When Marijuana is Legalized…Let's Think Proactively
Professional Clippers abound in the Emerald Triangle
Legalizing marijuana has become a question not if but when (probably not in the next year but, almost certainly in the next twenty). The problem for Humboldt and the Emerald Arena is societal acceptance in the form of laws means economic breakdown. Or does it? Can this area capitalize on its marijuana expertise? According to an editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal, it can.
The author, Janie Sheppard, speculates that economic laws as stated by Nobel Prize winner, Paul Krugman, indicate that areas of production center around areas of expertize i.e. the Netherlands and Tulips. In other words, the North Coast, long a center for illegal grows could become a center for legal production of marijuana if it capitalizes on the specialized knowledge of its people. One commenter to the editorial speculated, …”a million different opportunities will rise from the end of prohibition, everything from coffee-shops, head shops, delivery services, bakeries, hydro stores, etc. The taxes generated could be used to build our state into a self reliant super-economy.”
Our counties already have a base of knowledgeable marijuana professionals (yes, the word applies) these folks could start or man small businesses. Tourist industries, already a staple in this region could expand and small “winery” type grows that specialize in certain flavors or certain medicinal strains could become legal and licensed.
Taxes, licensing, following regulations and other legitimate debts will take a bite out of profits. Costs will drop but probably not precipitously as long as other states maintain laws against production (Worldwide legalization is ideal but not imminent.) Conversely, though, expenses associated with illegality i.e. money used to conceal production, lawyer fees, etc. will drop.
If we start a conversation now on how to work within the probable new laws (and even work to ensure the new laws don’t result in financial catastrophe for areas of the Emerald Arena), we might not just survive the change, we might flourish.