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National Coalition Formed to Protect Small-Scale Cannabis Growers

With the aim of supporting small-scale growers with federal and state policies, the National Craft Cannabis Coalition was created by state-level advocacy organizations from Oregon, California and Washington.

SHIP Act (Small and Homestead Independent Producers), would permit craft growers to sell and ship weed to consumers directly if and whenever marijuana becomes legal in the United States. The bill, if passed, would go into effect when marijuana has been removed from Schedule 1 and all federal criminal sanctions regarding marijuana have been lifted.

“Too often, the federal government falls behind, and the gears of Congress work too slowly to keep up with the pace of a changing economy,” Representative Huffman said.

“Under my bill, folks in our state will be able to ship their products straight to consumers when the antiquated federal prohibition on cannabis is finally repealed. As large, commercial cannabis operations squeeze out local producers from the market, this legislation is critical for farmers to survive and expand their small businesses.”

A qualified cannabis grower is anyone who grows marijuana under the SHIP Act.

  • An outdoor garden can be used to grow 18 marijuana plants that have reached maturity.
  • A greenhouse can be used to grow marijuana plants on a minimum of 22,000 feet.
  • Indoor cannabis cultivation can cover 5,000 feet of space for mature marijuana plant canopy.

Small and craft growers have lamented they don’t stand a chance in markets dominated by large multi-state operators capable of growing exponentially more canopy space for a fraction of the cost, especially when the final product has to be packaged and sold through third-party businesses. This results in a lot of large, vertically-integrated companies essentially pricing out the little guys who can’t afford to buy and operate their own dispensary, grow facility, and packaging facility.

“These producers operate on a much smaller scale than traditional agriculture with many cultivating less than an acre of total canopy,” said Amanda Meztler of F.A.R.M.S. Inc Oregon.

“With federal legalization on the horizon, it’s critical that craft cannabis producers organize across state lines to ensure that federal policy includes a level playing field for small and independent businesses.”

Members of the NCCC collectively believe that selling directly to consumers is the best way for small growers to survive.

“The direct-to-consumer model is a necessary resource for any small-scale craft-producing community that is deeply tied to the land on which it creates — whether it produces wine, whiskey, cheese, beer, cannabis, or honey,” said Genine Coleman, Executive Director of Origins Council in a prepared statement.

“The legacy cannabis community that has worked so long in the shadows should have the opportunity to join the ranks of other artisan producers across the United States and enjoy the privilege of connecting personally with their adult customers.”

Up to date, the NCCC has represented over 1000 small and independent cannabis growers in their states through state-level organisations like Origins Council (CA), F.A.R.M.S. Inc (OR), Washington Sun & Craft Growers Association (WA), Vermont Growers Association (VT), Maine Craft Cannabis Association (ME), and Farm Bug Co-Op (MA).