are we going to be hamstrung by our country’s repressive cannabis laws?
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
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.
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
On a recent reading of “Bigfoot, bullets and bud: My insane Humboldt County weed harvest,” by Tara Anaïse – as printed on Salon at
Well, the obvious response is that is just the way journalism is. I suspect so, but this approach, essentially fictionalized reality or sensationalism, does the public and the emerging cannabis industry a disservice.
And here’s the thing, sometimes bad things happen in a criminal world – how is this some kind of shocking surprise? Yet, at least in Humboldt, the criminal world of cannabis is embedded in a larger culture and history – cannabis helped to build schools, community centers and a radio station in Humboldt. And, sensationalism denies the reader any understanding of this.
Repeated media outlets have followed this path; we assume that this sells and that is why these media would bother to distort. The cannabis lifestyle is exciting enough without adding false narratives.
We are in transition. The old days are passing and the new days are just appearing over the horizon. There is no place in this new world for these kinds of anti-cannabis screeds.
Humboldt Growers has expanded its operations to include a new distributorship in Santa Rosa, California – Humboldt Growers Distribution. Catchy name, eh?
We are very excited to have acquired this centrally located facility. We believe that this will allow us to be one of the main access points between Humboldt County and the urban areas around Santa Rosa.
Our Santa Rosa showroom opens January 1st. You can bring your farm’s story to the front line. We can help you with several of the sales problems that are rising up at the horizon. Don’t be left up on the mountain.
Contact us with your current product line so we can get you into our inventory asap.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have minimum farmer cient requirements =
– 215/Collective member option (until 2019)
– Preferred customers are County and State licensed or in process
– Clean, tested cannabis or cannabis product (with a report in hand/ we prefer a track record)
– Must be very high quality product – competition demands this
– well formed and attractive flower = (looks like indoor)
– high THC percentage
– distinctive odor or other characteristic
– Preferred sample size is one pound (but could be less). We will need our growers to reserve more of their sample for projected sales)
– Preferred dep grown, but we will accept other options if appropriate. We prefer multiple harvest farms growing clones.
– Provide a short narrative of your story.
– We will want to visit your farm and facility to make an assessment.
We have minimum distributor client requirements =
Yes, we want to help your distributorship sell Humboldt cannabis through our distributorship.
– You need intake from as few sources as possible.
– We can help match total farm production annually to meet your distribution needs annually.
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 Sisters of the Valley, otherwise known as The Weed Sisters, came up to the Ranch last Thursday for a photo shoot with the British documentary film company Salon Pictures. We put together some lunch with staff and helped them out. They were a lot of fun.
I interviewed them on my radio show, KMUD’s The Cannabis Show, airing each Thursday from 530 to 600PM. The show archives and streams at http://www.kmud.org. Sister Kate, the one in the middle in the picture, is quite outspoken about helping those in medical need.
I found them to be dedicated to their task. A “sisterhood”, while not related to any conventional religion, that is doing the good work.
AUMA is a poorly written initiative. MRRSA, at least, went through the legislature. Neither of these attempts at legalization have negated Federal law. That is about to change.
The DEA is re-scheduling cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 on August 1, 2016. This essentially means that cannabis will be legal with a prescription across the country; this is called federal preemption, which means federal law overrides state law. It also means that the status quo of medical cannabis in California will remain the same. You need a doctor to ensure that you need this medicine. And, it implies that cannabis use, even if recreational, will require a doctor’s prescription – kinda makes AUMA pointless, especially when you consider that MMRSA actually covers our bases already.
This is even a more definitive assurance that cannabis will no longer be prosecuted as a crime in California than the October, 2015 California Federal District Court ruling that banned the DEA from going after cannabis businesses who follow the law. Cannabis legalization is firmly walking into the main stream.
Next stop – drop AUMA and amend MMRSA for recreational use through our legislature.
Write your representative and tell them so.
People have been growing in Humboldt County now for three generations and a lot has changed in that time.
