US (CA): Growers gather to discuss cannabis industry problems

On Sunday, November 21st, about 50 community members and cannabis insiders gathered at the Southern Humboldt Community Park in Garberville, trying to figure out ways to survive the current cannabis market while saving the community at large.  

The initial call to action, put out by Chris Anderson, CEO of Redwood Roots, Inc., was to discuss a march on Sacramento to protest an increase in cultivation tax, effective January 1st, 2022. However, Chris admitted he may have gotten ahead of himself after speaking to other industry insiders. Instead, he encouraged the cannabis community to come together to effect change where they can by banding together with already organized efforts. Chris believes the three main problems that the cannabis industry is facing are over-taxation, over-production, and lack of retail. 

Roger Harrell, COO of Redwood Roots, does not believe there is a one-step fix-all for the challenges the cannabis industry faces, but he is pushing for the community as a whole to push back against the taxes implemented by the state. He encourages the local farmers to work with the local businesses that are also seeing a downturn in sales. “I’ve never been under the belief that the community that made money here, didn’t reinvest it here.” Now, he believes that money is being sent to Sacramento in the form of taxes. He wants to see farmers and local businesses demand that taxes be cut, or at least, reinvested in the communities that they were generated in.

Ross Gordon, Policy Director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA), acknowledges the community’s need to gather, “It’s obviously a really heavy time, and a really important time, to try to think about what we can do on a community level to try to make some change.” 

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