File - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, marijuana matures at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. Colorado voters still support the state law that legalized recreational marijuana, but most believe it is hurting the image of the state, according to a new poll released Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 51 percent of voters overall believe the measure is bad for the state's reputation, while 38 percent see it as a net positive. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, file)

Cannabis legalization is moving from “if” to “when”, which brings up a variety of questions and issues never broached in a public forum under prohibition. As regulations emerge around the production, manufacturing, packaging and distribution of cannabis in both medical and commercial environments, we are suddenly recognizing that these debates are not new, nor are they unique to the cannabis industry. In fact, many of the considerations for cannabis regulations are already a large part of our societal discourse. Perhaps most obvious is the relationship between cannabis cultivation and the ever growing tension between small farmers and “Big Agriculture”. A May 24, 2014 article in the New York Times entitled When Cannabis Goes Corporate discusses how, in Canada, the federal government recently made it illegal for individual patients and small farmers to grow medical cannabis. Subsequently, they created a complex, capital-intensive regulatory framework that only allows large-scale corporate producers to operate legally. All of this in an attempt to rein in what was referred to as a “free-for-all” of thousands of smaller producers scattered across the county. Why should Americans care about this and what does it mean for the broader issue of crop production here at home?