Cannabis consumers would be able to buy directly from cultivators at farmers markets, just like they do for produce, under approved legislation, AB 2691, by the California state Assembly. The state Committee on Business and Profession recently approved the bill, which now has to clear the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the full Assembly Chamber and then go through the Senate before reaching the governor’s desk.
Cultivators have had financial challenges since passage of Prop 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Wholesale prices farmers receive for outdoor grown Cannabis averaged $488 per pound according to research from Cannabis Benchmarks. This is a 55% drop from 15 months earlier.
Kristen Callahan, owner of Magic Meadows Farms in Middletown in Lake County is quoted by the Sacramento Bee, “This is an important first step that will help our cash flow by being able to sell directly at farmer’s markets.”
Several dozen farmers that showed up for the committee vote were pleased. They see the direct sales as a beginning of Cannabis tourism in California. Visitors could sample different varieties of Cannabis, similar to what they do at a winery
The bill’s opponents are dispensary owners, who are concerned about competition. Another of the bill’s opponents, Assemblyman Phillip Chen, states, “As I represent Orange County, there will be an over saturation of these retailers in my communities.” The bill sponsor, Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, countered that the legislation was about, “giving the little guy a chance.”
The farmers insist that allowing consumers to sample their product at farmers markets will only promote Cannabis, benefiting all the Cannabis consuming community. Farmers can show their products currently at farmer’s markets, but the system doesn’t allow them to make a direct sale. Consumers must go to another booth at the market and buy Cannabis products from a licensed retail operator.
"I think it's super, super awesome and I like that they're kind of getting rid of that guilt or that dark cloud that they have around the whole weed industry,” Davis resident Crystal Molina said.
Since recreational cannabis was legalized in California the morning of January 1, 2018, there have been only three outdoor events in San Francisco with legal cannabis sales. And all three were in Golden Gate Park — Outside Lands 2019, Outside Lands 2021, and the 2022 4/20 Hippie Hill celebration from two weeks ago
According to SFiST, Permit applications have been submitted to bring legal cannabis sales to Carnaval SF on May 28-29, and there’s a high likelihood that Carnaval will be the first California street fair with legal, regulated cannabis use.
Jean Talleyrand, M.D.,