The original back to the landers came in the 70’s and 80’s. They escaped from the city and moved to the hills to raise their children in peace and quiet. Today they are over 50 to 60 years of age, living on a 40 acre parcel that was likely sold to them by Bob Mckee for under $50,000 and has been paid for and developed for decades. They can be characterized by their willingness to follow local 215 laws and their organic low environmental impact lifestyle. They formed our core community. That community has been persecuted under cannabis prohibition laws for many years. Over time that made for an introverted social structure, which did not lend itself to planning for the future. We have been fortunate in our community initiatives (KMUD, Mateel, the new Theater, the Community Park, the Town Square) but very little in the way of economic infrastructure has been put in place for Southern Humboldt’s future generations. The south county’s cities remain as yet unincorporated.
Generation X either left the then small farming community to look for work in an urban area or stayed to homestead and grow pot like their parents. Those who followed in their parents footsteps hoped to purchase property and settle down. They encountered a very different situation than their parents had years before. Property became incredibly inflated due to the influx of growers. People who were willing to sell their properties after a lifetime of “cash living” were looking for a large check as a down payment and were unwilling to owner finance. This put property in Humboldt out of reach for many of the Gen X locals. To purchase property in Humboldt county,you must either grow in “excess” or be wealthy and from out of the area. In this way much of the land was not conveyed to Gen. X locals. Instead communities were overrun by growers big enough to afford it or our “newcomers”.
In fact, if the land developer Bob Mckee had not made it his life’s work to put young locals on Humboldt properties, today less than 10% of Southern Humboldt’s land would have been passed on to the rightful stewards. Thanks to Bob So. Hum. residents have a future.
The Generation X crew that stayed behind and made it onto a piece of property are now for the most part the heart and soul of south county. They can be characterized as innovative, independent, and sustainable. They are responsible stewards of the land. They are leading the way in new techniques and technology. They are the world’s best cannabis farmers. They are in the prime of their lives. They have bonded together, shared information and standardized growing methods, genetics and marketing. Today they are singlehandedly responsible for Humboldt County’s position in the world market.
Third generation cannabis farmers in Humboldt county are generally not yet landowners. They are looking for opportunities on farms large enough to sustain a team of employees. This generally means they are working on a maybe not so sustainable farm just to make ends meet. They are disconnected from the lessons learned about the environment by the back to the land generation. Their chances of owning land are almost non-existent. They have neither been taught about the past or provided a future.
These three generations have very different perspectives and very different needs. By understanding what drives each of them we may be able to forge a future that includes all of us.
The elders are retiring. They may not have put a lot of energy into planning for the future before, but now they want to pass something meaningful on to the younger generations and at the same time insure their lands will be preserved for posterity. They are scared that commercial growing is going to destroy their way of life. Have they asked themselves if their way of life IS economically sustainable? Without larger growers maintaining brand consistency, would the “small grower” on his “small farm” stand a chance in the national market?
The two younger generations are looking for the American dream. They want the freedom to make as much money as they can. They are not set on destroying the environment. They are attempting to establish themselves and deal with difficult economic conditions. They certainly don’t want anyone defining what is or is not greedy or materialistic for them. Much less people who haven’t put themselves in their shoes! They are very concerned that they have enough water to follow their dream If they mismanage their water supply, they know that they won’t stand a chance in the national market.
In short, the elders want environmental stability and the youngsters want economic stability. Everyone wants their way of life to continue being viable.
These participants currently do not seem to understand each other. A line has been drawn in the sand between “small” and “large” growers. The assumption is that ALL small growers are low impact,sustainable eco-growers while ALL“large” growers are Bulgarian, greedy, fish killing, environmental hazards. These are both gross generalizations.
It is much more complicated than that. Labeling people and deciding who is and isn’t greedy is unacceptable – 99% of Humboldt County growers are neither “large” nor “greedy” when compared to other agricultural ventures. This over generalization about “the evil grower” has now escalated into a militant witch hunt. We at Humboldt Growers don’t understand why people who have been so persecuted would then choose persecution over resolution. The 6th draft Humboldt County Ordinance suggests more aggressive policing of Humboldt County cannabis farms. That is not even remotely possible; and if it were, the county would gladly use all of our hard earned tax dollars policing us rather than spend it on schools and hospitals!
