Wednesday, January 2, 2013

There is another cash crop... Marijuana

I was interviewed by two different television stations today, and one of them is doing a live broadcast from my farm as I type this. 

This came out of an interview I gave to the local paper, The Everett Herald.  The Herald has been great about writing about local agricultural issues.  

This interview was about legal marijuana.  The state of Washington is in the process of accepting comments on grower licensing, and by initiative is required to start issuing licenses later this year. 

KOMO TV 4 and KCPQ 13 both sent reporters to my farm this morning, and I gave an interview with both of them.   KOMO story hereStory in the Oregonian here.   KGMI radio story here

What's funny about the comments is how I might "ruin" pot for the commentor, or I might "grow it wrong", or somehow I'm not smart enough to figure things out, or to learn from experience. 

They sure have a low opinion of farmers, these commenters.  Selected comments below.

From commenter Mtnlooper: 

Pot Growing is a Craft 
"I've never smoked pot and have no interest in doing drugs." 

Yes, that's who we want growing our pot. Someone with zero experience with the product they expect to make $60,000 an acre on. He's aware that the state plans to pay $3 a gram and then tax him 25% on top of it, right? Greenhouse or not, there is no way you are making money at that price growing outdoors in Western Washington. If our climate was viable we'd be just like the Emerald Triangle in Cali, but it's not. The only consistently successful outdoor climates in WA are on the eastern side of the state. And not to mention the fact that he wants to produce a consumable product while being right next to two major highways! NO THANK YOU.

And he can wait in line, the idea that some idiot such as himself should get "first shot" at this is absurd. There are master growers in this state who work really hard and have years of experience that are infinitely more deserving of that first shot than he is. Pot growing is hard! Unless he's planning on hiring a STAFF of knowledgeable growers it will take him years to get to where he's producing an even remotely quality product, and again, he will never yield anywhere near enough in this climate to make money. 

Pot growing is no different than craft brewing, it is an art and some people do it better than others. I pray that the state pulls their head out of the sand over the next year while implementing these laws. What they are proposing WILL NOT WORK, unless you want extremely expensive, low grade pot; I absolutely guarantee that's what you'll get if ignorant pig farmers get the first shot at growing. UTTERLY ABSURD!"

[So only criminals should be allowed to grow?  Folks who ignored the law for years and paid no taxes at all?   These guys are pretty sure that only magic can produce good crops, and they're absolutely sure that I don't have that magic.   ]

From Commentor Fish Guy
"I agree
A simple greenhouse isnt going to suit it for security.The state is going to require a gates secure facility with guards,cameras,barcodes on every plant.Every ounce of the stuff will be looked at and tracked.This isnt going to be some fly by night operation by some guy on the flood plane looking to make a buck.Im sure the paperwork,licensing,and other things involved will throw a kibosh in anyones plans for being a grower.If you remember correctly this is the same guy who got that big rented trackhoe stuck on his property along the tressel then got another stuck trying to remove the first one.The trackhoes were stuck there for over a year before they were able to get them out.This guy is dreaming.It will never happen.

[Actually, the trackhoe was on a neighbors property.  But it did take a year to get it out.  ]

Commentor Mark Reichlen
"Keep it with the Farmers, Food Processors and Tax paying retailers
The licenses to grow should be limited to farmers with a history of growing food and livestock and paying all taxes. It should only be grown on agricultural zone land.

The licenses to process should be limited to folks with a history of agriculture department and health department compliance, and a history of paying all taxes. 

The licenses to retail should be limited to folks with a history of compliance with department of revenue reporting, Health licenses, and a history of paying all taxes. 

It would be a huge mistake to grant license to those who have participated in the black market. They can go to work for legitimate farmers, processors, and retailers. Those with skill would command a decent wage.

Deposits or Bonding should be required based on the value and volume of the license to assure that the taxes are paid. A half million minimum bond would prevent folks without a business track record from entering the market and assure that the taxes are paid. Bonding companies are better than government at vetting financial responsibility."

[Now he's actually saying something that makes sense to me.  I meet every one of these criteria.  In fact, if the liquor control board does bar people with felony convictions from growing, many of the current growers will be excluded from this market.  But no fear; there are plenty of law-abiding folks who will happily step in.  Here's to profitable farming! ]


Unknown said...

I'm excited to see what you can do for the community by building a local source for good marijauna. I have been a medical marijuana patient and designated provider since 2006, I'm passionate about helping hurting and dying people get some relief naturally. The big concern has always been the quality of cannabis and what goes into it since the whole point is knowing what you are putting into your body as medicine. I have spent the last 10 years in the healthcare feild as an army medic, caregiver and hospice caregiver. Growing good pot will help alot of ill & aging people with their pain so I hope you are successful with the state. Let me know if you need some insight into the industry from a medical patient's perspective, I'm just across the tressel.

Joanne said...

Have you considered what the federal government's response might be to someone growing commercially?

I know someone in Oregon who's growing for medical marijuana use (he grows for a distributor), and I know that DATF is more or less hands off for those people, but I think they may step up enforcement on people growing for larger recreational markets.

Personally, until it becomes legal at the federal level, I wouldn't touch a crop like that with a 10' pole. You think you have a lot of government scrutiny with your pig farm, I can't imagine what it would be like at the federal level growing an illegal crop.

Unknown said...

how to grow cannabisin indoor. But cannabis growing is illegal in some countries but I think It should not be illegal in those countries because If their are any negative points by growing this then on the other hand there are also some positive points.