According to a report by Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick McGreevy, Marijuana growers in California are producing way too much product. Producers in the state are growing anywhere from five to twelve times the amount that is needed for consumption in the country's largest state.

Scaling back production would be “painful”

As part of his report, McGreevy went to a panel discussion on the topic at the Sacramento Press Club. Hezekiah Allen, who is the executive director of the California Growers Association, spoke at the event. Allen stated that scaling back marijuana production would be a “painful” thing for California growers to do.

He said growers “are going to have to scale back” despite this. Last November, the state finally legalized the use of recreational marijuana (Proposition 64) 57.13 percent to 42.87 percent. It legalized the possession of up to one ounce (about 28 grams) of the drug for recreational use. Now, the state faces an excess of the drug and a new federal regulation will likely make matter worse.

Consequences of too much marijuana

California currently has a glut of marijuana that will only get worse unless steps can be taken to lower the amount grown. A new federal regulation will ban exports of the drug starting on January 1st, 2018. Allen also mentioned this during the panel discussion, saying that some growers on the black market would probably export the marijuana they cultivated outside of California in violation of federal law.

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They would not scale back and may just never apply for a state license. Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement for Sacramento Joseph Devlin, who was a member of the panel discussion, estimated that the marijuana growers in the state were producing five times the amount of the drug consumed in the state. Allen placed his estimated at eight times the amount, while McGreevy reported a consultant in the crowd said it may be twelve times the amount.

Steps toward legalization across the country

California became the first state in America to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996. Fast forward to 2017 and 26 states and the District of Columbia now have laws broadly legalizing medical marijuana. Last November, California, along with Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, all passed measures to legalize the recreational use of the drug. Now those four states, along with Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C., allow recreational use.