Friday, September 29, 2023
David vs. Goliath: Can Local Growers Keep Big Business at Bay?

Photography by

David vs. Goliath: Can Local Growers Keep Big Business at Bay?

Our state, unlike others, has given us cultivators a chance to get our own jump in the game by giving upcoming licensing to Mainers only, for the first fouvr years of recreational production and sales. It’s what we do with these next four years that will determine if big business sets up shop here. If we build a strong community of cultivators and pair that to well-informed consumers, we will create an unbreakable chain that could very well send the big guys elsewhere. 

How do we win this battle? Well, it's quite simple. As a cultivator you keep growing different strains, testing seeds, breeding, and above all else, simply keep the plants you enjoy alive. As a consumer, continue to demand new flavors. Don't get overwhelmed by the choices out there. Make it a personal goal to try everything. It's up to you to find the flavors and highs you enjoy. By doing so, know you are helping to preserve this diversity for future generations.

Not allowing Goliaths to set up in our state will allow our own people to start businesses. It will allow us to build something we can be proud of. It will also spur innovation amongst cultivators to discover new growing techniques as we push further and further to create more sustainable ways to garden. It will ultimately lead to cleaner, safer, and more diverse cannabis for the consumer.

The variety of cannabis is simply astounding. With constant breeding going on under this umbrella of freedom we enjoy, the potential of this plant is limitless. It will take hard, seemingly endless work by consumers and cultivators alike to push this into reality. The only thing that could hinder this evolution is, you guessed it, big business.

In a big business approach to gardening, our beloved plant will suffer. These companies care about one thing: making money. This means if there is a corner to be cut, they will cut it. Some will grow only plants with higher yields, so you can say goodbye to your cookies and other strains that are medium-to-low yields. My llludium (editor’s note: wicked good strain) would fall under this; personally, I cannot imagine a life where llludium does not exist.

Some companies will, and in some cases already have, eliminated different strain names all together, instead going with five nameless varieties categorized only by the high they give you. This amounts to a slap in the face for all of us who have devoted our lives to exploring what this plant can do and preserving genetic characteristics by naming them. Big business will also limit the consumers' choices, denying them of the millions of varieties they deserve. Simplifying the genetic cannabis pool is not a healthy way to preserve and explore this plant as we bring it into the future.