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Checking the Emerald Triangle’s Pulse on Legalization

Humboldt Growers Cannabis Now
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now


Checking the Emerald Triangle’s Pulse on Legalization

An analytics firm focused on the emerging legal cannabis industry is conducting a survey of Humboldt County growers to gauge how they perceive the impacts of regulation rolling out in 2018.

California’s Emerald Triangle is the cultural home of the cannabis industry and an undeniably big wheel in the scheme of both state and national cannabis distribution. There’s no telling for certain how much NorCal cannabis is “diverted” to other states, but based on “anecdotal data,” the out-of-state demand has only grown.

Take for example Joey Burger, a longtime Humboldt grower, who told High Times in 2015 that out-of-state demand was spiking majorly.

“The buyers that come here used to come for hundred packs, now they come for thousand packs,” he said. “Markets are opening up all around the country.”

Since then, uncertainty about the impacts of regulation has only increased the incentive for certain growers to work on the illicit market, so it makes sense that people looking to invest in the regulated end of cannabis would be interested in where the Emerald Triangle’s head is at in regards to legalization.

Enter New Frontier Data, one of several analytics firms looking to carve a niche out of the expanding legal cannabis market. Their latest endeavor is a survey of Humboldt County growers.

New Frontier Executive Vice President of Industry Analytics John Kagia told the Eureka Times-Standard that the input of Humboldt growers is key to providing an accurate picture of how a major hub of production is responding to the emerging regulatory framework.

From the Times-Standard:

“The survey is targeting growers in the Humboldt region because we’re really trying to understand not just how they are currently producing, but also how they preparing for the transition to the new recreational market and what impact they think it will have to their operations…. We hope that the community will embrace this effort because we really do want this to be a platform that gives the community a voice and one which allows not just the rest of the state, but the rest of the country to better understand what we believe to be the most important cannabis producing region in the world.”

It’s important to bear in mind that many growers in the Triangle were not supportive of Prop 64 or its predecessor Prop 19, which some analysts say was narrowly defeated precisely because of a lack of support in this key region.

Sunshine Johnston is one of the Humboldt growers New Frontier spoke with during its research. Her take on legalization summed up the uncertainty many in the industry feel.

“I grew up during the drug war — I had to survive then and I have to survive now. The risks now are much more challenging; you can’t see them. Before it was a little cat-and-mouse game with helicopters,” she said. “Now I don’t even know what the risks are or the dangers are: I can’t tell if I’m walking into a dream or a nightmare — honestly, I really don’t know.”

TELL US, are you a Humboldt grower? Take the survey HERE

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