- Bailey Porras
Small Cannabis Entrepreneurs Are Worried That Virginia State Politics Will Favor Large Cannabis Corp
Out-of-state big Pharma cannabis companies are moving in on Virginia’s rapidly growing cannabis industry.
Smaller cannabis companies claim that these larger corporations are trying to lock them out of the cannabis industry completely.
These large corporations have access to almost unlimited funding, which gives them more access to Virginia lawmakers and political power in general.
Sarah Grant, the manager of The Dispensary in Richmond, states, “It’s hard to compete if you’re going against the Walmart of weed.”
Grant says that the current lack of structure in the cannabis market can be stressful for small businesses such as hers. Lobbyists and national cannabis corporations make it seemingly impossible for these small businesses to succeed.
Big Pharma Companies Want “In”
Virginia State lawmakers decriminalized simple possession of cannabis last year.
The current market favors four companies who are licensed to serve in health districts in Virginia. Only companies who are licensed by the state can open medical marijuana dispensaries.
Virginia’s cannabis market is expected to yield anywhere between 30 to 60 million dollars in tax revenue just in the first year of activity.
With this much potential for profit, it is no wonder why the already wealthy corporations want to be involved.
These wealthy corporations need laws passed in order to make their money and will go to great lengths to make sure that happens. This could include influencing political officials to vote a certain way.
These huge corporations are making millions off their many retail locations and using the money to donate to certain campaign funds for elected officials.
Both Democrats and Republicans are receiving donations into their campaign fund from these companies. Big Pharma hopes that the elected officials will return the favor later, and vote on new legislation with them in mind.
However, huge corporations and small businesses operate in very different capacities. Something that is good for a corporation may not be best for a local cannabis entrepreneur.
Small businesses are frustrated and discouraged by this. Getting licensed alone costs $70,000 in permit fees for their medical facilities to become operational.
Legislators are also trying to push for cannabis companies to have to pay more fees and permits.
For example, a bill was introduced that would have forced cannabis companies to pay another $1 million for a permit to sell marijuana recreationally.
Fortunately, the bill did not pass, but something like this would likely put many smaller companies out of business, while large corporations would continue to thrive exponentially.
We can only hope that our lawmakers will see the importance of small businesses, as they are the backbone of our country.
For now, we can make an effort to support smaller businesses by making purchases from these local dispensaries.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!
Consulting with a certified medical marijuana doctor is still the best way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis in Virginia! These medical professionals can not only help you get your medical marijuana card, but also make recommendations as to how you can find relief for your symptoms.
Schedule an appointment with an online VA medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe and legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more for your loved one or patient!
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