If you are a supporter of cannabis in California, Oregon, Washington or Nevada, then you know the Emerald Triangle. The Emerald Triangle refers to a region in Northern California which is the largest cannabis-producing region in the United States. Most of the illegal marijuana has come out of Humboldt County for over 50 years, but since medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 and it has been hard to enforce by local police, or they really do not care. Either way, the cultivators in Northern California have hit a crossroads when it comes to recreational legalization of marijuana.
California voters passed an initiative to legalize recreational weed starting January 1, 2018 and all eyes on are the famous Emerald Triangle to see how legal and illegal marijuana farmers are going to handle their operations. Most of the growers were against legalization because the illegal markets were so lucrative.
Will the best buds come out of Humboldt or will there be a shift in where you can buy the best recreational weed in California?
New Frontier Executive Vice President of Industry Analytics John Kagia told the Eureka Times-Standard that the input of Humboldt growers is key to providing an accurate picture of how a major hub of production is responding to the emerging regulatory framework.
“The survey is targeting growers in the Humboldt region because we’re really trying to understand not just how they are currently producing, but also how they preparing for the transition to the new recreational market and what impact they think it will have to their operations…. We hope that the community will embrace this effort because we really do want this to be a platform that gives the community a voice and one which allows not just the rest of the state, but the rest of the country to better understand what we believe to be the most important cannabis producing region in the world.”
It’s important to bear in mind that many growers in the Triangle were not supportive of Prop 64 or its predecessor Prop 19, which some analysts say was narrowly defeated precisely because of a lack of support in this key region.
Sunshine Johnston is one of the Humboldt growers New Frontier spoke with during its research. Her take on legalization summed up the uncertainty many in the industry feel.
“I grew up during the drug war — I had to survive then and I have to survive now. The risks now are much more challenging; you can’t see them. Before it was a little cat-and-mouse game with helicopters,” she said. “Now I don’t even know what the risks are or the dangers are: I can’t tell if I’m walking into a dream or a nightmare — honestly, I really don’t know.”