Cannabis prohibition is ending.
Canada has legalized recreational marijuana for adult use, and parliaments from South Africa to Mexico are considering doing likewise. Medical marijuana is sweeping Europe and Latin America, and countries as diverse as Belgium and Australia have decriminalized its use and possession.
In the United States, recreational cannabis use is now legal in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, and it appears likely that in the fall at least four new states—and possibly as many as fourteen—will join their ranks.
As cannabis prohibition recedes, an enormous new industry is being born. Our state is at its center. California is both the world’s largest single producer of cannabis, as well as its largest consumer. We were the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, and when we make recreational adult use legal—which polling indicates we’ll do in November—we will solidify our position as the largest cannabis economy in the world.
What happens then?
The world is figuring out how to bring cannabis from the dark into the light. What California does in coming years will determine not only the shape of our lives—those of us working in our industry, or consuming the medicine it produces. It will help to determine the shape of cannabis law around the world.
We have an opportunity to protect our right to farm and produce cannabis, to keep our work in local hands, and to make a better, more equitable world for cannabis producers and consumers everywhere. But to realize this opportunity, we must collaborate, and we must act now.
The Inland Cannabis Farmer’s Association aims to do three things: To work with local governments to shape county cannabis laws; to work with cultivators and producers to help them adhere to those laws; and to work with the public to clear up misconceptions and allay concerns about our industry. We provide local, regional, and state advocacy; community education; dissemination of evolving of best practices; and public and community relations.
Our world is changing. We need to change with it. How and where cannabis is produced and sold isn’t just an economic issue, or a social justice issue, or an environmental issue—it’s all of those at once. It’s a major challenge, and to solve it we’re going to have to work together. We need to make our voices heard—that’s how we demonstrate our power as a movement, and that’s how we work with our governments to make the right decisions.