California’s First Marijuana Factory?

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Should medicinal marijuana become a factory-manufactured product?

This week The Atlantic offered a virtual tour into what is proposed to be the first medicinal marijuana factory in the U.S. The video inside what would be a 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Oakland, offers a peek inside the industry to come if the medicinal marijuana industry marries with mass production.

(More on NewsFeed: Marijuana Soda: Medicinal Users’ Smoke-Free Option)

The plant, proposed by non-profit organization Gropech, could house up to 30,000 cannabis plants and yield $50 million each year in revenue, not to mention create hundred of jobs for workers in the area. The factory itself would only supply its mass-produced weed to medical dispensaries inside California, where marijuana is now a legal, with prescription, as an alternative to painkillers.

Part of Gropech’s proposal includes an aggressive green campaign, pushing for the facility to be fully LED certified to combat conditions which Gropech co-founder Derek Peterson claims are often unsafe, leading to contamination of the plants. “A lot of cannabis sold by medical dispensaries is grown by farmers — and I hesitate to use the term farmers — in basements and garages,” he told The Atlantic. Instead, Peterson plans an aggressively organic indoor growing campaign at the facility for its cannabis – a product, interestingly enough, that sells at about the same price per ounce as gold.

(More on NewsFeed: The First Medicinal Marijuana Commercial Airs In California)

A shift of the production of medical marijuana from independent permitted growers to large plant facilities would likely quash smaller businesses already in progress, landing funds into the hands of the state, in Gropech’s case, or in large corporations, if the trend continues. Gold, indeed.