HUMBOLDT GROWER

– the gold standard

HUMBOLDT GROWERS NETWORK: BEHIND THE REDWOOD CURTAIN — April 25, 2015

HUMBOLDT GROWERS NETWORK: BEHIND THE REDWOOD CURTAIN

Northern California’s Lost Coast is a wonderland of rolling hills and ancient forests, steeped in outlaw history. The place is the Bermuda Triangle of the West, shrouded in the mystique of the counter cultural revolution that has taken place here over the last 35 years. Humboldt County growers have set the international gold standard for quality in cannabis production. With  legalization, Humboldt County Network is moved by the same keen sense of urgency, a concern that Humboldt County small farmers, with their exceptional product, will be cut out of the cannabis trade. We are at ground zero. Our reputation is unrivaled. Our local genetics have dominated the world market for over 30 years. But it is all at risk.

We will stand our ground as best we can. As all of us must.

Through a combination of research, interviews and editorials, we are bringing to light issues and offering solutions relevant to cannabis farming in Humboldt County and across the State. Humboldt Growers Network is about offering answers. Humboldt Growers Network wants to foster Humboldt cannabis.

By engaging together, we can support each other. We want Humboldt County’s reputation to continue to dominate the world of cannabis as it has for many years.

defiance

Resist


you may contact us at answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com

we encourage readers to remain in strict compliance with municipal, county and state laws and regulations; as well adapting to future, ever-changing applicable laws.

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2018 Cannabis Bed Preparation… — March 31, 2018

2018 Cannabis Bed Preparation…

so, we had to move our gardens up out of the woods and put them on government “approved” ground – the only ground that would please them was my previous vegetable garden. Here is a sequence of images from bare ground to the finished and planted bed. When we are done, we expect each 25 square feet to produce about a pound and a half.

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And, we ran out of soil; so, we will use beds targeted for the new veggie garden.

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A few name changes… —

A few name changes…

With legalization making our “215 cannabis collective” irrelevant, Humboldt Growers Collective is morphing into Humboldt Growers Network, a distributorship dedicated to serving the Humboldt farmer and bringing Humboldt product to the cannabis consumer. Our new cannabis farm names are Homegrown Farms, Inc., Mazari Farms, Inc., and Flore Farms, Inc.. We will have our nurseries up and running as soon as the County starts granting temporary nursery licenses.

You can continue to use answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com to communicate with us.

Biomass —

Biomass

 

The way we sell products is changing and it seems like the distributors want your trim and don’t want your flower. How do you spend $500+/lb in production, while selling trim at $50/lb.?? With that plan, you can’t afford to trim your flower. Can we keep our high grade flower market? Not if you are selling it for what it cost you to grow. That won’t work.

The distributors are each looking to sign up 200 plus farms based on the amount of trim they need a year for their business plan….. 200 farms x 300 lbs per farm = 60,000 lbs of ex-tractable material a year. They get their material but these farms all go bankrupt. Now if that distributor would take biomass “whole plants bucked”,  he could get the same amount of material from half the farms. In this model the distributor takes all the produce from each farm he works with. This will work for the farmer if the price point is right.

We just need to settle on a price that is fair in relation to the cost of production. This would be a model that can keep farms alive. For example: Humboldt’s leading product becomes whole plants bucked selling at $500/lb – this would include both flower and trim. By weight, flower and trim are on a 1 to 1 ratio – this means the farmer is getting twice the weight. Humboldt will have an estimated 250 acres of permitted cannabis cultivation in the next few months……that is still a large enough crop to sway the extraction market.

The plan is simple: extraction companies need so much material, they have to get it from the Triangle. The Triangle is only offering bucked whole plant material…..trim and flower are no longer separated. The wholesale price of that product is our production costs x 2 – at minimum. That is the bottom line that we need to enforce. The sooner we all start using the math to our advantage, the sooner we can get the pricing set on this new product line and sleep at night.

Cannabis international market… — March 11, 2018
Sunrise… — March 8, 2018
poor corporate behavior… —

poor corporate behavior…

Boycott Weedmaps

 

We are recommending that anyone who has used Weedmaps, stop; this includes all customers and all licensed dispensaries.  Weedmaps has not been our friend. They do not care about cannabis or cannabis culture; they care only about their advertising revenue. They have been intentionally advertising black market businesses to the determent of legal business – undercutting the whole thing. We also suggest that you continue your boycott even if they stop their present course. The State has been forced to send them a “cease and desist” letter. We do not want this kind of business in the cannabis trade. Resist.

