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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:16 AM
Original message
Largest Cash Crop in the U.S.? - Marijuana
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 08:19 AM by Le Taz Hot
In 1998, it was the Fourth Largest Cash Crop in the U.S.:

http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3906


By 2006, it was #1:

Marijuana Production in the United States (2006)
by Jon Gettman

At an estimated $35.8 billion marijuana is by far the largest cash crop in the United States when compared to the average production values of other crops from 2003 to 2005. (Production values for other crops were obtained from the Department of Agriculture. <22>)

http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr2/cashcrops.html

Not only are we wasting BILLIONS of taxpayer money on this War on Marijuana, we're ignoring $35.8 BILLION that could be taxed but isn't. That's not even counting the additional billions we'll save by NOT locking people up for pot.

On edit: I posted this to counter the claim that all drug users are responsible for the drug cartel deaths. If you're growing it domestically, you're not buying is internationally.

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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. I can't believe people are still smoking that stuff......
....when they can vaporize it!
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
28. I bought a pocket size portable vaporizer
for one of my friends as a Christas gift. About $100 ( AA battery not included) She loves it. Uses it all the time-- hiking, at picnics, even at a football game. I knew she would like it a lot, but no that much. Smoking is kinda gross after you go smokeless vapor
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the other one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. It wouldn't even be tenth if it was not prohibitioned
Legal weed would cost a fraction of the current price and thus would not be worth taxing.
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sadbear Donating Member (799 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. +1
Supply and demand.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. That defies a basic tenet of capitalism:
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 08:45 AM by FourScore
Prices will be set at what the market will bear. People are willing to pay it now, they will be willing to pay it then. Not only that, I know plenty of people who would rather smoke weed than drink alcohol, but they don't because it is illegal. They don't want to have to go out on the prowl and find it from a dealer. They don't want to put their livelihood and assets at risk. In other words, there would be a greater market if it were legal..
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Bada bing. If it was legal and the market was flooded with it, I assure you
it would be more expensive to buy broccoli.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. The amount of money our society would gain from legalization is enormous.
We could stop incarcerating people for it and we could tax the product.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. But then a whole lot of cops, bondsmen and people in the legal profession
would have fallen on hard times.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. LOL. Not if they start focusing their attention on real criminals.
Like the ones in big banks and on Wall Street -- you know the ones, they pretty much put us in this financial mess. Then the cops, bondsmen and people of the legal world will have more work to do than they can imagine.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. No disrepsect but you're living in fantasyland with that idea.
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 09:11 AM by Shagbark Hickory
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
22. I can assure you the opposite.
QED: The Lifting of Prohibition

Regulating and Taxing MJ could "Save Social Security"!
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. What does one thing have to do with the other?
nt
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. If you can't see the obvious parallel...
...between the Alcohol Prohibition and the Marijuana Prohibition,
then I can't help you.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. So you're not even going to try to help me understand?
Thanks a lot for leaving me alone in the cold.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Prices aren't only set at what the consumer will bear but also what the producer will accept.
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 09:30 AM by Statistical
So right now the value per acres is 20x to 500x higher than say corn.

A corn farmer would say "shit" I would be happy to be making only 15x as much money and he plants marijuana adding to supply and reducing what the market is willing to bear (market includes both suppliers and buyers).

The current price of marijuana carries a risk premium
a) risk of losing the crop due to a bust - huge capital loss
b) the added cost of growing covertly
c) the cost of security needed for a criminal enterprise
d) the risk of the seller going to jail
e) the inefficiencies of a criminal distribution system (where people at each step demand huge markups to justify their risk)

Prices would fall. The gap between legal production cost and retail price would be much smaller.

For the record I am for legalization mainly because criminalization is stupid and a huge drain on taxpayer funding but the belief that marijuana prices wouldn't fall in line with other plant prices is silly.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
33. If legalized, there would be a huge surplus of it. Anyone can grow a weed, in any climate,
no capital, no barriers to entry. A friend of mine grew it in his dorm room closet with a grow lamp.

Practically no pests or diseases, no proprietary licenses or royalties.

I believe what you're going to find is that if legal to grow, farmers will instead chose to grow things that are more profitable. Corn for example.
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bengalherder Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. Hemp can provide many of the same things as corn...and a few more.
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 08:31 PM by bengalherder
Certainly a better biofuel to grow for our tank than cultivation-intense corn.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. That's nice but I didn't say anything about the uses of it, I was talking about the price.
Edited on Tue Mar-22-11 08:00 AM by Shagbark Hickory
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I'm not so sure about that
The weed at clinics in California is very expensive. Mexican weed around here is about 500 a pound. In California the high grade stuff is 500 an ounce.
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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. But...
Demand has outgrown supply in most of NorCal. Currently, the next three harvests are destined for NorCal (Marin) at 2000.00 per lb.
Portland by contrast is getting 1800.00 per lb.
But while demand is up, so many growers have increased in size, the market here is flooded, 150.00 to 225.00 an ounce for Kush! QP's are 600.00 all day long!
This is only medical weed, the black market is even lower.