If people are unhappy with the results they should look at the causes before casting blame.
The United States Federal Government has proven without a doubt that policing and persecuting cannabis cultivators is a losing battle. Confrontation will not work. Cannabis cultivators have been trained to evade and rebel. Offer them well thought out solutions that benefit them!
Looking at this dilemma globally: Humboldt County is number one in the world for quality and consistency, but when it comes to volume we are way outclassed. Other county’s have way more arable, low elevation flat land and water. To maintain our current market positioning(economic stability), we may need to direct ALL of Humboldt county’s resources(sustainably) at cannabis cultivation. Currently those resources are being mismanaged. Someone needs to do a study that shows our standing in terms of resources in relation to our competition. Then we need to work together to manage the resources we have to our advantage.
Farming communities in cultures all over the world have a long history of helping their neighbors, leading by example, and passing knowledge from one generation to the next. They have done this to preserve a way of life, manage their lands, and build community.
When we see that our neighbor is from out of town, knows nothing about fire safety, erosion control, or pest management and is struggling with exaggerated costs and plummeting prices while trying to make himself a home, let’s be compassionate and go help him, rather than ask the authorities to persecute him for doing the same thing we did. I think we will be surprised to see that people want help and advice. People need to see what they can do, not be told what they can’t do. Show them the way. Provide them with information on how to grow amazing sustainable cannabis. Make them one of the team.
Different players play different roles. The retiring elder has been cultivating world class mazari genetics on his small farm for a lifetime. Much of these genetics are yet untapped. The world has not really seen them. These old timers are up on the hill breeding the next “big hit”. These guys are also now on the front lines, again, creating state laws that need to provide us all a future. We need them!
Conversely the younger generation has their role. They are working together to standardize growing methods and unify behind popular genetics while managing the vast number of buyers coming in. The elders need to piggyback off this market stability. Buyers are not coming to Humboldt for 50-100 pounds of mazari ranch weed. They want 100 pounds at a time of consistent kush or sour diesel product.
If we all see that we are in this together and that we play different but equally important roles, we can make sure we get what we have spent three generations fighting for.
To make this “transition” go smoothly, people need to understand that the cannabis farmer won the war on drugs. Traditionally that means they get to set terms and make demands. Currently 90% of the cannabis grown in Humboldt county is sold out of state. Legalization offers the farmer nothing but regulation. That means these people have no reason to comply. Sending more enforcement(with or without guns) will only waste time and tax dollars. If we can sell the Humboldt county grower economic stability, they will buy it.
We need to agree on a sustainable plan that makes converting to legalization advantageous to the grower and does not include heavy handed enforcement and policing.
We should adopt the Bob Mckey model and form a “land management association”. This association will designate climate zones where certain types of cannabis can be grown, identify at risk properties and purchase them as agricultural preserves, and form a “HELP Task Force” of neighbors to bring newcomers and those who have strayed into the fold.
Finally, the incorporation of Southern Humboldt cities must be front and center in the deal we are striking with the county. Let us ask what services the county intends to offer us before we worry about how much we are paying in taxes. We need infrastructure in south county and we need national representation. Lets put together a package that describes what we need to maintain the way of life we have now long after legalization. If we vote the 6th ordinance in without incorporating, all of our tax dollars will go towards Northern Humboldt’s infrastructure and we will get nothing.
We need the older generation to offer solutions that take into account a sustainable future for generations to come in Humboldt county. Do not overregulate like the other legalized states have. Remember they did not have a thriving economy to destroy. We are unveiling the largest independently owned business the world has ever seen. Please find a common ground and make sure that the pending legalization provides a future for us all.
There has been an assumption made that cannabis growers are now responsible for the destruction of the Eel River watershed. However, we all know the Eel River was on the most endangered rivers list long before cannabis cultivation had any impact. Now, due to the drought, cannabis needs to be evaluated the same way all agricultural crops are evaluated.
In comparison with other agricultural crops, cannabis does use a good deal of water. It is current opinion that cannabis cultivation should be limited based on water consumption.
