets as they anticipate Federal level legalization. This did not happen out west, and it fundamentally changes the game.
This topic has been widely discussed in leading online journals and podcasts. Chris Walsh, CEO of Marijuana Business Daily (@MJBizDaily), recently discussed this with Matthew Kind on the Cannabis Insider podcast (@CannaInsider). Mr Walsh explained that there is no “one size fits all” approach to the market, and that this will require a “disciplined approach”.
Matthew Hendershot, speaking with Joe Dolce on the Brave New Weed podcast (@BraveNewWeed), describes how in Illinois, Cannabis related tax revenue has recently exceeded alcohol related tax revenue, and that this will ultimately cause Big Alcohol to enter the cannabis market.
The dynamics of an industry with giant players are totally different than the same industry without those players. Of significance, the data required and level of professional talent required (lawyers, consultants, accountants, IT experts) just to play the game have already increased dramatically from the days when Colorado was a startup market.
How can small entrepreneurs hope to compete in such a market? There will be some licenses granted based on Social Equity related programs, but that is just the beginning. How do you compete long term against rival growers and dispensaries that are funded by Big Tobacco?
This is where the Mid Atlantic Growers Association comes in.
Specifically, once properly capitalized, the Mid Atlantic Growers Association will commission best in class business and legal research and, with the proper disclosures, make this information freely available to members and in some cases, the public. This will allow small, newer cannabis businesses and activists who are trying to shape the overall industry landscape to compete effectively against better funded players for resources, talent and market share.
Our capitalization strategy will focus on the sale of logo merchandise through the Catalog section of this website.Please watch this blog (bookmark it!) in the coming weeks and months as we address these and other issues.