We wonder why Garberville’s streets aren’t paved with gold and all the farmers in the county don’t live in ivory castles; behind the scenes the expenses are crippling and in the end much of our money leaves our community with our seasonal labor force.
Throughout the “outdoor” era a pound of cannabis cost $100 dollars a pound to trim. This was airy shade bud, people worked seasonally and prices ranged from $1400-$6000 a pound.
Throughout the “indoor” era a pound of cannabis cost $250 dollars a pound to trim. This was grade AAA bud, year round employment and prices ranged from $3-$5000 a pound. Much of the moneys paid for processing during this time stayed in the community. All the work was done by locals. This system set the precedent for the next stage.
Now in the “dep” era the price we are currently working with is between $1-200 a pound to trim. The product is AAA, we are back to seasonal work, and prices range from $1-2000 dollars a pound. Most of the moneys paid for processing leave the county.
Every part of the business has become more expensive. The competition is fierce. We allowed our prices to plummet. We have responded with volume. We have not adopted a new system of processing to accommodate the higher volume. We have created a monster.
People are up in arms about our water supply. Look at the impact this massive seasonal labor force is having on our environment. This impact is huge a burden on our medieval infrastructure. We do not have housing or hospitals to support this annual population variation. To preserve our way of life, now more than ever, the money we make here needs to stay here and be reinvested in our infrastructure. Successful vertically marketed models do not outsource. We are allowing our hard earned dollars to blow away in the wind!
Case studies of rural farming communities with population variations due to seasonal employment prove conclusively that the impact is a significant drain. Successful communities are full of givers, not full of takers.
We can look to history and our neighbors for answers: Napa valley’s employees are year round established members of their community earning $12 an hour as a starting wage. Washington, Oregon and Colorado grow enough indoor cannabis to provide year round employment and are paying $12-15 dollars an hour for processing.
We either need a system that utilizes the population we have or one that provides appropriate infrastructure for an expanded but permanent population. Consider creating a job where young locals who don’t own land could make enough money to support a family and afford a rental. We need to re-create our traditional job descriptions.
Imagine a “processing specialist” that consolidates leafing, harvesting, processing and concentrates under one job title and implements low impact specific strategies to re-invent the process by which we arrive at our “Humboldt pound.” This “type” is modeled to create a $30-50,000 a year income for either a young local family or a now invested new community member. That money will stay at home. That family will be a positive influence.