HUMBOLDT GROWER

– the gold standard

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.