Stewards of the Land

The land that now hosts a Mendocino County cannabis farm has a past, which should be recognized and preserved.

Without the land, we are nothing. The land, the very soil, is the heart of any farming operation and it is to be respected. While we are blessed with the privilege to grow cannabis under the full sun, it is our responsibility to do that in a way that complements that which has been here forever. We are just the current residents.

Our ranch, located in the heart of the Emerald Triangle in northern Mendocino County, probably first saw white men in 1875 when it was homesteaded by a young man who had survived the Civil War and been granted a piece of land “Out West.” It fascinates me to imagine him riding the hills and following the streams in this area until he found the perfect spot, not too far from a water source, with enough flat land to grow crops and trees to cut and build a home.

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Mendo Marijuana: The Time of Reckoning Has Come

An report on the state of cannabis from a ganja farmer at the heart of the Emerald Triangle.

The tension in the air up here in the heart of the Emerald Triangle is as thick as dripping rosin. The time has come to put up or shut up. In other words, to choose to be legal and in the system or to continue to hide in the hills from hungry helicopters. Both have their benefits as well as their drawbacks. To go legal requires money and the time to understand all the current requirements, with the risk that it could all change tomorrow. The hope is that it will provide security from the powers that be and allow us to continue to grow this plant we love so much for deserving patients.

However, several farmers are choosing to stay outside of the system, attempting to survive by selling on the black market as they always have. Many are frightened by all the hoops that one needs to jump through for the proper permits. But prices are plummeting as other states begin to grow their own crops, indoor mostly, and middle men who have been in the biz for decades are suddenly out of a job. Plus there is a glut on the market due to so many people moving up here to grow “world class cannabis” with zilch experience but lots of energy. They come from Eastern Europe, south of the border, and every state in America, all convinced they can grow top-shelf weed their first year.

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Cannabis Decriminalization Offers Opportunity for Reparations

The legal cannabis industry has almost everything; billions of dollars in sales, hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue — fuel for schools, drug-abuse programs and police — and thousands of new jobs. What it doesn’t have is meaningful diversity.

The green rush is still overwhelmingly white, and everybody knows it — nobody (honest) is denying it.

Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor, told the Associated Press that this isn’t a new problem and that solutions are elusive.

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The Drought Days Are Over

Reflections on the challenges of growing outdoor cannabis.

It may sound trite, but really, what a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the meadow and hillsides were already golden, after several years of drought when they never truly turned green. Wildflowers were sparse and the deer looked hungry. The creeks were mostly stepping stones along the dry bed… perhaps a few greenish pools of murky water lingered from early winter rains. A general sense of dryness prevailed, and no one even dared mention the word “fire.”

As summer wore on with relentless days of blazing sun shining on the cannabis, Swami cleverly found new ways to keep the water pipes running to feed them. Our small lake is almost a mile away from the garden, up and down a hill or two, but luckily it ends up being about 10 feet higher elevation than the garden — just enough to be able to employ gravity as the pump. We rationed out spring water for household purposes and had to forego watering basically anything but the cannabis. Such are the sacrifices which must be made on a farm.

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3 Reasons to Prefer Dark Extracts

Most people have a preference for light colored concentrates, here are some reasons to join the dark side.

If you’ve ever gone shopping for a cannabis extract you have probably seen how much variety there is. Dark or light, clear or opaque, gooey or hard and brittle; there are a lot of options.

Personally, I’ve always loved darker extracts. But when I started working for an extract company, I realized what a bad reputation dark extracts have. The dark concentrates that I strongly preferred were going for far less money than those that were more light and clear. The market clearly preferred light extracts and buyers at dispensaries all had the same message, “If it’s too dark, it won’t sell.” But why? Could it be that we don’t have much reason to prefer light colored concentrates beyond visual bias?

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Cannabis: It’s Getting Better All the Time

A longtime cannabis cultivator explores the blessings of the modern day.

It’s easy to sit around and complain about how difficult it is to morph from outlaw pot farmer to regulated and legal craft cannabis cultivator. We are currently engulfed by a tidal wave of taxes and fees and permits and professional helpers, which we never had to consider before, and it is overwhelming indeed. Yet, being an Aquarius, I always like to look for the lemonade in the situation, and it’s really pretty easy to find if we just look back a little way into the past.

