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Jerry Garcia's Brand, Garcia Hand Picked Leaves the Troubled California Market

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

By: Buz Deliere| January 30, 2023

Jerry Garcia, the iconic singer-songwriter and musical genius behind the legendary band The Grateful Dead has left a lasting legacy as one of California's most recognizable pot smokers. Born in San Francisco - an international beacon for hippie counterculture – Jerry inspired many to embrace cannabis culture throughout his 30-year tenure with the group.

Despite its enduring popularity, the Jerry Garcia brand was unable to withstand California's chaotic cannabis industry.

In 2020, the Garcia Hand Picked cannabis brand made an impact in California's pot industry. However, this ended abruptly as a spokesperson has confirmed that the musician’s family-run business is closing up shop due to what industry leaders predict will be the state's worst year for the industry.

Jerry Garcia's iconic face has become synonymous with cannabis in the five states where it is still available, but unfortunately for Californians, his brand might soon be a thing of the past. According to them, they are currently looking into partnering up with another cannabis supplier and have not made any comment concerning the change in direction.

A spokesperson from Holistic Industries, the brand’s parent company stated, “We're taking a pause in California. We want to ensure CA consumers have the highest quality flower for the long term, so we are in the process of choosing a new local partner for cultivation, production, sales and distribution of Garcia Hand Picked in CA.”

After four years of navigating a convoluted regulatory landscape and sky-high taxes, California's cannabis industry is in the midst of an ongoing economic battle. Despite attempts to rapidly scale up legal operations with innovative products, they're fighting an uphill struggle against illegal farms and retailers who remain unchecked by authorities - resulting in significant losses for legitimate companies.

For many cannabis businesses, accessing basic banking services is a challenge due to limited access. Federal law further compounds the problem by prohibiting most tax deductions for these firms - leading to an asphyxiating effective federal tax rate of up to 80%.

The harsh realities of California's cannabis market have become crystal clear, as small-time farmers and big players alike make their exits from the state. With regulations tightening around marijuana businesses and prices falling to rock bottom levels, the once golden coast has quickly devolved into a true pot purgatory for business owners.

It's a bittersweet goodbye for the Garcia family in San Francisco, as their beloved Bay Area cannabis brand has sold its very last jar of product. Despite having provided early consulting work to get them off the ground, industry veteran and former advisor DeAngelo reflect that leaving California was likely quite difficult on his close friends.

“This was a hard decision for them, they love California. They were born and bred here. This is very painful for them, I guarantee that,” said DeAngelo about the Garcia family.

The iconic cannabis brand who was inspired by the Grateful Dead frontman's spirit is still available in Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Oregon. Offering an ever-growing range of products from flower to pre-rolled joints and their signature guitar pick-shaped edibles, you can enjoy a trip down memory lane with every purchase.

Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead have been embraced by a new generation with eye-catching tribute-infused psychedelic packaging. Paying homage to Milton Glaser's 1966 Bob Dylan poster, this inventive design uses Jerry Garcia’s face surrounded by swirls of vibrant colors for an exciting twist on classic rock nostalgia.

Californians hoping for a taste of the iconic products and goodies may be left waiting after their favorite company leaves them in limbo about its plans. Only time will tell what decisions they make next.


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