The Humboldt Growers Association (now Emerald Growers Association) proposed an ordinance in 2010 stating that “marijuana used an average of 22.7 liters (6 gallons) of water a day.” The statistics in that report on gallons used per day per plant were overstated (Emerald Growers Association no longer supports these statistics.). Now they have been referenced again in the Bauer report “Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds.” Neither of these accounts takes into consideration water consumption in relation to total biomass. The square foot assessment does not account for the variation in water consumption per square foot relevant to the average height of a plant or garden. This will result in gross overestimates of water consumption and a reduction in production allowed by the county and or state.
A CURRENT ACCURATE CANNABIS WATER USE STUDY IS NOT YET ON RECORD. This paper will show that crops need to be measured volumetrically in gallons/day/pound if we are to be able to analyze the impact of cannabis on the water supply. Humboldt Growers Collective encourages all growers from Humboldt to submit to Humboldt Growers Collective their own water studies so that we may begin building a database of pertinent water information for our county.
Our current accepted system of growing cannabis encourages growers to remain at peak water consumption during the months that the aquifer is most in danger of collapsing.
Our hypothesis is that if we grow more and smaller plants while finishing them over a shorter life cycle, we can greatly reduce the total number of gallons it takes to grow a pound of cannabis. Further more, cannabis does not need to be grown during the dry months at all.
This study compares two gardens over a 5 year period from 2010-2014. We are presenting results as the 5 year average. Our test groups were a contrast of two very different growing techniques. Our prediction was that we could ascertain the high and low rates of cannabis water consumption. Our intent is to present these findings as a way to navigate the “cannabis water use issue.”
The various coefficients considered were:
– soil volume/surface area ratio: what is the ratio of soil, to surface area, to water consumption, to pounds yielded?
– soil density: does the soil contain a wetting agent? how does it distribute(utilize) the water?
– type of containment: what percentage of water is lost? what percent actually gets used by the plant?
– seed starts vs clone starts: Is there an advantage to one over the other?
– total area occupied by a “unit”: The subject unit varies in size between the two groups. the question is.”how many cubic feet does a pound of cannabis require?”
– water application and distribution: how is the water distributed?
– equilibrium: is the plant taller than it is wide? do plants proportions affect its metabolic rate?
– evapotranspiration ratio: larger plants evaporate and transpire more than smaller plants. do they do it as efficiently?
– plant hydraulics: amount of energy expended in pumping action per vertical inch of plant mass.
– production biomass vs. support biomass ratio: what percent of the total plant mass is “produce”? what percent of total mass is there to support the produce?
– harvest process: how laborious was the harvest process?
– product quality: does it decline in relationship to the plant’s overall biomass?
For our control group, we used the current model supported by the state, county and local environmentalist groups. Current belief is that this system will effectively limit cannabis cultivation and therefore water consumption. The emphasis on this system is on low plant count. This encourages the grower to run crops “full term” in hopes of maximizing yields, encouraging peak water consumption during the most impacted months.
This control group is the “Traditional 215” outdoor method, involving full term plants, 6 feet tall, with 99 plants in a garden. These plants are caged and tied vertically. We used the following equation to determine the control group’s consumption :
Total gallons/180 days = x / total yield = gallons/day/pound.( x = the average number of gallons consumed per day)
The particulars of this method are listed below:
– 6 month crop: beginning April 15th and ending October 15th
– 100 gallon pots on 12 ft. centers. total area of garden: 14400 sq. ft.
– 100 gallons of soil with wetting agent (surface area 12 sq. ft.) (8.3 gallons of soil per sq. ft. of surface area)
-1 clone per pot on 12’ ft. centers. (each unit area taking 144 sq. ft.)
– water was administered by hand with a hose. Exact bed by bed measurements were taken.
For our test group, we chose the most efficient system we could find. The parameters in this system are open-ended. This encourages the grower to run the most efficient crop they can. It allows the grower to get similar yields without growing during the dry season when the aquifer is at its low point.
