Mendocino, CA - In the cannabis industry October is known as Croptober, when the majority of full term outdoor plants are harvested and all the hard work from the past year finally comes to fruition. Perhaps no other place in the world celebrates #Croptober quite like Northern California’s legendary Emerald Triangle. Famous not only for growing the most cannabis in the U.S., but also for the uniquely aromatic and flavorful buds that come from this particular region of the golden state.
The Emerald Triangle:
• Humboldt County (Coastal)
• Trinity County (Inland)
• Mendocino County (Southern)
The Emerald Triangle is the largest growing region for cannabis in the U.S.
I made the 10 hour drive from my home in Southern California to visit a small cannabis farm located just outside of Willits in Mendocino County. Head grower and personal friend Jeanne is one of many small farmers in the area that have made the transition from medical to legal cannabis when Prop 64 became law in 2018. Jeanne has been growing cannabis since the 1970’s in Mendocino county and her farm is one of three small farms in the area that release flowers under the award winning Greenshock label.
Close up of Greenshock’s Tropical Sleigh Ride (Purple Candy Cane X Piña) strain that won 1st place at The Emerald Cup ‘20
Small farmers like Jeanne may not have to worry as much about helicopters flying overhead and law enforcement busting their gate down, but she tells me that the regulations have made it extremely difficult for the small farmer to stay compliant and still produce a profitable crop by season's end. “People are abandoning ship up here” she tells me -- and it’s no wonder with the price of cannabis continuing to fall at the same time the tax burden continues to go up. “We are not quitters up here.” Jeanne says with her signature giggle, but there is no denying that lack of access to federal funding for cannabis companies and at times over zealous regulations have made things extraordinarily difficult for the craft cannabis farmers and artisan producers.
It’s sad really that small farmers have been ignored, beaten down, and essentially sacrificed as an essential “growing pain” of a corporatized cannabis industry. I think that the government should bail these small cannabis farmers out. Our legislators seem to be paralyzed on the issue of supporting the most important agricultural industry in the state. I call on Gavin Newsom and state officials to lend aid to the struggling farmers in California's pristine Emerald Triangle and other regions of our beautiful state. Help these farmers stay afloat during these difficult times so that they can continue to do what they do best -- which is lead this thriving industry into new heights of innovation and ensure that California remains the dominant force in the fastest growing industry in America. Yes, it’s Croptober, so let’s celebrate and let’s fight like hell cause like Jeanne said, we ain't’ quitters up here!