The Washington Post takes a look at the developing legal cannabis industry in Oregon and sees similarities to its highly regarded artisanal beer industry, noting that the state encourages it through its approach to regulation. The industry growth has been strong:
The number of breweries and brew pubs in Oregon has roughly quadrupled since 2001, to more than 200 today. Since the end of the recession, the state’s total beer production for consumption by Oregonians has grown from about 30,000 barrels a year to nearly 50,000. All but a few drops of that increase has come from start-up brewers, according to state statistics.
The author points to a much more rigorous regulatory environment for cannabis, but the state has taken steps to minimize large market share:
In the early days of Oregon’s legal marijuana industry, state officials are already taking steps to keep any big guys out of the game. They have proposed limits on the size of growing operations, along with mandating that they be majority-owned by Oregon residents — a move widely expected to limit outside investment in the industry. They’ve also approved annual licensing fees, from $4,000 to $6,000, for growers and retail vendors.
The article includes the perspectives of two Oregon cannabis entrepreneurs, Shane McKee, co-founder and owner of Shango Premium Cannabis, and William Simpson, the president and founder of Chalice Farms.
Read Jim Tankersley’s “How pot and hippie beer explain the future of the American economy”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/07/in-the-land-of-microbrews-and-marijuana/