 

It’s really too bad… — March 1, 2018

It’s really too bad…

It really is too bad the State again chose to supplant the Emerald Triangle farmers rather than include them. The State had one chance to get this right for California and for the whole country. All the farmers were out in the open and ready to go for it.

That boat has sailed. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of tens of thousands of generators firing up. The black market has already spoken. They went back inside. Now the State will never find them. That google map won’t help anymore! Now instead of growing outdoor, they grow indoor…..the State’s greedy and discriminatory choices just mobilized and weaponized California’s black market and positioned that in direct competition with the legal indoor market in every state.

California now may be responsible for the failure of the legal cannabis industry. Make no mistake, the other states having banked on indoor as their model, are all going bankrupt as we speak. The legal companies, Big and small, are only keeping their front doors open by selling out the back door on the black market to survive. The same is true for Cali’s indoor market. California’s black market going indoor again may be just enough to topple legalization altogether. Now the authorities will never find them. People can again buy top shelf AAA studio grade indoor for a fraction of the price – on the black market. Sharp move, eh?

This was an, “If you can’t beat them….join them situation.” The State could have joined with the American people. Cannabis culture belongs to the American people – not just a few thousand farmers. A hundred million Americans are cultivating, distributing and consuming nationwide. That’s 1 in 4 people. That’s a culture not an industry. Cannabis culture is synonymous with freedom for most of those oppressed Americans who didn’t or don’t fit into mainstream society – that’s most of us now.

Legalization is now become synonymous with giving our freedom away to big corporations. Why would anyone do that? Government has proven time and time again that it lies. Now government has just proven, again, they cannot control a full twenty-five percent of Americans and can not regulate an entire culture. You could have tried it without so much control.

You had the ball in your hand……you dropped it.

A change in the wind…. — February 17, 2018

A change in the wind….

Until the government recognizes that cannabis is a culture more than it is an Ag crop we will get nowhere – until the government recognizes they have no control of this counter culture,  let alone this new industry

Washington
Oregon
Cali now

You did not include the cannabis leaders in the ramp up to 215.

You have not included them now.

This mistake will result in millions of people, not thousands, suffering the consequences.

And this ill considered way of thinking by government effects all small business not just small cannabis business.

Cannabis belongs to the American people. As much as we all hate the black market and all the dysfunction that comes with it…..it’s ours.

When government recognizes that they have no control and take our offer to give them a piece of our business in exchange for constitutional protection, we will be on the correct path. That’s the deal.

Government has again and again proven they have no control and the shortsighted legislatures end up always supporting the black market.

All stemming from the same basic misunderstanding.

Americans won this war and the US government lost. Until the government approaches it that way, legalization won’t work.

One year from now with all the states failing and 90% of investors reaching the 5 year mark on pro-formas….

Investors will pull out and legalization will collapse.

Legalization only works if we are part of it…..do the math.

You can’t eradicate, imprison, deport or murder us. I know you are not used to that……but unless you do you get used to it…. you will get your ass handed to you by the American public.

The cannabis world makes a place for everyone who was rejected or behind in this country….we are the underdogs…..we offer a path of hope.

Cannabis and cannabis culture is just like what Christianity was supposed to be.

Our Big Move… — February 6, 2018

Our Big Move…

Standing together we can all make one move right now that will turn the tables in our favor for good. Stop pre-trimming your product. Only trim for prepaid orders. Leave that huge pile of product you can’t afford to trim. Don’t trim it. The legal market buyers are only interested in purchasing your trim. They don’t seem to care if you can pay your bills or not. Side step that issue. Do not provide trim as a product for sale any more. If there is no trim available, buyers will be forced to buy the new product you are offering…..”bucked whole plant extractable biomass”. Once they are purchasing the whole plant, your problems are over.

Today we can’t staff our farms because the price point for trimming is still higher than it is for field work. As soon as people stop trimming their product prior to having orders for it, trimmers will start transitioning to field work for employment…..then we will have the staff we need.

