The Indoor Pot Story
“Today, indoor-grown pot is king. A weed that grows naturally in the sun has been tamed into an industrial product that is branded like soda pop and as subject to fashion as women’s shoes.”
The LA Times is running an excellent story today about the economic and social impacts of indoor grows and how consumer demand is creating a “crop” of growers. Sam Quinones (full disclosure–I’ve spoken to him multiple times) says that,
A Nov. 2 ballot measure to legalize limited cultivation and use of marijuana is the talk of Northern California’s “Emerald Triangle,” where indoor pot is an economic mainstay. The effect that legalization would have on the marijuana market is unclear. Much would depend on the policies enacted by cities and counties, which would have power to regulate and tax production and sales. Oakland is making plans to allow cultivation in warehouses, which could affect prices.
What is clear is that consumers now harbor a powerful fetish for indoor weed. A potent bud is no longer enough. Like connoisseurs of wine or coffee, pot smokers want cachet: an exotic look, a distinctive smell of cheese or lemon. This requires growing indoors, where plants can be coddled, protected from the elements and blasted with nutrients.
I don’t agree with Quinones that the distinctive looks/smells can only be produced indoors but I do agree that indoors allows a rapid turnaround on breeding which allows the grower to start new strains quicker in response to market pressures. However, one of the major points of this article is that indoor growing is driven by prohibition. I think his article points to the fact that large indoor growing might be one of the casualties of legalization.
Those who are indoor farmers and the businesses who depend on them are an important part of the Emerald Triangle’s current economic reality. There are entrepreneurs out there who are readying businesses and growers and government officials who are readying laws for the new reality of legalization (whether 19 passes or not, other states are looking at legalization.) I’m hoping that indoor growers and businesses who depend on them start looking for ways to thrive even with the new changes. I’m also hoping those ways are more environmentally sustainable than the current model.