Cannabis farmers without dispensaries temporarily allowed to hold growers showcases
Cannabis farmers with hundreds of pounds of product but barely any dispensaries to sell it to are being temporarily allowed by the state to hold growers' showcases.
The lack of dispensaries is due to the state's cannabis dispensary licensing system being frozen because of lawsuits.
The Black Dirt Cannabis Company just started having daily showcases on the edge of the Black Dirt region in New Hampton.
Licensed cannabis farmer Darren White started the physical location to give growers a chance to finally sell something.
"We saw this as an opportunity for us to move some of the products that we have. In our particular case, it's 7,000 pounds of cannabis," says White.
Another grower who is managing a 1-acre crop for a Pine Island farm that sells products at the showcase says the farm has sold only about $1,000 worth of product there.
He says the revenue is not significant at a time when the farm has to pay about $2,000 a week just for fungus and pest prevention.
White views the growers' showcase program as a chance for farmers to create buzz about their products.
Currently, it could be the best option for the state's 200 licensed cannabis farmers when there are still only 24 licensed retailers.
"We're all competing for the same 24 retailers," White says. "So, it makes it really difficult to break into the market."
White says he may take advantage of another change in the state's cannabis policy that would -- for the first time -- allow growers to start their own dispensaries early next year.
Previously, the state Office of Cannabis Management's policy did not allow growers to be in the retail cannabis business.