Humboldt Pot Growers Look towards the Future

Like so much about the North Coast, the marijuana was covert, implied rather than stated. The large sign at Saturday’s Cannabis Forum proclaimed Humboldt Medical Advisory Panel as the host of the event. Scattered across the background were marijuana leaves followed by the words “legal, sustainable, compassionate” but the designer had forgotten to include an important component—the sign should have read Humboldt Medical MARIJUANA Advisory Panel.  In this case, it was an accident but actually saying the word marijuana can be difficult at public events. People seem to fear invoking the term as though somehow they will get in trouble.  Supervisor Mark Lovelace related how our government is full of officials who are currently tasked with implementing laws under 215 that “Quite frankly … can’t say marijuana at full volume.”

In spite of the omission on the sign, this event pushed open the closet door a little wider inviting the growers to step forward, make their needs known, and shape the laws that will be affecting them. And to that end, there were speakers from the media, government, legal services, medical services, etc.

One of the most informative was Mel Pearlston who spoke about medical marijuana.  The point that hit home with the gathered crowd was that dispensary owners and customers are protected under current law but growers at the point of sale are actually doing something illegal.  He said the grower is in jeopardy, not the dispensary… So in the vendor/ dispensary relationship, “the legal and only legal way for a dispensary to acquire marijuana in a fashion that will protect the grower is for the grower to be an employee of the dispensary.” He suggested that a grower could lease their land and facilities to a dispensary and become an employee of that business.  Thus the marijuana would belong to the dispensary from the beginning and the grower would be paid for the work.

Dr. Courtney and Humboldt Patient Resource Center registered dietician, Chelsey Brown, both spoke about the medical benefits of juicing.  Dr. Courtney showed pictures of and discussed marijuana strains high in the cannabinoid, CBD, that have been recently developed.  He called it a “dietary essential” for those over 30. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and be efficacious in multiple illnesses. Brown gave anecdotal evidence of how juicing was extremely helpful in many cases at their center.

Of course, legalization was discussed.  Mauricio Garzon, a campaign coordinator for Proposition 19, pointed out that “cannabis has less deaths attributed to it than aspirin” and thus should be legal. Dan Rush, political director from United Food and Commercial Workers Union, spoke further on what legalization would look like. That prompted one of the few outbursts of the day.  One audience member angrily insisted that the proposed law would criminalize youth smoking but others pointed out that youth as well those over 21 are already criminals for smoking.  Prop. 19 allows nearly all adults to smoke free of fear.

The speakers offered practical advice on how to deal with the shifting waters of the changing times. Charlie Custer, of the Tea House Collective, summed up the event by stating, “We don’t have to know the future to start making sense of it.”

The sense that many had was that it was time to come out of the closet and speak the word marijuana loudly enough that policy makers could hear how many lives are affected by the economy of cannabis.

UPDATE:  There have been some excellent pieces on this meeting.  The Reporta did one of the finest here. Times Standard had good coverage also.

UPDATE2: The Arcata TV posted several clips including one of Kevin Hoover, Hank Sims, and myself (note to self: no photos from below ever again!)

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

24 comments

  • “the legal and only legal way for a dispensary to acquire marijuana in a fashion that will protect the grower is for the grower to be an employee of the dispensary.” He suggested that a grower could lease their land and facilities to a dispensary and become an employee of that business. Thus the marijuana would belong to the dispensary from the beginning and the grower would be paid for the work.”

    I GUESS ,THAT`S WHAT I`LL HAVE TO DO .

  • “the legal and only legal way for a dispensary to acquire marijuana in a fashion that will protect the grower is for the grower to be an employee of the dispensary.” He suggested that a grower could lease their land and facilities to a dispensary and become an employee of that business. Thus the marijuana would belong to the dispensary from the beginning and the grower would be paid for the work.”

    I GUESS ,THAT`S WHAT I`LL HAVE TO DO .

  • That would allow the Empire’s forces to search your land and detain any possible insurgents if they were to claim the business owed them taxes or violated their rules. It is best to just not play the tax game at all- it is nothing more than chicken and egg, plus every cent of taxes collected goes to offshore banks that are called the federal reserve. You owe nothing to offshore bankers, and the debt is just made up- why engage in slavery and work for free so banksters can buy a new porshe?

