Last week, WW wrote about wealthy investors pushing Oregon's cannabis market to evolve from mom-and-pop shops to franchises and chains ("McNugs," WW, May 16, 2018). The Canada-based investment company that owns Chalice Farms, for example, wants to open franchises of the store nationally to eventually make it the Starbucks of weed. Smaller retailers argue, however, that industry consolidation will quash craft innovation and diversity. Here's how readers weighed in.
Thunderbolt Grease Slapper, via Twitter: "Blunt King, MJ in the Box, Spliff Fillet."
Playground Allaround, via Twitter: "If you want the weed equivalent of chicken nuggets versus the Peking duck, go ahead."
Vampnet, via wweek.com: "I just buy in Washington state. It's cheaper."
Tortclam, via Twitter: "You can imagine what the small-farm, longtime growers in Southern Oregon that have been producing product for 20 years and struggled to get through years of prohibition think about these deep-pockets operations."
Mono de Arbol, via Twitter: "If they're smart, they will sell out to the corporations while the buying rate is good."
Farhad Manteghi, via Facebook: "Never a good thing. Love thy mom-'n'-pop and send Starbucks packing."
Margaret Thomas, via Facebook: "Starbuds!"
Clinton Johnson, via Facebook: "Yeah…there aren't a lot of things I can think of that have ultimately been improved by corporate culture."
Jen, via Twitter: "While folks sit in jail for years for possession and sale. How long before Monsanto starts patenting strains?"
Darren Carroll, via Twitter: "Hedge funds conquer weed industry, snarf up snack food firms, and dystopia can't be far behind."
Matt Pearce, national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, via Twitter: "The legal weed industry is starting to look like the rest of the American economy: Small companies are getting squeezed out as everything consolidates into chains with the help of private equity."
Last week's cover story incorrectly reported BlackShire Capital Corp. paid $25 million to open new Chalice Farms stores. But that amount reflects the total in Canadian dollars. BlackShire formally agreed to pay $19.5 million in U.S. dollars, although the sale is not yet final.
An item last week on the debate over residential infill incorrectly stated that a piece of testimony was given before the Portland City Council. It was before the Planning and Sustainability Commission.
WW regrets the errors.