The New York Times Profiles Hmong Marijuana Farmers in the Emerald Triangle

Trinity Pines

A marijuana garden in Trinity Pines burned over by the 2015 Lightning Fires.  Hmong Farmers were hard hit by the disaster. [Photo provided by a reader]

Today, the New York Times reported on the Hmong marijuana farmers who moved into the Hayfork/Trinity Pines area. According to the article, about 1,000 Hmong families now live in the area and grow cannabis. The Times says, “[T]hey are reinvigorating a struggling, rural area that was losing population.”

The piece is a fascinating look at the way one ethnic group is meshing with the predominately white culture of this remote rural area. “In a county that is more than 85 percent white, the Hmong are conspicuous,” reports the Times. “Their assimilation is still a work in progress, residents say.”

Like many small growers, the Hmong, according to the article, are worried about how they will survive the legalization process. The story stated,

The elder Mr. Vang said that while the Hmong felt at home in Trinity County, he was not sure how long they would stay. The regulations that county and state officials are imposing on marijuana growers — every growing plot must have a house to certain specifications — are driving many Hmong to question the future profitability of the business. Small-scale growers across the state are increasingly up against much larger industrial farms….

Mr. Vang said he hoped the Hmong would get permits and make Trinity County a more permanent home.

“If they allow us to grow, the Hmong will stay,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

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69 comments

  • Seriously? Wtf! Yes please stay and continue your criminal enterprise, sorry that all the tax free drug money you have gotten for years will be getting taxed now, and your buildings have to be to code and your septic tanks, welcome to the real world, sheesh! sense when was the population struggling in trinity! I call bullshit on this whole newyork article.

    • Yes!! No outsiders! How dare you buy land and try to assimilate into this marihuana culture of ours!! Only the 4000+ non-hmong, local growers can stay!! 😏 Little to zero buildings in Trinity county are “to code”.. and last I checked, the schools in Hayfork will close if they lose the 25% of Hmong students that make up the student body. Unless, of course, the mold in the elementary school doesn’t close it down first.

      • I have no problems with the Hmong as a people all I know are really nice, but to whine to the New York Times about growing is ludicrous

        • Seems to me like all of the small farmers in the emerald triangle (and Cali as a whole) are whining about regulations and “big-pharma”.. not just the Hmongs.. but hey, what do I know. I’m just a simple farmer. 😂

          • And none of their whining is justified, regardless of their ethnicity. That is clearly the sentiment of the OP. You made it about ethnicity.

      • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

        Hayfork schools didn’t close before they started building cheap fences.

        Hayfork was just fine until criminals arrived and cleared hill tops for weed at the expense of wild trout.

        Hayfork was a much better place to raise children before terrorist groupings of devil’s lettuce arrived.

        Looking back, what we needed was Charles Bronson protecting children’s future…

        RIP Hayfork…

        Large valley Jovies sold it out, if you can read pot backwards…

        Only the neutron bomb and 500/years can fix what has happened.

        Indian Valley blue snow is badass…

  • What a whitewash job that article was in the NYT. More fake news for sure. Someone should send them the police logs that reference Trinity Pines and all the trouble they have there.

    • There is barley any crime in the pines. I read the cop logs . There is more crime in hayfork and weaver.

      • You know why right? what happens in the pines stays in the pines, I’m sure there’s graves all over that place.

  • Reading the article has me wondering….if they grew opium in Laos, what is stopping them from growing it in the mountains of Trinity County??

    Over 1,000 Hmong families…? Are we looking at another group of organized crime?

    If they are truly peaceful & want to only grow marijuana, that’s cool & let them form a community where one is lacking. If they are up to more, will anybody be looking into that? People usually do what they know & if opium is what they know, there may be alot more heroin on the streets….

    • Growing opium poppies takes hundreds of acres at a minimum. Living in Hayfork, I really see no evidence of this happening.

      • Thank you. I appreciate that you gave me more info & as a local to that area. Seriously, thank you!

        I hate being that person who distrusts everyone. I stand corrected.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        Hundreds of acres if you’re selling to the rest of the world. In a couple counties, you can grow quite a bit on 5 acres. The flowers themselves would be a dead giveaway though. There’s no hiding those bright colors.