This test group is based on the greenhouse light deprivation method involving short term clone plants, 3 feet tall. These plants are woven through a horizontal trellis netting system. We used the following equation to determine the control group’s consumption :
– Total gallons/90 days = x divided by total yield = gallons/day/pound.(x = average gallons consumed per day)
The particulars of this method are listed below:
– 3 month crop: beginning April 15th and ending July 15th
– 5’x5’ beds 8” deep. total area of garden: 4000 sq. ft.
– fully lined and contained beds
– 150 gallons of soil with wetting agent (surface area 25 sq. ft.) (6 gallons of soil per sq. ft of surface area)
– 6 clones per bed with 3 ft isles. (each unit area taking up 40 sq. ft.)
– water was administered by hand with a hose. exact bed by bed measurements were taken.
The first graph below charts the weekly water consumption per container for the term life of the control group.. The vertical axis is gallons used per week, while the horizontal axis is a week by week timeline.
Grow Period from April 15th to October 15 (approximately 180 days)
Total number of gallons used is 787 / 100 gal container / over 180 days
average yield was 2.5 pounds per container.
The second graph below charts water consumption per bed for the term life of the test group. The vertical axis is gallons used per week, while the horizontal axis is a week by week timeline.
Grow Period from April 15th to July 15 (approximately 90 days)
Total number of gallons used is 315 / 150 gal bed / over 90 days
average yield was 2.0 pounds per 25 sq. ft. bed.
– used 787 gallons per plant (unit)
– yielded 2.5 pounds per plant
– it took 315 gallons of water to grow one pound
– it used 4.375 an average gallons of water a day per plant (unit)……..It was not 22.7 litres or 6 gallons.
– it took 1.75 gallons a day for approximately 180 days to grow a pound given these conditions.
– this group was laid out like an orchard (12 ft centers) to keep one plant from shading another.
– this group took considerable work involving ladders
– the pot and surface soil were exposed to the sun
– half of the plant was always in the shade
– most of the plant matter(biomass) appeared to be infrastructure or support. Only 30% of the biomass was actual produce.
– the maintenance and tying was a lot of work – often involving cages
– it consumed the most water from mid July to mid September – right when the aquifer is low.
– it was harvested over two weeks in three stages.
– there were three distinct levels of quality: A (top buds), B (next tier, medium buds), and C (popcorn buds.)
– drying and curing were difficult in October during the rainy season. There were losses to mold.
– the crop was harvested when competition for sales is at its worst and prices are at their lowest. It did not sell until spring. It had to be stored for the winter. There was no money to pay the bills. There was no money to pay the employees. There was no money for Christmas.
– used 315 per bed (unit)
– yielded 2.0 pounds
– it took 158 gallons of water to grow one pound
– it used 3.5 gallons a day per bed (unit)……..almost a gallon a day less!
– it took 1.75 gallons a day for approximately 90 days to grow one pound.
– the beds did not shade each other
– all the work was at counter height. No overhead work. No work on ladders.
– the plants shaded their own soil
– the shallow soil seemed easier for the plants to utilize
– no part of the plant was in the shade
– most of the plant matter(biomass) appeared to be product not infrastructure. 70% of the biomass was product.
– once the initial netting was installed for the tie down there was no tying or support maintenance.
– it was harvest by early July so it never impacted the aquifer during the “red” months
– it was harvested in one day and in one stage (top bud only)
– there was one distinct level of quality: AAA top buds (control group never achieved this level of quality)
– this crop was harvested in July. It took no energy to dry it passively and there was no loss to mold.
– this crop was harvested early enough to sell at the peak high price for the season. The entire crop sold by October 1st; all the bills were paid and everyone got Christmas bonuses.
– this crops carbon footprint was considerably lower than the full term crop.
Dividing the total number of gallons used for “one unit’s” life cycle by the total number of days in the life cycle gives us the number of gallons used per day (x). Dividing the number of gallons used a day by the number of pounds per unit gives us the number of gallons per day per pound.
