– the gold standard

poor corporate behavior… — March 8, 2018

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

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…’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… 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.

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.



What we have done: — January 12, 2018

What we have done:

The people of Humboldt County have done amazing work as Americans in the fight for cannabis legalization. Make no mistake, cannabis was legalized in California by the mass of people growing it. A breaking point had to be reached to bring about legalization. The bubble popped. This was the first war to my knowledge fought by families with plants in their hands rather than swords. We have just been a part of one of the most rigorous tests our Constitution has ever been put through. If we had been somewhere else, this would have either been a cartel run industry or we would have all just been squashed. Only in the United States, where a people are protected by their Constitution, as we have been, could this have happened.

This war was not won by lobbyists or by convincing the government. It was won by sheer numbers in force…just like any other war. We are now negotiating a treaty. We are going for full constitutional protection as American citizens. We are American Heroes not criminals. We are the peaceful activists that changed the world. Whether you planted one plant or a million plants we all fought on the same side….together.. Even if you were just a nice hippy who liked the laid back lifestyle and just moved up here a few years ago…those plants you grew, you grew with us, with purpose, in the fight for our rights and our freedoms. We won! one of the greatest victories in history. Many soldiers that spent decades with us in our community can now go home….no longer needed. But, we cannot abandon those front lines that we have so long held.

When wars are over, there is lots of clean up to do – our communities, our families, our futures. The old paradigms are changing but there are important parts of our history that need to remain. What we built in Humboldt is unique to the world – KMUD, the MATEEL community center, our local infrastructure, the land itself – these icons must be held steadfast; they have become our own national treasures. They are the basis for our strong community and they do not exist anywhere else. We need to cherish them. These are the tools that will bring us success in the coming years. We are the strongest cannabis farming community in the world. We have all we need right here at home. Stand your ground here. Don’t sell out!

How do we cooperate in unity together so we can continue to wield our full strength collectively? We are a group of people who agree to disagree…..trying to get people to engage the process. The success of the small family farmer in the fight for legalization arose from a system of decentralized cells, a headless horseman, just blades of grass blowing in the wind. We are an impenetrable matrix, a Redwood Curtain, with no head to bite off; we are a sustainable anarchy, a group of independents that does not need to reach agreement because what we have built was built on a common trust and a common interest. We are word of mouth. Real grass roots hippy stuff. We may never get a consensus around here…….but we never needed one before. If you know Humboldt, then you know this.

It’s not over. What we have accomplished and what we have made, we can lose. We stand to lose our community if we don’t watch out. Many of us are scared of being taken down by the big fish…we need to stop obsessing on the size of our farms. As a unit of independent cells standing side by side facing the same direction we are all 1000 times larger than they will ever be. Just look in the mirror. We are the biggest small business in the world!

We have done more for small business and entrepreneurship than any industry in American history. We have written the most environmentally forward thinking agriculture regulations ever. Don’t stop there. Bad things happen when good people do nothing…….go all the way. Don’t stop until the whole country is smoking organic sungrown flower. It is our political move. Pharmaceutical empires and health care can be reimagined. Cannabis is the flashpoint. Make the connection between health and recreation. Happy people live longer. They need us more than ever. So don’t put down your plants! SHARPEN your shovels to a fine point and Sound the Charge!

steve & Tobias

Cannabis Farmer Suicide — November 16, 2017

Cannabis Farmer Suicide

Is legalization actually such a good deal? The growers are getting overwhelmed… the whole process seems designed to remove the old core, smaller, growers. Maybe the black market still has its place for awhile…

The Counties and the State sure seem to have decided that legalization needs to fail. You only need to look at their taxation plans. Time to start emailing your elected officials – here in Humboldt and across the State.

And what about San Francisco and Los Angles? Looks like they might shut down the permitting process in their cities; and being among the biggest urban markets in the State, well, that would be quite a blow. Still, things are in serious flux.

