The Alcohol Model and ‘Scruffy’ Humboldt Growers
According to the article, these later growers see that the “moneyed establishment was shouldering into the marijuana game, legislating the system to its favor, and the small growers who had built the industry had better accept the new model or get bulldozed by it.”
Sunshine Johnston, a Redcrest cannabis cultivator, represents this point of view.
To many farmers in Humboldt and Mendocino counties, this was not just an attack on profits, but on the backwoods hamlets that have long operated like autonomous states — where marijuana growers and their money build local schools, volunteer fire stations, community centers, even a regional radio station.
Some, like [Sunshine] Johnston, 43, who grew up in the Mattole Valley in Southern Humboldt and went to a pot-funded school, have decided to fight to survive in the industry by working to brand their fabled terroir.
She is trying to trademark her brand name, “Sunboldt” — because it’s grown in the sun, not under lights — and working on logos and packaging.
The article extensively quotes several other Humboldt cannabis people besides Johston. Hezikiah Allen and Patrick Murphy speak as well as others.
Murphy expresses acceptance in the article. He points out that carrying marijuana to the city for sale leaves growers at the mercy of dispensaries. According to the article,
He said it is common for North Coast growers to agree on a price point with a Los Angeles dispensary, then drive 10-plus hours only to be told the number had dropped. “It’s a typical bait-and-switch. What am I going to do? Stay in a hotel and look for other dispensaries?”
To read the whole piece, click here.