      • bs , jiller. the dude in the fort bragg area that finally died in a shoot out with law enforcement (?) less than 10 years ago had a very small opium grow . no wander there is so much heroin on the streets . I had a feeling some hmongs were growing it . but its also probably being grown in the sacramento valley too !

      • They are already growing opium there believe it or not

    • Hmong man busted in North Carolina last month for growing opium poppies:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/25/i-guess-you-are-here-for-the-opium-investigator-stumbles-across-500-million-in-poppy-plants/

      “(Cody Xiong’s) field contained about $500 million worth of opium-producing poppy plants, authorities said…

      …investigators had received a tip about another matter. The sheriff wouldn’t disclose what it was but said it definitely wasn’t about what investigators found: more than an acre filled with poppies.

      The poppies, with their bulging seed pods, were planted in tidy rows behind Xiong’s home and were obscured by trees.

      They have to be weighed before investigators know the exact value of the haul, but authorities figure there were about 2,000 pounds of poppies in all, valued at an estimated half-billion dollars.

      …investigators believed the plants were being grown and harvested in Catawba County, then shipped elsewhere to be turned into heroin.”

    • they grow a little bit. its used for pain relive and when people are old and dying.
      its part of there culture from the beginning of time. not same as here.

      • not part of the culture from the beginning of time…introduced by the brittish during the opium wars to hook them into trading for tea…know your history.

        • stop being a troll. you know what i meant . . ok not from the beginning of time. its just a expression.

    • Some American people don’t know anything about the Hmong people and the opium, they believed Hmong people were organized crime, drug trafficking, opium addict, etc… WRONG, Hmong people just like every race ethnic group but stays out of drug trafficking and crime more than any other ethnic race on earth. Hmong people farm opium to finance the secret CIA millitary operation in Laos during the Vietname War for free of charges. Hmong opium growers gave million ton of opium free to American CIA officers to sales and uses the money to finance the war, and the American leaders run the white-house during the vietnam war keep all the money approved by the congress for the CIA military operations for their own pocket. Every person who know about this secret free opium sales operation by the CIA and the Hmong were killed and will be killed even in today 2017. The CIA bio-chemical scientist trained the Hmong people how to use opium to cure chemical war fare victim, namely the agent orange and yellow rain checmicals that American military used during the vietnam war. Hmong opium growers and soldiers helped American became the super-power on earth in both millatry and weapon technologies, you know why, American CIA used the money from sales of the Hmong free opium to invent variety of Bomb and weapon and do the actual test in the front line, more than 2 million tons of Bomb alone dropped in Laos in the Hmong backyard and opium fields more than all bomb dropped during world war I & II . Please go to research for yourself, all American soldiers served during the vietnam war were nowaday claimed for suffering from the Agent Orange chemical that American used during the war, this cost billion of America Tax dollars every year forr the medical bills of these American Veteran. Hmong people and soldiers all were living in the frontline where the Agent Orange chemical were drop, Hmong people were the first victim and suffered from these chemical attacked more than the American soldiers but none one single Hmong veteran got treat by the American Hospitals like the American veteran.

      Hmong grow marijuana in trinity pine, hackfork, siskiyou for their personal medical uses – of course some growers may sales some in the black market. I as I know Hmong’s American neightbors – American marijuana growers show the hmong people how to sales in the black market and where is the black markets, and the black market price is. Those Hmong marijuana growers that got involved the black markets were just follow the lead of their American neightbors. This is all fact and true. Please don’t point figure and place label to each other that your ethnic group or race is organized crime and drug trafficking – violated local laws, all ethnic group of American people do the same.

    • Hmong people makes the American land owners in Trinity Pine, HackFork, Siskiyou richest and richest…….ever in history, they turned $100 an acres of deep jungle land into $100,000. This is the gold rush in California again !

