NY Times Takes a Look at Humboldt Growers Vs Corporate Farms in the Desert

Cannabis growing.

Cannabis growing in a hooped greenhouse.

From the desert to the land of towering redwood trees, from small farmers to corporate greenhouses lining the landscape, the today’s NY Times takes a quick look at the possible future of marijuana growing in California.

In their article, the Triangle’s Patrick Murphy of Emerald Family Farms speaks up for the non-corporate grower. His organization represents farmers who are banding together to sell their product in ways that can be competitive against big canna-businesses. He argues that some cannabis consumers will want to support the small farmer. He says, “In California, especially in Humboldt, we have a code of conduct: Respect the land and respect the people,” he said. “I don’t want that culture to be replaced by guys in $5,000 suits.”

Contrasted with the Triangle’s growers is the vision offered by the Mayor Richard Kerr of Adelanto, a city located in the desert not far from Los Angeles. It averages 5.5 inches of rain annually. The article states,

Given the state’s ongoing drought, farmers have already begun marketing themselves as environmentally friendly, despite all the electricity required to grow marijuana indoors.

“They all have irrigation systems, where the water goes down into the soil and they can recycle it,” Mr. Kerr said. “We’re trying to stay on the green side of things here.”

It’s hard however to imagine the water needed to grow cannabis being available in environmentally sound ways in the deserts of Southern California.



  • “I don’t want that culture to be replaced by guys in $5,000 suits.” The culture being guys with 5k in tattoos, 65k in truck, 30k glass pipes and millions in land deals. Yeah, those corporate guys are wack! And he “speaks up for the non-corporate grower”, but his whole structure is corporate and they charge a fee for a protection racket. Are 3 acre conversions respecting the land?

  • Respect the land, respect the people. Sounds nice but I don’t see a whole lot of it going on.

  • Ha ,yeah right Patrick , you and your grower mates respect the land, more like your business is going away when it goes legal. The sooner the better I say.

    • Obviously you don’t know Patrick. He doesn’t have 1 tattoo, he doesn’t drive a truck, and he doesn’t smoke out of glass! As far as Emerald Family Farms is concerned, it was designed to protect and unite small farmers in the area. It gives them the platform to showcase their own brand. There is no fee for a “protection racket”, wharever that is. In regards to the 3 acre conversion, you can only get one of those in the lifetime of owning a property. If you bought a piece of property with the intention of just building a home, you would need this permit. You should probably educate yourself on what’s going on in your area before you make ignorant comments about people and businesses you know nothing about.

      • Oh hey emerald queen , looks like you’re full of it.bitter from knowledge has the real scoop on Patrick. nice try though.

      • I said the culture, not Pat. There is a racket fee. I know what a 3 acre conversion is. I was making a point that his land deals usually involve, already cleared land or land that will be cleared and not for a “home”, to grow weed. I might be more “educated” on whats going on “in my area” then you think. His little group isn’t here to unite growers and producers or to make positive changes for the community. His group only wants to conquer and divide. He’s in it for the big money and he is in bed with big money. How is his group any better than a corporation?

  • Bitter From Knowledge

    I know Patrick. Not to be trusted. He sold us (smaller mom and pop scenes) all down the creek with his scam. Now he is busy helping set up outside interests to come and blow up 1 acre grows. He came here post- 2000 and made big stacks of cash on blowing up mega-scenes until his greed and association with Dimmick got him popped. Then he became a bullshitter telling us locals how WE should be doing it. I have zero respect for that guy. Few fall for his crap but many pretend to be friendly since he positioned himself well in selling out our county. He cares so much. For himself! Don’t be taken in by his pretty words. He is a green rusher turned scam artist shark. He doesn’t care about Humboldt! He’s not from here, he came here to make big money and take advantage of the environment we had created. Like a parasite. Then he pushed legislation to kill the small family farmer! Now he drinks with his buddy Ted as they plot together to control distribution out of here since they know they can chisel down the desperate growers as their tailored laws kick in. Sure, it’s just corporate-raider-style business ethics brought here. But his bullcrap lines about loving and respecting this place are disgusting. As are the frightened people drinking his kool-aid. He should have stayed in Carolina- we’d all be Finah. ps- I’ll tell you how this ends. Agri-Biz uses the laws pushed by Woods, Ted and CCV-H and takes the lion’s share of production out of this area. Humboldt County goes into a major economic depression. Patrick gets a job as a corporate consultant driving a fancy car while his neighbors lose their homes. Later, in history books, Patrick is listed as a “hero of legalization”. Corporate domination is praised as saving us all from “the scary black-market growers”. Who are now struggling poor and working on corporate farms for minimum wage. And Patrick and a couple of close friends live happily like ballers ever after. And he still says he cares so much. The End.

  • Sure hope Humboldt can overcome the corporations!

