The economics of cannabis are evolving in North America. As the United States marches forward on the legalization path, Mexican growers are abandoning the crop.
In 2008, as much as two-thirds of cannabis consumed in the United States came from Mexico, according to the LA Times. But since 1996, over twenty-two U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana, and four have legalized recreational marijuana—leading to more growers in the United States setting up shop to meet the rising demand.
A Mexican cannabis farmer, who grows his crop illicitly amongst corn plants, said he’s seen a drop in price from $100 per kilo down to $30. By those margins, it’s not profitable for him to grow marijuana anymore — and many other farmers are echoing his sentiments.
Part of the reason for the shift is that U.S. growers are simply growing higher-quality weed. Danny Danko of High Times told the LA Times that “[a]ccess to better quality American cannabis has led many to turn their backs on imports from Mexico and beyond.”
Additionally, American growers tend to focus on strains that deliver higher amounts of THC and CBD, and consumers are responding. In one year — from 2013 to 2014 — the market for legal weed in the U.S. almost doubled, going from $1.5 billion to nearly $2.7 billion.
Photo Credit: MarihuanayMedicina