US: Cannabis is Fifth Most Valuable Crop! THEM: Shhhhh....
A whole bunch of numbers coming at you this morning, with some pretty impressive sums being rung up by our cannabis farmers across the US AND NO LOVE IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTING OF FARM OUTPUTS.
(I’m not sure why High Times is posting this story this week, when it’s largely in reference to the Leafly “Cannabis Harvest Report” that was released in November… and the Marijuana Policy Project report on 2021 tax revenue from April, but here goes…)
“The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) tracks annual yields, prices, and estimated values for nearly every commercial crop grown in America. But the USDA does not track legal cannabis due to the plant’s status as a Schedule I drug. That’s just weird because in legal adult-use states, cannabis is consistently one of the highest-value crops in the field.”
“ … For purposes of this report we focused on operating adult-use states—the 11 states where any adult can walk into a licensed store and buy cannabis—for salience to the general public,” the report’s authors wrote. “In those 11 adult-use states, cannabis supports 13,042 licensed farms that harvested 2,278 metric tons of marijuana last year … and it’s returning $6,175,000,000 to American farmers every year.” (That's wholesale prices for flower by dry weight, for those who are interested in how the figures were rendered).
That figure of a little more than $6 billion “ranks (cannabis) as the fifth most valuable crop in the United States,” trailing corn ($61 billion), soybeans ($46 billion), hay ($17.3 billion), and wheat ($9.3 billion) but outpacing cotton ($4.7 billion), rice ($3.1 billion), and peanuts ($1.3 billion).
The report said that in five of the states where adult-use cannabis sales are legal—Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon—cannabis is actually the most valuable crop.
In Alaska, cannabis is more than twice as valuable than all other crops combined
The amount of harvested cannabis crop would fill 57 Olympic swimming pools, or over 11,000 dump trucks stretching for 36 miles
Adult-use states only (not medical) generated more than $3.7 Billion in tax revenues last year. And that’s just the taxes: MJ Biz Daily estimates the total economic impact of cannabis to be $100 Billion per year.
AND YET NONE OF THE STATES REPORT THESE CANNABIS FIGURES, OR GIVE US ANY LOVE:
“None of the 11 legal states included in the Leafly Harvest Report officially list cannabis among their top agricultural commodities.”
In 2020, Congress gave $35 billion in emergency pandemic aid to American farmers, on top of the $10 billion already given in usual farm subsidies. Cannabis farmers did not receive any of this assistance.
Additionally, cannabis farmers lack typical business and crop insurance options due to the Controlled Substances Act’s effect on the banking industry. Just a handful of carriers offer limited insurance coverage. The industry wrote just $250 million in policies in 2020, insurance agents told Reuters in August.
Currently, premiums for cannabis companies run 20% to 30% higher than rates for comparable non-cannabis companies.
These unfair and unnecessary measures are taken against a legal crop that’s one of the top agricultural products in every adult-use state!
“Cannabis farmers are farmers, period.”
image source: Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-field-under-rainbow-and-cloudy-skies-at-dayime-1542495/