  • That would allow the Empire’s forces to search your land and detain any possible insurgents if they were to claim the business owed them taxes or violated their rules. It is best to just not play the tax game at all- it is nothing more than chicken and egg, plus every cent of taxes collected goes to offshore banks that are called the federal reserve. You owe nothing to offshore bankers, and the debt is just made up- why engage in slavery and work for free so banksters can buy a new porshe?

  • Dennis A. (Tony) Turner

    I think that the jury is still out on all that stuff. Recently one court ruling stated that a grower had a right to deliver to a dispensary. No stipulation of needing to be an employee was made there. All of our growers in our subsidiary “the Humboldt Cooperative” (THC) are independent contractors with State of California Board of Equalization sellers permits. I believe that this issue will need to be settled in court. Because we must transition to growing all of our own product in Arcata, we will serve our grower body through our other subsidiary “The Emerald Traingle management Group” (TETMG), formed and launched specifically to help deal with this issue and to provide an outlet for our THC vendors. We expect that we will all need to work with local regulatory entities keep the cottage industry alive, and away from the high rollers that will attempt to displace us. We need to get together and have a grower community assessment meeting to identify the top ten grower concerns and priorites as they/we the growers see them. The Humboldt California Association (THCA) is the parent company of both THC and ETMG, and my employer. THCA is willing to be of assistance in helping to keep our rural growers growing medical pot by providing professional community assessment services and helping to draft grower friendly regulations that we can all live with.

    • Tony,

      I heard that, too. I’ve been looking around trying to find more but haven’t had much time. I’ll keep looking and post here if I find a link.

  • Dennis A. (Tony) Turner

    I think that the jury is still out on all that stuff. Recently one court ruling stated that a grower had a right to deliver to a dispensary. No stipulation of needing to be an employee was made there. All of our growers in our subsidiary “the Humboldt Cooperative” (THC) are independent contractors with State of California Board of Equalization sellers permits. I believe that this issue will need to be settled in court. Because we must transition to growing all of our own product in Arcata, we will serve our grower body through our other subsidiary “The Emerald Traingle management Group” (TETMG), formed and launched specifically to help deal with this issue and to provide an outlet for our THC vendors. We expect that we will all need to work with local regulatory entities keep the cottage industry alive, and away from the high rollers that will attempt to displace us. We need to get together and have a grower community assessment meeting to identify the top ten grower concerns and priorites as they/we the growers see them. The Humboldt California Association (THCA) is the parent company of both THC and ETMG, and my employer. THCA is willing to be of assistance in helping to keep our rural growers growing medical pot by providing professional community assessment services and helping to draft grower friendly regulations that we can all live with.

    • Tony,

      I heard that, too. I’ve been looking around trying to find more but haven’t had much time. I’ll keep looking and post here if I find a link.

  • In response to the “cannabis has less deaths attributed to it than aspirin” quote…

    As I understand it, one major causes of “physical damage” (to the liver) of prescription drug abuse is the large amount of aspirin that someone can unknowingly ingest while taking too many pills as many prescription pills have aspirin in them as a secondary active ingredient. The physical danger was not as a result of the active ingredient (the drug).

    I would argue similarly for THC when people bring up the smoking issue: smoking marijuana is just a method of getting THC (and derivatives), which are essentially harmless. If you want to combat the dangers of smoking go after the dangers of smoking, don’t attribute it to the compounds that are using smoking to crudely extract them.

    Personally, I’m surprised that with the ability to infuse THC into food and/or purify it into pill form that the dispensaries are offering marijuana in it’s “natural form” at all. The whole “smoking” issue seems to cloud the issues too much. I believe if they started out in an unrecognizable (acceptable) state (like pills) and then slowly moved towards “natural product” the stigma would be reduced and the laws would open up much quicker. If nothing else, outsiders on the issue would probably recognize pills/food more as medicine then they do when they see a dispensary with “all that dope in jars” with names like “Funky Butter” and “Wild Slippery Kickass”. Making it look like drugs are being openly sold makes the whole thing look like a sham to someone who hasn’t made up their mind on the issue or is slightly against it.

    Also: “Dan Rush, political director from United Food and Commercial Workers Union, spoke further on what legalization would look like.” . Do you know of where I can find what he said it would look like (or already know and could summarize it)?