I tell you, officials have mis-read the market. It ain’t the get rich scheme that everyone imagines. Those assumptions are going to kill the market. By the time the State works this out, the blackmarket will have been given a boost and the small legal farmer will be in the toilet.

“Resist – Support the Blackmarket” could well be the new battle cry of cannabis growers across the State. Humboldt Growers has strongly supported growers participating in the legalization of their farms; but, now, we have a doubt.

Somehow folks think that the cannabis farmer is naturally just as rich as they can be. This is a myth; most farmers (upwards of 80%) are very small. They really can’t afford the pile on that is happening at both the County and the State level. Just consider Humboldt County’s expectations for rural roads to our cannabis farms; now, these are roads that the County has ignored for decades, but, all of a sudden if you will, they want hardtops or Class 4 roads. This puts a tremendous financial pressure on the farms. And, it is only one example.

Somehow folks think that the cannabis farmer is a reprobate, a low-life criminal that must be watched carefully – just look at the new laws that are involved. This is a myth; the original 60’s and 70’s homesteaders were ex-urban, not criminals. The make a quick buck greenrushers are what you are looking at now. The smaller growers nurture their land; they do not and won’t destroy that land. This is where they live!

Both the County and the State want to benefit from all this imaginary cannabis wealth; but when the goose is dead, well, there aren’t any more eggs. The wealth is based on an illegal market that is not accessible to the County and the State; but it is accessible to those growing cannabis and that is where the growers will retreat.

But, the situation is changing and it can be changed. The “microbusiness” license could help to address these issues – it makes it easier for farmers to succeed in the market; a vigorous and successful resolution to the really large growers and the cartels would help; the tax burden could be scaled back, as the other legal States have already done; the licensing could be streamlined; how about State-backed farmer loans offered to help address these costs?

There are solutions for those that can think outside the box.

Fight fellow farmers. Stand your ground. Humboldt farmers have never retreated and we won’t now. Resist!


The Gold Standard… — January 6, 2016

The Gold Standard…

The Southern Humboldt Grower will stand the test of time.  The one thing the other guys won’t have is an established and continuing national marketing strategy.  While all these mega-intimidating cannabis entities are popping up in-state, the Southern Humboldt black market will be (apparently) slow to catch up with legalization.

While the world of legalization is focused on in-state promotion, all the other states will be waiting for Southern Humboldt’s next black market harvest.  The Southern Humboldt grower is already the Coca-Cola of the cannabis world. This 35 year old market dominance will continue until every state is legal.

So, it appears that the black market will hold the line for our growers. But, do we really want to continue down that path?

The cannabis grower in California is the largest agricultural entity in the country. When 10% of the more than 50,000 established farms register, they will surpass the voting power of the grape growers.  That means our tax dollars will provide us with leverage.

Many in the County seemed determined to curtail any development. A mandated Humboldt Heritage model will put the nails in our coffin. A 2000-3000 sq ft retirement plan is not viable. Families can’t live on 30 grand a year. Resident only grows……are you kidding? What about all those growers approaching 70 years old and looking at retirement…..who will be watering for them when they are in a wheelchair?

Are all the grape growers “resident only”?

In our vision, our County can work with and support each of our farmers to bring them up to speed – especially with those who have already registered. That means the State and County must actively reach out to our farmers and reassure them that compliance is in their best interest.

The rural land owners in our County want to do the right thing. Our farmers, if given the chance, will create a patchwork of ponds like a checkerboard across the Southern Humboldt landscape.  There will be an immediate positive environmental impact from cannabis growing in the South County. There won’t be any more water trucks. There will be a huge increase in flora and fauna. The cannabis grower can easily stop using surface diversions.  We will continue to support the largest privately owned nature preserve in the United States!

There is a window.  We can escape the black market. The sooner South County growers register, comply, and create their own AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas), the better chance there will be of a successful “in-state” legal economy for the Southern Humboldt community.