Mexican weed? We never see it up here and no way could it compete with even locally grown outdoor.

But all of this is rumor of course, just what I heard.


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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
36. The price would certainly come down.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
5. Econ 101
Demand and supply
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. If it was legal and the market was flooded with it, I assure you...
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 08:46 AM by Shagbark Hickory

it would be more expensive to buy broccoli.

That's not to say I'm against legalizing it. (In california to try it out), But marijuana as a business opportunity.... I'm a skeptic.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. If nothing else we could save quite a lot on the enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration end of
the deal. Just consider any gains on the business opportunity side strictly as bonus.

My guess is that bonus ends up to be more than nothing. People buy booze after all these thousands of years. Not many in this instant gratification consumer culture are going to grow, manage, and cure a damn thing.

Iceberg lettuce is pretty frugal but I notice that people grow it and somebody is making something off of it or it wouldn't be coming to the grocery by the truckload.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. But then a whole lot of cops, bondsmen and people in the legal profession
would have fallen on hard times.

And now that you mentioned lettuce, what's to say that MJ won't just be imported from mexico, south america or asia, just like other produce? I don't see it as viable without serious and frankly, totally unrealistic trade regulations.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I suggest you roll a doobie and think this through one more time.
:smoke:
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. I suppose that's the only way to see how it would work.
It's clear that you have to be high to understand it.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. Good! About time we had some "shared sacrifice".
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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
20. Um...
Lets just say that it's good to have a green thumb.
We're completely legal here except for the Feds and are doing
pretty good.
Prices have dropped steadily for the last year but at production costs of 25.00 an ounce, yeah, there is still money in it.


Just a rumor I heard.
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Just wondering where you got the
production cost of $25.00 an ounce figure? Am I correct in assuming this would relate to indoor growing 'cause the sun don't cost a thing.

I'm legal so I have no problem talking about it but my total cost this year, growing outside, will be $65.00 for the MM license renewal. Seeds were free from sources that will not be named but it will last me for a year + what I give away.
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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Indoor...
We have to document what we spend so when we pass it along to the med dispensaries, we know what to ask for in cash compensation for growing it.
Oregon allows too many plants per patient really, we always have a glut after harvest, each patient we 'caregive' for gets 2 oz free a month. The 8 plants (we can go as high as 10) we legally grow for that one person yield 1.4 to 2.0 lbs. This happens every 10 weeks right now.
It's this excess production that is becoming a small problem. If we donate it all, the dispensaries run amok and sell it making an obscene profit. If we give more than 2 oz. per, the patient has too much and sells it. If we put it into the street market or ship it to California, we face breaking the law.

So we burn it.
lolz.

I do nothing from seed except outdoor for myself or to get a new strain to clone, we have been all clone since 2005. Our outdoor season is short here on the Coast.

Full legalization will have little affect on us IMO.

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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. There won't be money in it if people can grow their own.
Unlike broccoli, lettuce and other cool weather crops, MJ can be grown in a much wider variety of climates, particularly warm climates with huge population centers.
It's also not like growing corn or soybeams as MJ is far more drought tolerant and isn't as prone to as many pests and diseases.

It's actually an invasive weed species in some areas. So what I'm saying is there are far fewer barriers to entry to growing MJ. You can even grow it indoors. You don't even need hundreds of acres of land.

So with no barriers to entry people can grow their own at low or no cost, or for-profit growers will be popping up all over the place. Hence, there will be ample supply and there won't be as much, if any, money in growing it.

The only way to keep that from happening is to regulate who can grow and sell MJ. Of course too much regulation, and it may not solve the problem of illegal smuggling.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
17. How much do we import though?
We should go for a Marshall plan on it. Pool our resources, devise the best product and export it to the rest of the world.
It might not do much to alleviate the trade imbalance but at least some people won't be able to remember it as well ;-)
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
27. K&R Hemp products would be very lucrative
for farmers to grow, and it would replenish the soil while grown. Medical marijuana dispensaries would bring in a lot more cash for growers, to start with.


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True Earthling Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
31. How much of that revenue is going to the Mexican cartels?
Mexican cartels growing pot in CA, OR, TX, ID and CO...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #31
40. The USFS and BLM are lying.
There have been a few small time grows out in the woods but nothing like what they mention here. Utter bullshit and a plea for more operations money.
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True Earthling Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
32. delete
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 04:55 PM by True Earthling
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
34. A kick to the top for Canadian Liberal :) .
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
35. Here is what I can tell you
If their studies are saying that we would bring in 35 billion in tax revenue, the real number is probably at least 5 times that. No one can fully understand exactly how much is bought and sold in this country on a daily basis. Out here in California, I would argue that we could erase our deficit with the taxes we get from marijuana production and sales.
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thelordofhell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
38. Everyone will grow it once it's legal
The real winners will be the sellers of home hydroponics kits
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