I can virtually guarantee that if I made two lists, the first of which was a list of how many people I know that want to grow marijuana for profit, and the other being a list of people I know that just want to buy marijuana at stores, the list of growers would be longer. Admittedly, I’m very deep into the fish bowl and I know a lot of people in the industry. However, it still is a great example of the grower-to-consumer ratio that is going on in the marijuana industry right now.
Everyone and their grandma wants to grow marijuana for profit right now, but what they don’t realize is that there aren’t enough consumers in a lot of areas to support that level of supply. Washington State is seeing that scenario play out right now. There is literally too much marijuana for consumers to smoke (or vape!). While some outside observers blame it on the fact that there are 270 growers for 85 stores, which is definitely a contributing factor, the real reason is that there aren’t as many consumers as people think. There are 270 licensed commercial growers, and an almost never ending supply of medical growers and closet growers. All of that supply has flooded the state, which has resulted in plummeting prices as growers and store owners scramble to try to drum up business.
I have seen this play out in Oregon for the last decade or so. In the 90’s, there were far less growers in my home state. Then in the 2000’s, I started seeing more and more people start growing, whether it be for medical or recreational purposes. Whereas an ounce of top shelf marijuana used to go for $300 in the 90’s, that same ounce is lucky to fetch $200 now, but often even less. Most of the people I know don’t buy marijuana at all – they either grow it themselves, or have a friend or family member that does. And those that do buy marijuana buy far less than they used to.
Can growing marijuana be profitable? Of course. If you grow the best of the best, and have a way to outlet it consistently, than you will obviously succeed. However, the time of simply having a garden and having your crop fly out the door with minimal effort is gone. You can still carve out a niche in the market, and if growing marijuana is your dream, than you will be happy regardless of how much money you make. But if you are trying to get into the marijuana industry, and have never grown on a large scale before and think you will be rich after a couple of harvests, I strongly urge you to consider taking a different path, one that is less traveled. Otherwise you could lose all of your money, and be left with a huge pile of marijuana that you can’t do anything with like many people in Washington and Oregon right now.