      Some American people don’t know anything about the Hmong people and the opium, they believed Hmong people were organized crime, drug trafficking, opium addict, etc… WRONG, Hmong people just like every race ethnic group but stays out of drug trafficking and crime more than any other ethnic race on earth. Hmong people farm opium to finance the secret CIA millitary operation in Laos during the Vietname War for free of charges. Hmong opium growers gave million ton of opium free to American CIA officers to sales and uses the money to finance the war, and the American leaders run the white-house during the vietnam war keep all the money approved by the congress for the CIA military operations for their own pocket. Every person who know about this secret free opium sales operation by the CIA and the Hmong were killed and will be killed even in today 2017. The CIA bio-chemical scientist trained the Hmong people how to use opium to cure chemical war fare victim, namely the agent orange and yellow rain checmicals that American military used during the vietnam war. Hmong opium growers and soldiers helped American became the super-power on earth in both millatry and weapon technologies, you know why, American CIA used the money from sales of the Hmong free opium to invent variety of Bomb and weapon and do the actual test in the front line, more than 2 million tons of Bomb alone dropped in Laos in the Hmong backyard and opium fields more than all bomb dropped during world war I & II . Please go to research for yourself, all American soldiers served during the vietnam war were nowaday claimed for suffering from the Agent Orange chemical that American used during the war, this cost billion of America Tax dollars every year forr the medical bills of these American Veteran. Hmong people and soldiers all were living in the frontline where the Agent Orange chemical were drop, Hmong people were the first victim and suffered from these chemical attacked more than the American soldiers but none one single Hmong veteran got treat by the American Hospitals like the American veteran.

      Hmong grow marijuana in trinity pine, hackfork, siskiyou for their personal medical uses – of course some growers may sales some in the black market. I as I know Hmong’s American neightbors – American marijuana growers show the hmong people how to sales in the black market and where is the black markets, and the black market price is. Those Hmong marijuana growers that got involved the black markets were just follow the lead of their American neightbors. This is all fact and true. Please don’t point figure and place label to each other that your ethnic group or race is organized crime and drug trafficking – violated local laws, all ethnic group of American people do the same.

      • Proud Hmong American

        Wang I am also a Hmong Refugee from Laos and I am proud to be a Hmong american. You really think that the Sheriff and the American people are really that stupid. All of the Hmongs are smarter than that – they see this as a potential for making fast money and are growing Marijuana just for their own profit (to sell). They think they are smarter than the authorities. The Hmong are not in the business for growing for their own use. They are smarter than the American they don’t even want to use their own crops because they injected so much chemical into those plants so they can be healthy.

        It is very profitable and unbelievable that we have seen kids graduating straight from a four year college went to borrow money from their parents, aunt, uncle and family members to start their own plantation (farming). They are very smart they will use an elderly grandmom or grandpa while they continue to live a normal live and go to work like nothing happen. I also seen Hmong Doctor pitch in to have their acres lot under their extended cousin or pay someone to use their name. That’s gotta blow your mind!!!

        Marijuana users beware do you really think that the growers and buyers who sells to you on the black market or street care about your health and the impact those chemicals have on you guys. They only care about their own pocket books. You need to be aware that it is unsafe and full of deadly chemical that can cause cancer. It will do more harm than good to your body. Don’t let the puffy / shinny flowers fool you or you’ll end up dead.

        There are a lot of corrupted doctors out there too. When it comes to enforcing the law of land, the federal government should look at all suspects including the sheriff. They are getting double pay for cheating the very own system that tax payers help to create.

  • This area is filled with white people from Somewhere Else that are engaged in a criminal enterprise as well.

  • Nice people, family orientated but their practices are polluting and destructive and they are slaughtering the wildlife with a HUGE black market trade, I mean we are talking primitive processing factories in the woods. Deer meat, bear, bobcat, name it.

    • I miss being able to fish the local reservoir and actually catching fish. I’ve personally witnessed a lot of way-over-the-limit fishing of Ewing by Hmong. And being able to once in awhile score some roadkill like before would be nice. I have no ill will for the Hmong, but geez, leave some for the rest of us.

  • I think they grow the MJ to buy the speed ,and the heroin like a earlyer commenter said they probably been growing pop pees all along ,for a 1000 familys thats the size of a small mid west town .all of them growing pot .flooding the market ,and it is so hard to get rid of it ,now a days ,and it’s going to drive the little guy out of farming ,but I sure hope that does not happen.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      You’ve never owned property in Hayfork.

      Just don’t go there..

      • I take it you own property in Hayfork? Do you participate in the community there? No one is going to argue all the bad that comes with the unregulated MJ industry but what was there just before the greenrush? After the timber bust there was a rise in meth – is that somehow better? Many storeowners and locals will tell you that the cannabis industry has also brought more prosperity to Hayfork as well.