Total number of gallons / total number of days = x
Control group = 787 gals / 180 = 4.375 gals/day used / 2.5 lbs = 1.75 gal / day /pound
787 gals / 2.5 lbs = 315 gals / pound
Test group = 315 gals / 90 = 3.5 gals/day used / 2 lbs = 1.75 gal / day / pound
315 gals / 2 lbs = 158 gals / pound
Some comments on the various coefficients considered are listed below:
– Soil volume/surface area ratio: a low soil volume to a high surface area ratio allows the plant to breath, better utilize the soil volume, distribute water more evenly.
– Soil density: soils that contain wetting agents distribute moisture evenly, always accept water after drying, and may be recycled indefinitely. Heavy soils retain water at the bottom of the bed or pot while drying out on top. Heavy soils do not re-accept water after drying. Heavy soils must be replaced annually.
– Type of containment: plastic lined beds contain 100% of the water. Uncontained beds “bleed” from over watering and osmosis.
– Seed starts vs clone starts: seed starts are hearty, have a deep root system, strong upper structure, and use much more water. Clone starts are weaker, have shallow root system, weak upper structure, and use much less water.
– Total area occupied by a “unit”: the stand up plants require a large area around them to stop them from shading each other. In this study the area was 144 sq. ft. per “unit”.
A great advantage to the stand up plant is it can be grown on uneven ground. The light deprivation greenhouse requires level ground. The dep. bed occupies 40 sq. ft. per “unit”. The dep bed garden requires 30% of the space required by the stand up plant garden.
– Water application and distribution: although automated systems are much more efficient and dependable, in this study, water was administered by hand and measured. This insured that no water was lost in the process.
– Equilibrium: a plant’s proportions significantly affect its metabolic rate. Tall, skinny plants metabolize inefficiently, while short, wide plants metabolize efficiently.
– Evapotranspiration ratio: larger plants evaporate and transpire more than smaller plants
– Plant hydraulics: energy expended in pumping action per vertical inch of plant mass. Stand up plants expend a lot of energy just supporting their upper structure.
– Production biomass vs. support biomass ratio: the stand up plants are about 30% viable product and about 70% support structure. The opposite is true for the dep plants, they are 70% viable product and 30% support structure.
– Harvest process: the stand up plants took 2 weeks to harvest. The crop was never ready all at once. The greenhouse light deprivation plants were already at the same time and took one day to harvest.
– Product quality: the stand up plants had levels of quality: A,B,C. The highest quality of the stand ups never compared to the AAA quality of the greenhouse light dep cannabis.
As plants get larger, the amount of water utilized for one pound becomes larger in order to sustain the additional biomass of the “support system”. The first pie chart below shows the ratio of energy expended by the control group (30% product/70% support). The second pie chart illustrates the test group results (70% product/30% support).
Product quality is directly related to this ratio. As the ratio of marketable product goes down in relation to biomass so does product quality.
We believe that, paradoxically, more plants equal less water use. A higher plant count fills the soil volume faster, and, with light deprivation techniques, we can yield the same or more per year and use significantly less water.
Cannabis does not have to impact the aquifer during the dry months. The traditional method is at peak water consumption from August to October – the driest months of the year. The greenhouse light deprivation method does not consume any water during these months.
Humboldt county can raise cannabis quality dramatically and cut water use in half by moving towards light deprivation greenhouse growing.
As biomass increases past the point of “equilibrium” (when the plant grows taller than it is wide) cannabis reverts to a more “hemp like” product, resulting in a significant decrease in quality. As biomass increases past the point of “equilibrium”, the percentage of water utilized for gain decreases significantly, while the percentage of water diverted to support biomass increases significantly. This “ volumetric equation for biomass” incentivizes the Humboldt grower to use less water!
Finally, our concern is that a gross overestimate of water consumption will unfairly restrict Humboldt farmers. Faulty assumptions about Humboldt water use will also result in regulations that create a reduction in production and, therefore, market penetration. We do not hear anyone trying to restrict almond growers, but almond groves consume far more water than cannabis gardens. Let us base water use regulations here in Humboldt on common sense – talk to the farmers!
– Humboldt Growers Association proposed 2010 ordinance
– California State’s research article: “Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds.”
– Cannabis Voice: “6th draft ordinance”