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So You Think a (Social Equity) Cannabis License is A Ticket out of Poverty? Think Again




The cannabis industry has seen remarkable growth and transformation in recent years, with legalization spreading across various states in the United States. However, despite the reported challenges and signs of distress within the sector, there continues to be a steady influx of individuals seeking to enter the cannabis manufacturing and production sector. This phenomenon begs the question: What drives people to invest in an industry that is far from smooth sailing? Is  it a perception that opportunities for wealth and success are still attainable, even for those who lack qualifications in other fields?

The Perceived Pot of Gold

One of the primary reasons behind the ongoing attraction to the cannabis industry is the perceived potential for financial success. With the legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis in several states, the market size has expanded significantly. This growth has given rise to the belief that substantial profits can be reaped from cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and retail.

For some individuals, the cannabis industry represents a last-chance opportunity to achieve financial stability or prosperity. In a job market where traditional employment may be elusive, the allure of cannabis entrepreneurship becomes all the more appealing. This combination of perceived financial potential and limited alternatives drives many to take the plunge, even if they lack prior qualifications or experience.

The Licensing Rush: A Cause for Concern?

While the influx of new entrants into the cannabis industry may seem like a positive sign of economic growth, it also raises concerns about oversaturation of the market. A striking example of this phenomenon can be found in Michigan, where monthly cannabis sales reached a record-breaking $276 million in July. The issuance of new licenses for growers and retailers each month might be contributing to the struggles of existing retailers to turn a profit.

Michigan's cannabis landscape currently boasts over 2,000 active licenses for recreational use, causing legitimate concerns about market sustainability. As the number of dispensaries and growers proliferates, it becomes increasingly difficult for individual businesses to stand out and maintain profitability. This oversaturation may ultimately undermine the economic viability of many operators within the supply chain.

Similar trends are unfolding in states like Massachusetts, where low prices and intense competition are posing serious threats to the viability of dispensaries. While the issuance of new licenses often comes with social equity goals in mind, the unintended consequence may be a glut of supply that drives down prices and margins. This, in turn, could lead to economic stress for operators throughout the cannabis supply chain.


The continued influx of individuals into the cannabis manufacturing and production sector is driven by a complex interplay of factors. While the allure of financial success and limited alternative opportunities is undeniable, the rush for licenses may be exacerbating market saturation issues, leading to economic challenges for existing operators.

As the cannabis industry evolves, it is essential to strike a balance between fostering economic growth and ensuring market sustainability. Regulatory bodies, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders must work collaboratively to address these challenges and develop strategies that promote a thriving, equitable, and sustainable cannabis industry. Only through a well-managed and thoughtful approach can the industry continue to attract talent and investors while maintaining long-term viability.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.