How many of us remember stashing our stash in secretive corners or rolling joints clandestinely in the restroom stall? Or maybe we’d meet a new person at work and discover they were also a stoner and so we’d surreptitiously slip off to burn a fatty together in the back alley? And God forbid the subject came up at family suppers, as everyone else in your family still considered smoking a joint the same as shooting smack. These cultural perceptions and judgments associated with pot are surely slipping away, and the more people who come out of the cannabis closet, the faster they will disappear all together.

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Breaking Free From Charlotte’s Web

How Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz changed to support whole-plant cannabis.

These days there are several bills looking to legalize cannabis on a national level. In addition to HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, and HR 1841, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, another cannabis legalization bill HR 2020, which would reschedule cannabis to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the same classification as Marinol. Though it may not be quite as progressive as HR 1227, which aims to remove cannabis from the CSA entirely, nor HR 1841 which aims to regulate it like alcohol (also not part of the CSA), what makes HR 2020 unique is not what it does, so much as who sponsored it. While HR 1227 was sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, a time-honored veteran of defending the right to use cannabis, and HR 1841 was sponsored by the freshman Rep. Tom Garrett, who ran on a platform of medical cannabis legalization, HR 2020 was sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the primary architects of Florida’s ultra-restrictive CBD-only law. What caused Rep. Gaetz to have his change of heart from only supporting the most limited of medical laws, to being a proponent of a much more progressive whole-plant federal legalization bill?

Why Gaetz’ Charlotte’s Web Law Failed

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Discovering Cannabis: The Summer of Flowers

The Summer of Love sets the stage for a lifelong relationship with cannabis.

In the Summer of Love, 1967, I was an awkward 12-year-old girl on the brink of wanting to become either a nun or a hippie. Being born in San Francisco was my first blessing in life, so there I was, a curious adolescent, observing this new breed of young person invading our city. We lived in the Richmond District, not far from Golden Gate Park, and how well I recall seeing my first gathering of the tribe — a free concert in the Panhandle part of the park. My Republican father and I were driving past when a group of hippies walked in front of our car and I was stunned. They looked so free, so happy. Looking at the guys with long hair, my father simply stated, “You can’t tell the boys from the girls anymore.” I was instantly intrigued.

As we embark upon the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love I am reminded of those early days of getting high. “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out” was the motto of our generation, and by the time I was 14, I was exploring all three of those options. I would have been a fully blossomed flower child if I’d run away to the Haight Ashbury district of town, where all the hippies lived, but how could I run away when I lived so close already? Even without cell phones in those days, my parents would have found me in a moment.

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Good Herb: Medical Cannabis Holds Promise for Ailing Pups

Old dogs are finding new relief with medical cannabis products, but even puppies can benefit from a properly planned and administered regiment of herbal medication. That doesn’t mean it’s easy for veterinarians to provide one.

Thanks to a daily dose of medical cannabis, pets are finding relief from their physical ailments; a bulldog who spent two years either lying down or throwing up now plays like a puppy; a boxer’s skin cancer begins to disappear following topical applications of cannabis oil; a 12-year-old labrador-mix diagnosed with liver and lung cancer regains his appetite and becomes more himself after his owner gives him a cannabis tincture.

These aren’t isolated incidents, but rather, three in an ever-increasing narrative of companion animals and cannabis-assisted healing. These stories offer hope that the lives of aging and/or infirm dogs can be improved, perhaps even extended with cannabis.

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Trump’s Drug War: Making Promises He Can’t Keep

Following failed drug policy could be costly for the nation.

Among Donald Trump’s many lofty and varied promises is a vow to cut down on crime. Particularly, drug-related crime — and to do it by any means necessary.

The violent crime wave supposedly plaguing America is a phantom, as chimerical as Trump’s record-breaking electoral college victory and the hordes of invisible well-wishers crowding his inauguration. None of that matters. Nothing will stop the especially severe punishment in store for drug dealers, the “bad hombres” responsible for the “carnage” haunting the opiate-ravaged areas of Middle America (the same havoc that helped carry Trump to the White House).

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