Cannabis opponents are reaching deep this time—blaming practically everything on the industry, including a recent huge drop in decorative flower availability this year on Mother’s Day. Roses, tulips, carnations and more could become harder to find and probably more expensive.
More than 70 percent of Americans who were planning on buying flowers for mom may be in for a surprise, with much fewer flower options, according to a poll administered by the Society of American Florists. Some blame the shortage on flower farms that were forced to sell out to higher-paying cannabis operations amid COVID-19.
While the majority of flowers originate in South America—which was hammered by the COVID-19 epidemic—most domestic flowers in the US come from California. And in California, many farmers sold their properties to cannabis operations run by buyers willing to pay several times more than the value of properties for most other commodities.
Could the culprit be the seismic shift from conventional flowers and vegetables to the exponentially more lucrative cannabis industry?
Some florists think that the reason is a combination between both COVID-19 and the cannabis industry. “There were farms early on in the pandemic, large farms in California that decided that they could no longer make it, or they did not want to make it anymore,” florist Jamal Ansari told CBS LA. “And they sold to marijuana growers because that is a huge new industry.”
While COVID-19 prevented workers in countries like Colombia and Ecuador to grow and package the flower supply, California is the largest producer of domestic cut flowers and greens in the US, providing almost 80 percent of domestic flower production in 2017.
Mother’s Day is the third-busiest holiday for florists, trailing the holiday season and Valentine’s Day. So, the flower shortage is bound to be felt this holiday by most gift buyers.
Cannabis is becoming much more socially acceptable nowadays, even for the stereotypical soccer mom. One solution is to buy mom a different type of flower this year as a gift. Everyone from Forbes to Leafly provides Mother’s Day gift guides on cannabis-related gifts.