  • From Jon Chiv Blog

    KevinJodrey and Luke Bruner had a “mutual parting” or the “Donald ” of Humboldt Cannabis got fired?
    An anymous but close source to both said Luke Bruner and Kevin Jodrey had “parted ways”.

    Rumors that Bruner had been fired were circulating around but my source was more comfortable saying they had “parted ways.

    In either case, Bruner had been dubbed by LOCO as Donald Trump of marijuana messaging.

    According to some other sources, the dumping extended to Bruner’s personal life as well.

  • I would like to invite EVERYONE to set aside Patrick Murphy, Ted Simpkins, Luke Brennor, Woods, Emerald Family Farms, True Humboldt, CCVH, the other lady making your tincture, the indoor grower, the outdoor grower, the person that picked a name too similar to yours, and all other people and entities that are in the mix, just for a moment.

    The little known fact that the benefits of participating in the black market, high end cannabis industry FAR out weighed the possible consequences in MOST cases has attracted a certain kind of brilliant person throughout the years. This type of person has an above average IQ. This type of person is remarkably resourceful, gifted, talented and self suffient. May I say that Humboldt is full of beautiful men, women and children? It’s a remarkable gene pool of humans. Pioneers in all of our glory.

    We are the type of people who are willing to take some risks AND pay the consequences (so many), to have an opportunity to earn a degree of REAL freedom most human beings have and NEVER will experience on this planet.

    The fact that the neandertholic War on Drugs is BEGINING to end, starting with Cannabis ( how healing is that?l) is beautiful. It is also very sad and scary for many of us who have benefitted from this refuge that the laws had created for those of us brave enough to fight for what we believe in.

    What ever the reason that we ALL have ended up in the black cannabis market, no matter what year it was, or just rural living, is really the same: that what ever our alternatives were, it was unacceptable enough to us to have the courage to forge out another way of life. I cry over the loss this. It breaks my heart.

    But the fact is, what ever role you do or dont play, we are all effected by this transformational event in history, and we are all fortunate enough to be living in interesting times. We are all in this together, whether we like it or not.

    We are NOT in competition with each other, despite our beliefs on this matter. We are in competition with TIME. We are already nearing 6 months into a two year race against time and it seems like the majority of people are squandering it away criticizing and condemning (FEARING) when we should ALL be working together like our life depends on it…..because it does.

    The laws passed could have barred the majority of us for life by simply saying that anyone with an arrest in their life was ineligible to participate in any way. Or scrutizing our finaces and having to prove every penny of where we got our start up money…Then what? I am not so concerned with HOW things where passed, because what DID pass doesn’t bar any of us from having a strike at this, if we are willing to do what it takes to make it happen. One of these things is being REALISTIC.

    If we are not willing or wanting this, and value the freedom and elitism of the fading life style, if we are true back to the landers and will not participate in this system, all is not lost! There are other illegal medicinal drugs to be cultivated such as mushrooms. There are dairies aplenty to supply grow medium (oooh, its good for the environment! You can upcyle dairy waste!!) Paul Staments has several books that could help you in this endevour. Or possibly some toads could go into the green house and DMT could be your new thing? It will probably bring the Heat after a few years, start a whole new cylce of cops and robbers and we could be back to the old days in no time…

    It suprises me that people are expecting our entrance back into the corrupt system that we purposefully left to be virginous and snow white upon our renterance, like we are so special!

    We need to BE the CHANGE we want to see…we must be present and participating…its the only way that works. There is HUGE business coming in. Together, we have the ability to out produce any of them, but not by shit talking.

    We already are a huge business! We need to make the new market understand that we DONT need huge monsters to provide what they need….because we can and we are way cooler! A consumer culture doesn’t really care about anything MORE THAN consuming. We can emotionally appeal people all we want, if we don’t want anything to happen.

    Let’s have a great future by showing that all of us ‘little guys’ TOGETHER can meet the consumption needs of our state, SUPERIOR to the ability of a corporate giant….we may even need to look similar to those corporate giants so people comprehend what we’re doing because they’ve never seen anything like it before, or maybe we can just rock it our way?

    If you don’t like how the current players are doing things….please, I beg of you, to step up to the plate with a better way! I don’t recal Luke forcefully grabbing the mic out of anyone’s hands or anyone taking it away from him. A better and more mature way to challenge Patrick and Ted or True Humboldt or the other lady making tincture, is to give them a run for their money where it actually means something…as a competitor. The opportunity is there, but the time is running out. We need shelf space and products out there in mass so we don’t get FORGOTTEN. If we don’t do this we will be lucky if we get a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream named after us.

    Success is not a place with limited room for few…but if people aren’t stepping up, there may be only a few there by default…if we are going to do this everyone of us is needed…the legal war is ending. Now we can be warriors on a new front! We can change how things are done by showing the world how we’ve always done it….a little bit better and way more interesting.

