The company behind a cannabis mega-factory in California is hoping federal legalization of the substance will allow it to expand distribution of joints, oils, and edibles beyond the borders of the most populous US state, Phil Lavelle reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: The 4Front team
California legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, but it remains on the federal list of controlled substances. The US House of Representatives passed a bill on April 1 to end the federal ban on marijuana, though the measure is seen as unlikely to pass the Senate.
Joshua Krane, vice president of operations for cannabis operator 4Front, said the company's 170,000-square-foot (15,793 square meter) manufacturing and processing space outside of Los Angeles has the capacity to supply the US west coast with cannabis products, if restrictions are lifted.
"This facility was designed to really be future-proof for us in terms of being able to service not just the entire California market, but once we have the ability to transport cannabis and sell cannabis across state lines, to be able to really feed the West Coast of the country," he said.
The factory, which opened in November 2021, is operating at 20-25% of capacity, Krane said.
"As we see the natural ramp-up of the industry, that will likely meet an additional demand curve as we get into federal legalization," he added. "And so we would continue to ramp up more and more production from this building as the state and hopefully this side of the country would require."
Krane said the highly automated facility is the largest in California. It manufactures both in-house and partner brands, including oils, tinctures, and several types of candies. Edible items are the most popular, and demand has soared since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, Krane said.