A meeting in Humboldt County Tuesday night will address a looming issue facing many veterans in the marijuana industry; what happens if marijuana becomes legal? “It's time to talk about the elephant in the room,” said organizer Anna Hamilton, a long time Shelter Cove resident. “I've lived here 20 years and every time there's been a discussion, an open discussion, about marijuana, it has emboldened people to grow more pot with less fear,” she said.
“As it's become more widely grown, the prices dropped. The effect on our local economy is harsh. We have to embrace marijuana tourism, marijuana products and services -- and marijuana has to become a part of the Humboldt County brand. When you think about marijuana, you think about these big-timers, but I think the profile of the ultra-rich in the marijuana society parallel those of the regular society -- most people are not ultra-rich,” she said.
“It could be a healthy conversation about how it's going to affect our community economically, and what we can do,” said Kathy Moxon, the Director of Community Strategies at the Humboldt Area Foundation. “There needs to be something regionally.”
“There are a lot of blanket assertions about how this will affect our economy for better or for worse,” said Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace, who is the co-chair of a California State Association of Counties working group on marijuana. “And that we don't really know, because we haven't really had this discussion at a community level before. I think there's enough potential for change out there, and enough things in the works out there that this is the time to have that discussion.”
The original article (click here) highlights what I have been seeing in Oregon for the last handful of years. It wasn’t that long ago that so much BC Bud was coming in from Canada that people didn’t really think about what was going on domestically. But at the same time things started to change on the BC/Washington border, things also started to change on the US West Coast in regards to medical marijuana legislation, especially in California with the passage of SB 420.
It was a perfect storm; when BC was scarce, counties in California set limits that allowed local growers to produce enormous amounts of marijuana. Once the word got out, people starting flooding to the west coast like it was the new gold rush. As a result, the quality of the product has gone down, prices have gone up, and attention to the industry is at an all time high. Everyone and their grandmas are scrambling to get a medical card and a garden, with their eyes full of visions of grandeur (imagine how bad it will be if it was legal!). As a result, long time veterans all over the West Coast are feeling the pinch.