    • I especially agree that the names of strains may actually be hurting the gower’s cause. The winner of the June Cannabis was called God’s Pussy–that is guaranteed to set back legalization!

      I had thought Kmud was going to archive the sound but I don’t see it on their site. I’ll check around and try and find out. I have it on my recorder but I’m unwilling to spend an hour transcribing it.

  • In response to the “cannabis has less deaths attributed to it than aspirin” quote…

    As I understand it, one major causes of “physical damage” (to the liver) of prescription drug abuse is the large amount of aspirin that someone can unknowingly ingest while taking too many pills as many prescription pills have aspirin in them as a secondary active ingredient. The physical danger was not as a result of the active ingredient (the drug).

    I would argue similarly for THC when people bring up the smoking issue: smoking marijuana is just a method of getting THC (and derivatives), which are essentially harmless. If you want to combat the dangers of smoking go after the dangers of smoking, don’t attribute it to the compounds that are using smoking to crudely extract them.

    Personally, I’m surprised that with the ability to infuse THC into food and/or purify it into pill form that the dispensaries are offering marijuana in it’s “natural form” at all. The whole “smoking” issue seems to cloud the issues too much. I believe if they started out in an unrecognizable (acceptable) state (like pills) and then slowly moved towards “natural product” the stigma would be reduced and the laws would open up much quicker. If nothing else, outsiders on the issue would probably recognize pills/food more as medicine then they do when they see a dispensary with “all that dope in jars” with names like “Funky Butter” and “Wild Slippery Kickass”. Making it look like drugs are being openly sold makes the whole thing look like a sham to someone who hasn’t made up their mind on the issue or is slightly against it.

    Also: “Dan Rush, political director from United Food and Commercial Workers Union, spoke further on what legalization would look like.” . Do you know of where I can find what he said it would look like (or already know and could summarize it)?

    • I especially agree that the names of strains may actually be hurting the gower’s cause. The winner of the June Cannabis was called God’s Pussy–that is guaranteed to set back legalization!

      I had thought Kmud was going to archive the sound but I don’t see it on their site. I’ll check around and try and find out. I have it on my recorder but I’m unwilling to spend an hour transcribing it.

  • Some of the speakers and panels were filmed and archived at

    http://www.arcatatv.com/videos

    Don’t know if Dan’s among them. KMUD may still get their archives up, it sometimes takes awhile.

  • Some of the speakers and panels were filmed and archived at

    http://www.arcatatv.com/videos

    Don’t know if Dan’s among them. KMUD may still get their archives up, it sometimes takes awhile.

  • Thanks for the link(s)!

  • Thanks for the link(s)!

  • Thanks for the love, and it was wonderful to finally meet you outside of the cyberworld.

  • Thanks for the love, and it was wonderful to finally meet you outside of the cyberworld.

  • Pingback: Exploring the Future of Humboldt and Marijuana | The Reporta

  • Pingback: Exploring the Future of Humboldt and Marijuana | The Reporta

  • why…why oh why hasn’t this been given more attention?!?! I only heard about it on the radio this morning, wish I could’ve listened to the whole interview.

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1449_cfa_20100419_135927_sen_comm.html

    …they discussed on the radio how even the new “legalization” bill doesn’t reduce misdemeanors to infractions, including cases of possession. An infraction is like a speeding ticket, and you won’t end up in jail…you don’t even have to go to court…think of how many minor possession cases waste days of court at a time?…but a misdemeanor could send you behind bars and it stays on your record…which affects future employment, living opportunities, social benefits, etc. I’d say this bill’s at least as big a “step” toward complete decriminalization as the money-minded prop 19 law would be.

  • why…why oh why hasn’t this been given more attention?!?! I only heard about it on the radio this morning, wish I could’ve listened to the whole interview.

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_1401-1450/sb_1449_cfa_20100419_135927_sen_comm.html

    …they discussed on the radio how even the new “legalization” bill doesn’t reduce misdemeanors to infractions, including cases of possession. An infraction is like a speeding ticket, and you won’t end up in jail…you don’t even have to go to court…think of how many minor possession cases waste days of court at a time?…but a misdemeanor could send you behind bars and it stays on your record…which affects future employment, living opportunities, social benefits, etc. I’d say this bill’s at least as big a “step” toward complete decriminalization as the money-minded prop 19 law would be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *