It’s a Buyer’s Market

By Brittany Morgan Williams

Everyone knows by now that marijuana (or cannabis, weed, ganja, etc.) is legal in California. It has been since the beginning of this year. Yet, there are still obstacles farmers are facing to be able to sell their products; obstacles that non-politicians supposedly can’t change.

The people of Humboldt County have spoken out and want an easier, less expensive way to be able to sell the very products that fund a large portion of Humboldt County. There are around 12,500 cannabis farmers in Humboldt County, and only 1 in 10 of these are expected to make it into the legal trade. Around 600 growers have already shelled out thousands upon thousands of dollars to get their county permit, thinking that that would be enough. It never seems to be when it comes to politics and money.

Although the $20 grams in Los Angeles and the rabid black market still working throughout most of California might tell a story of too little weed to go around, in reality, Humboldt County’s ‘permitted’ weed tops out at almost twice the amount projected to be sold in 2018 in California alone. But because the manufacturing permits are on hold, farmers are just expected to hold on to their slowly crumbling weed until it goes through- or go through the black market as they’ve always done. Even there, prices are suffering. It’s definitely a buyer’s market up here in the Green Triangle. I’ve seen prices plummet from $1000 per pound two years ago, to just $400 per pound last week. This doesn’t just affect the farmers, it’s estimated that the cannabis industry accounts for one out of every four dollars spent here.

There was a Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 19th where the county’s proposal for cannabis land usage was laid out for the public. They want only indoor weed, but light-dep is now considered a mixed lighting, which means it’s not allowed to be sold in collectives as ‘indoor,’ or really at all. The new permit is aiming to cap the amount of cannabis one can sell, while laying down exactly what the county agricultural commissioner expects; marijuana must meet the organic certification standards, the grower must live on the same site as the cultivation, and the grow area must be less than 3,000 sq. ft., amongst a few others.

Overall, these permits seem excessive and like the government is sticking their hands too deeply into the cash cow that has been the cannabis industry. The legalization process seems to be almost as dangerous as the illegal cannabis world, if not more so to the everyday Humboldtian. Hopefully, the funds from the taxes and rates that farmers have paid will go to the sources that need it the most.


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