When I was growing up you had to be careful where you kept your weed. The business was still very much at the brown paper packet stage. We had not reached the point where packaging cost more than the product. In the wine industry, though, bottle makers were already earning more than people that made the grapes, and I didn't even dare to mention the printers doing the labels.
I notice the same trend developing on the paraphernalia side of things. I can still find good deals in a headshop I have been using for a while. Other suppliers seem less interested in making quality products at a price that I can afford. The wine industry is once again a case in point. 'Terroir' or the district where the wine comes from has become a horror word to shoppers, and is doubling the price of certain bottles.
Image Source: Mont Rouge California: California Historical Society / Public Domain
I felt a tingle of quaint amusement, or was that 'terroir' when I paged through a blog and discovered Mendocino County, California is on the way to doing something similar. I have an aversion to artificial pricing. I shall continue to dislike a three-pointed star until I can afford a certain German marque, and a chauffeur to keep it shiny too.
I decided to follow the appellation trail to see where it went, which for the record is a legally defined and protected geographical area identifying where something grown comes from, like Cuba cigars. Stop the Drug War provides a more detailed explanation of what California's Emerald Triangle marijuana-growing counties are planning.
Image Source: Renewable Privy: Sarang / Public Domain
I may have difficulty getting my mind around the likes of Mendocino Covelo/Dos Rios OG Kush, or South Mendocino County Sour Diesel for that matter. Whatever happened to days of happy hippies when we did it in a cornfield? Am I alone in my desire to relocate to permaculture, which is a movement to keep things simple, so our planet can afford our maintenance cost?
The desire for fancy marijuana labels is riding on the back of the unproven theory that Californian lawmakers, and the people at the food and drug, are about to see the light of day in the blinding flash of a popping cannabis seed, and quietly announce that headshops and farmers are finally free to do what they do best. With the tobacco and liquor companies leeching campaign funds the way they are, there might just sufficient momentum for this to take off.
America's department stores could soon be queuing up to stock 'bespoke marihuana' and 'cannabis for connoisseurs' when this happens. If they can make a profession out of selling socks, and a passion for panties from a few strips of nylon, the mind boggles with what they could do with noble weed. Will we have marijuana bars selling lipstick samples?Their obsession with quality is the tipping point the California Growers' Association is gambling on.
Image Source: Bergdorf Goodman New York: Christopher Peterson / CC 3.0
The possibility must be worrying them of some South American, or heaven forbid East Asian farmer undercutting them with a generic alternative. This is why they are trumpeting, 'We want people to come out and visit our tasting rooms. We want the debate and the talk about our appellations, and which one does it better than another.' We have come a long way since the price per kilo could be the deciding factor.
Do your best not to get confused between the California Growers' Association, the California Tomato Growers' Association, The California Wool Growers' Association, and the California Cotton Ginners and Growers' Associations. The one you are after is the no-name brand. I think they should come out the closet. Write and tell us what you think.
The California You-Know-What Growers' Association Facebook has a picture of the State Legislature as the cover image. This could be enough to make a few representatives smoke like a badly loaded hookah. Their webpage is slightly less in your face, although it does pong of big money when it proclaims:
Image Source: California Growers' Association Facebook
"The mission of the California Growers Association is the promotion and protection of the independent farms and businesses in the cannabis industry and the protection of the public health and patient's rights, the restoration of natural resources and watersheds, and to provide for the welfare of communities and the mutual benefit of public and private interests." That is quite a mouthful. Will someone please teach them about run-on sentences only hack writers are supposed to use?
To get back to terroir of the matter, they divided their turf into a series of distinct areas. Each region has a different soil type and microclimate allegedly affecting the quality of the high, or the efficacy of the medicine. The names they chose need a big mouth to get around them, namely
Comptche, Covelo-Dos Rios, Long Valley-Branscomb-Leggett, Mendocino Coast, Mountainhouse South Mendocino County, North Mendocino Coast, Potter Valley, South Anderson Valley South Mendocino, Spyrock-Bell Springs, Ukiah Valley, and Willits. Can you get a handle on that? How are out-of-towners supposed to guess where these places are?