        Hayfork is the heart of growing country – like it or lump it. This all they have that’s economically viable and I for one would much rather see them thrive in the regulated world than to see a return and rise of meth labs.

  • Our fault for letting them establish themselves here as a large and serious ongoing criminal enterprise. We all knew they were there growing lots of weed and doing it in destructive fashion. Yet we all looked the other way. Where was the sheriff? Where was anybody? Now there are 1000 families who will do whatever they need to to stay and survive. Doesn’t sound so awesome now does it…you stupid weed apologists?

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      The Sheriff was at the Hayfork Hotel or watering on snob hill.

      They had a chopper stolen that crashed in Sohum.

      Never once saw buds burning at the fairgrounds, just stalk and keafs…bunch of cox.

      Rip Hayfork.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    They do cash deals with $100’s from the Vietnam era.

    My guess is when the Americans were in retreat somehmong, like what I did there?, stole a jet of federal reserve notes and somehow got it to the states.

    Bunch of them use those bills, ask anyone.

    Honesty though-

    A dope grower is a dope grower and I don’t discriminate…

    All dope growers are criminals, but I laugh at the jealousy between the genetic make ups of the grow-terror groupings.

    June 4, 1989 is an important day….

    You devil’s lettuce users are lucky that you weren’t in China that day.

    Seriously, go somewhere else to grow your dope- it’s your fault that The Triangle is no longer a place to raise children. You’ve wrecked so much.

    June 4, 2017 should be the day you all knock it off, gtfo.

    • Bridge chump you troll and troll but no one listens or believes your bullshit. Stop wasting your breath.

      • WorriedAboutYou

        Hard to imagine how sad his life must be. Every day. Every post. ‘Sad’.

      • Yea..and stop middling all the Hmongs weed! How many of those old hundreds you got on you?

      • citizen, you right, just a rude troll. thats the only live it has. glad i dont live in its skin. what a miserable excuse for a humbling

  • 1000 Hmong farmers v. 4000 non-hmong farmers.. Lets see… The “locals” subdivided their parcels into 1-acre parcels, sell it off to the Hmongs at 200k average/parcel, povide them with licensed well drillers, the doctors provide 99-recs (and don’t pretend, I know a majority of you have some sort of “recommendation” to grow more than the allowed 6), Cal fire provided the 3-acre conversions and there’s no grading ordinance.. sounds like everyone made a little something from the “millions raked in”.

  • How come they did not address the many missing persons or murders in Southern Trinity? Anyone see a connection?

  • Former Hayfork Resident

    Hayfork is generally a sad place to live. It contains the worst drug-addled dead-end white racist tweekers and the nastiest exploitative forest-leveling capitalist dope-growers. I admire the third category- the Hmong. The article is correct, the Hmong have breathed new life into the community. Appropriately sized grows, always clean. Hard working folk. Their presence in hayfork is wonderful, especially because they swoop up trashed tweeker spots and clean them up.

    • Hayfork is my Home

      Your a [edit] Former Resident. Maybe you got ran out of here for being a prick making up ideas. Hayfork is not full of racists, yes there are some tweakers but look at all of California there’s dope everywhere. And to say we’re capitalist growers but the hmong arent? Yeah [edit] stay out of hayfork

    • Your trippen.. it wasnt near as bad before the new growers.. murder&other crime rates can prove this..
      Tho there are a few very bad locals there like everywhere!

    • Personally, I’d really like to see the Hmong stay – however – your assessment that they are all clean and appropriate sized grows is just dead wrong (just ask our local law enforcement or check out the Pines on google earth). What they really have going for them as a group is that they are, for the most part, very kind and willing to do what it takes to clean things up – if given the proper tools and education. That’s what I see as their big hurdle is getting educated. You go out to the Pines and it’s easy to see why everyone does the same thing as they are surrounded by it. Unlike the Hmong, a lot of the white boys out there are pirates plain and simple. They have no intentions toward compliance, they know they are being destructive and the don’t give a flying F$%@k. Those are the guys I want to see outta here.