    I urge everyone in our community to accept how immensely valuable you are!!! Courage is doing something even though you are affraid. We are all needed for all of our unique qualities and gifts, if we are to survive. We have 100,000’s of years of indigenous knowledge together….what’s that worth to us?

    We need to be activating, not hating. If you don’t like what you see, then do something different/productive/effective and please let us know so we can vote through our CHOICES. Choices are good along the journey. How are we going to kick ass in the real market and enjoy the biggest pay off ever????…a truelly perfect crime???????

    If you just want to keep things how they are and your time share in Coasta Rica with out upping the game, just grow some mushrooms or raise some toads instead.

    I look forward to seeing people’s fresh ideas and business strategies out in our community as soon as possible.

    If you are an archetype hater, please stop draining the precious little time and energy we have to make SOMETHING work. If you are turning who we are and what we stand for into a gimmick, I beg of you to rethink what you are doing to all of us. But for Christ’s sake, if you are doing NOTHING, please start rowing or get off the damn boat already!

    Please people! LESS ASS and MORE INTELLIGENCE!!!!! We are being ‘watched’ now more than ever before…let’s show our strength, not our weakness! I want a happy ending to tell my grandchildren, don’t you? That ending/new begining is earned, its not a fucking right or a privilege!


  • That’s a good point about the water, Kym.

    I suspect that the situation unfolding in the desert will give the lie to the burgeoning statewide concern over cannabis’s water footprint and its other potential environmental impacts.

    The fact that cannabis grown under fake lights in an air-cooled building in the desert is seen as more legitimate than outdoor cultivation in the north shows unequivocally that they’re more concerned about control and tax money than they are about environmental issues.

    • It certainly seems worrisome for the environment.

      • How so?
        If you look at the largest greenhouse companies that produce product, they all collect rainwater and use reciculotory systems to operate.
        If they didn’t, it would not be economically viable to pay a municipality for their service based on their usage.
        Big Greenhouse AG understands this and implements it to increase their margins. It’s a no brainier for business and happens to be good for the “environment”

  • Appalachian War

    Emerald Family Farms is a obvious corporate model, umbrella model is their strategy.
    A masterbrand that provides structure for and lends credibility to other brands belonging to the same corporation. The corporate umbrella drives consumers’ purchase decisions and transfers brand value to new products and services.
    This is what drives our wine industry only structured slightly opposite.
    Rather than promoting the master brand as the public image, they hide the conglomerate, image and market as multiple small family farms. This gives the consumer the feeling of wholesome family values. When the actuality is one massive corporate ownership.
    Emerald is using that same same model.
    Big money distribution will own majority share while the consumer believes they’re smoking little ol mom & pop ganja from Humboldt Co.
    This is how smart business works, it makes complete financial sense and has worked very well building a few very large wine corporations that control the entire image/market.
    Emerald and their advisors are trying to capitalize on the historical value and naïveté of Humboldt co. Every brand needs a story to elude the corporate stigma and put the consumer at ease, making their purchase a warm and fuzzy one.
    If you were born and raised or lived the war on drugs in Humboldt, Mendocino or Trinity co, ask yourself if you want post 2000 Green Rushers and Outside Interest writing and telling your story?
    That’s the question.

  • There is nothing better than full sun organic out door weed .grown in Humboldt .like we did back in the 70s , and that you don’t get grown in some factory .with all the chemical s they use for maximum yield. Crap . I Would much rather smoke out door grown in its natural environment. No Brainer .I think the next trend we as mom and pops produce pure full sun outdoor ,and will become the connoisseurs of outdoor marijuana ,AND it will be the best you can get and real people real connoisseurs will seek that out,AND I’m Sure that is how I think we can fight the big corporate crap that’ll be pumped out like pills because in my opinion nothing is better than pure full sun ,and that I’m sure you all will agree ,and I have a question who is Patrick ?

  • What’s the difference between corporate farms in the desert and Emerald Family Farms model in Humboldt?.. Nothing
    Emerald Family just uses words like “sustainable” “mom and pop” “rain water collection” “family” “salmon safe” “organic”.. Those words make you feel safe like a little baby being coddled on its mothers tit.
    All the corporations will use the same practices, not because it’s good for a “community” because it’s good for business.
    There’s nothing wrong with being successful, it’s just the approach on how you get there.
    Transparent companies win the heart of the public through truth, not deception.
    But to leverage your future success on the back of a community that put in the work for the last 4 decades is just plain dirty.

  • growing with lights, in the desert with all that sun?

    nice to see the above articulate postulations, but really,
    it was a good run, the future looks very regulated and boring,
    face it, just more fun to be an outlaw…

Leave a Reply

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