Today our flower prices are plummeting because there is too much flower on the market. Our trim prices are increasing because there is not enough trim on the market and the value added products that are based on oil are in demand. Indoor flower still accounts for most of the flower sold over the counter. This is making it almost impossible for us to sell sun grown flower. Once we are selling a biomass product we will again be in control of supply and demand.

If we all work together.

That means we need Mendocino, our sister County (now the largest producer of biomass product). Together, we control most of the available unbranded product in the State. That means if we change the way we sell it, they will have to buy it that way.

Once we have established this new market we can affect the prices. Biomass bucked product weighs about 2 times what your trimmed flower does. If you have 100 pounds of trimmed flower…you also have about 100 pounds of trim. Sold as a bucked product (not separated), its over 200 pounds. When trim is extracted it yields about 10% by weight. When biomass bucked product is extracted it yields 15-25% by weight. Selling trimmed product with a trimming expense of $150-200/pound+running+compliance costs at $700-1000 a pound nets no profit. If you are selling a bucked product for $500 a pound (and double it by volume), then, apples to apples, you are grossing the same $1000, minus all the trimming costs, avoiding the taxes on trimmed flower, and avoiding compliance costs related to processing or packaging. Your expenses just went way down.

Stop trying to accomodate trimmers on your property. Stop trying to package your own product. 90% of cannabis businesses in the country lose their licenses due to non-compliance at the packaging or inventory stages. Let the distributor take the fall for you. Bucking your product down as it comes off the lines is not processing and does not require all the compliance official processing does. If you are only trimming small amounts of flower for pre-paid orders your compliance issues are significantly mitigated.

Don’t stop there. Take it one step further. Choose to only sell your extractable biomass product in the Emerald Triangle. Do not export anything in extractable form. Support Humboldt manufacturers if you are from Humboldt. Support Mendocino manufacturers if you are from Mendocino. Don’t use the companies that move up either. Use historic local and family run organizations. Do not allow outside extractors to have control of our extractable products and we will maintain control of the industry. Make sure all our products go through local supply chains and end up in consumers hands directly from us – with our brand.

Establishing an “extractable biomass market” will pave the way for local farms to enter the legal industry.

We can avoid our single largest expense.
We can transition our staff to the projects we need worked on.
We can redefine our product lines.
We can affect the prices.
We can keep the industry centered in the Emerald Triangle
We are in control….just take control.

The second your product is all trimmed you have given up your power play. Everyone must stand firm on this. When we do, we will be able to set prices that include enough profit to survive on. This is the most straight forward power play imaginable. Do what you already want to do. Stop trimming!

From back to the landers to take back the landers — January 29, 2018

From back to the landers to take back the landers

 

Here are some thoughts to consider :

There has been a running sentiment in our community for a long time, “get these green rush’n, big money growers out of our community”. For them, the breaking point may have been reached and now they are leaving. Bankrupt in all likelihood. This will give those who have wanted them gone an opportunity to retake the land.

It would be nice to have a mechanism by which those properties being vacated can go to faithful stewards of the land or new families moving in to staff all of our farms. The real estate values will drop on unlicensed properties and they could be within reach of young families. It would be a brilliant move by the County to start an entity that would buy up and then resell these properties. There could be a level of local regulation that could help expanding farms purchase adjacent properties thus increasing their employment opportunities. Create a housing program for placing young professionals and new farming families on these properties. We could even put them into a land-preserve to be sustainably managed.

Take the former Tooby Ranch as an example: the Tooby ranch is 13,000 acres comprised of parcels larger than 160 acre. There are 50ish owners in this area. The farms are larger and the density is lower and most of the owners are second generation farmers….rightful stewards.

This would be a great model to follow county wide as an idealized cannabis community. In the communities with 40 acre parcels, as residents are forced to leave those communities, the neighbors have the opportunity to lower density. The licensed successful farmers will need to expand into the land around them. The County needs to subsidize this by holding these properties in trust to be accessed by the farms when needed through application. We need a mechanism that holds property for local farmers and a job placement program for non compliant farmers who want to remain in the community as farmers.

This mechanism needs to also make homes available for new farming families and could encourage new residential construction. We have the talent living here; we need to keep them living here. As the properties change hands, we need to keep people in their homes and enable them to work in adjacent farms. We do not want the fabric of our community disrupted.

If it works or not, we all got to start thinking.

Steve
answers.humboldtgrowers@gmail.com