      • Black Rifles Matter

        Yep. We are pirates giving the bird to the compliance game. We also give the bird to Liz Mcdouche from JC. That lame brain is the problem with Trinity these days. Take your compliance garbage back to the coast where you belong. You DONT speak for Trinity and especially JC.

  • Any word on the 4 men who disappeared in mid May? Where they Hmong or Samoa, they have disappeared without any updates…any clues?

  • I find it funny they dont mention the crime and hard drug increase that came with the mhong presence. The gangsters they bring in th gaurd the weed or the opium farm they do with all that weed.. the government grants to grow produce they use to fund those pot & poppy farms or the fact all that mony they make and still collect wefare & food stamps. They may help the local economy some but in my eyes they abusing to much and brought problems that the community didnt need!

    • exactly . you can bet the elders are still receiving their 900 bucks + or – . a month . what a front

    • Irregardless of your skin color, you will find bad actors in any race or culture. A lot of growers supplement their income with growing any type of agriculture. Note that the state has recognized cannabis as an agricultural crop just line grapes, except it’s highly regulated. With regulation and funding for the local LE, we will get rid of the bad actors regardless of your skin color or origin. All they are asking for is an even playing field, and I personally believe Trinity county is doing a great job giving everyone the same opportunity to succeed or die off. The next year will truly separate good from bad and don’t be surprised if a few Hmong growers survive this. So get ready for a summer of eradication if you’re not trying to step up to the plate farmers!!

      • Could carless bout race or color.. its what i know theyve brung to the community that was doing much better on its own.. they have hurt it as much as helped it.. doesnt make what they do right!
        But No doubt there are locals that are bad seeds in it.

    • they do exactly what all the other neighbors are doing with all that weed…shipping it back east…duh…

  • I just drove 36 to Redding,all the trees were burnt buy the forest fire .Somebody has big plantations a 100 ft maybe from the road .No kidding ,and they stick out ,and in sight plane as day .You look threw the dead wood forest .You can see many many grows driving past the pines . Who ever is running these plantations has giant balls. Anybody can see them plane as day WTF no camouflage it all got burned.

  • The Hmong are already taking jobs~ without paying TAXES. DUE TO THE VIETNAM TREATY. .. I HAVE LOST JOBS BECAUSE OF THEIR SNOTTY ATTITUDE TOWARDS WHITES!!!!!! They think their better than us. I must say I LOST 1 JOB DUE TO KNOCKING OUT A FEMALE. HMONG !!!!!!! DEAD COLD PUNCH!!!!!!!!
    And I live in Wisconsin! !!!!!! Use to live in HUMBOLT for 10 years. Good luck guys.

    • WOW. Knocked out a female Hmong Lady… Dead cold punch, eh?? You are what is wrong with the world.

      The irony and ignorance in your statement does not deserve a response, but I’m in between taking other people’s jobs and acting snotty towards whites… telling myself I’m so much better, that I couldn’t resist responding to this.

      Thank you for leaving Humboldt.

  • Wow,their not the only people who were hit!! I don’t hear any of those folks named. Feels a little one sided. And besides all that shit, people lost alot more than pot

  • Another desperate attempt to sway the public from the Failing New York Times. Fake News!
    Sad.

  • Throwyng Stonees. Ashes ashes all fall down.

    This thread is a tragic snapshot of a tragic people. Forget the article, read all the above. Ignorance=Fear=Hate.

    Start by counting the typos.

  • Sorry….Hayfork Rocks…no mold over here yo…..but you still gotta love sohum.

    • Black Rifles Matter

      True that except the part about sohum. They can keep it. I left there 10 years ago for Trinity and have never looked back. People are the best in Trinity. Hayfork especially. Hayfork Strong! Hayfork Pride!

      • hayfork meth pride. just hang out at the dairy store what a shit hole of tweekers. great coffee tho

  • They’re still growing opium up here. They travel in little packs, drive way too fast on Hwy 36, passing motorhomes on blind corners. I know from personal experience, AND the little SOB could barely see over the steering wheel! The article is a load of B’S. Poor Hmong. If they truly wished to be part of the community perhaps they could start by speaking to people and not growing poppies. Let’s be real they are not making bouquets out of them. Grr

  • Wow… Let’s leave this up to the man upstairs. Dam, how many more steps to go? Wait, let me roll one up …gotta blaze

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