Cannabis Growing in Wine Country

By Jason Marcuz

Northern California has, for decades, been known as wine country. The sprawling hills and scenic valleys are lined with grapevines and have put California on the map as a destination for world-class wines. California wines are some of the most sought after and finest available around the world. However, farmers in this historic wine country are steadily getting into marijuana production in order to benefit from this lucrative industry. Northern California is preferred for cannabis farming due to its nutrient rich soils and ideal atmosphere.

Just about seven months ago, California legalized the use of recreational marijuana. This began a serious transformation of wine country. Investors swarmed the area and started snapping up vineyards and properties where grapevines once flourished. Plenty of farmers are now looking to cash in on California’s new “Green Rush” in line with the recently introduced laws. Counties such as Mendocino and Sonoma are experiencing exponential growth in new, specialty marijuana businesses. Farmers who were once happy with their vineyards are now increasingly looking to profit from the lucrative marijuana business.

Booming Cannabis Business

In Sonoma County, there are plenty of establishments where cannabis experimentation is rife. The Sonoma Cannabis Company is a good example. Here, diners are charged between $100 and $150 for meals containing marijuana in different forms. Still, in the same county, Steve Dutton, who is president of Sonoma County Farm Bureau, says farmers have to be flexible and adopt changes in the market with crops that rake in more profits.

The changes being experienced in landscapes along California’s North Coast are fast unraveling. Apart from Sonoma and Mendocino, other counties affected by the marijuana boom include Trinity and Humboldt. Some farmers, like Amanda Reiman, believe that grapes and cannabis can flourish in a symbiotic-type of relationship, with both plants benefitting from the air, soils and ecological qualities found in northern California.

Lucrative Investments

Hedge funds are not being left out of this lucrative business opportunity either. Poseidon Asset Management is a hedge fund based in San Francisco. It specializes in marijuana and has invested $3.5 million in a winery which will be converted into a marijuana farm. It is possible to make $1 million a year from marijuana farming, making it quite a lucrative business. For decades, lots of farmers in the region have been aware of the prime opportunities in cannabis cultivation. Now that any legal barriers have been removed, many farmers are seeing the huge potential of cultivating both grapes and weed, side by side.