The area of Northern California where most of the OUTDOOR Pot is grown in California is called the Emerald Triangle. The word was coined by law enforcement officials when they swooped down for a big Marijuana bust trying to shut down operations years ago.
For many years, this is where America got its Pot before someone found out that you didn’t need the sun, or dirt, or anything else natural to grow pot and make money. Yes, starting with Ukiah, and going north to the end of the state, this is where the domestic dope trade began in earnest. If you ever smoke WEED without seeds in the late Seventies, then the Eighties, up to the mid or late Nineties, your WEED probably came from some remote spot in mountainous Northern California territory. Without the Emerald Triangle growers, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Wouldn’t it be weird if the person who drove us to the dance might not be asked to come in?
The Emerald Triangle is all abuzz these days with issues, ideas, and like Godfather III, just when they get their shit together, the business pulls them back in.
Right now the biggest issue is Indoor Pot versus Outdoor Pot.
A small primer:
When you grow outdoors, your crop is left up to nature. You can add some beautiful chicken shit and other natural supplements, grow your plants in rich, fecund soil, but it is left up the Weather Gods. An early frost or weeks of rain will literally wash some crystals or resin off. There are thefts. A lot of stuff can go wrong growing outdoors.
The benefits; the best Pot, hands down, grown outdoors, is cultivated in Emerald Triangle. Yes, there are places like Olympia with its hidden forests, a small swatch along the Hudson River, a rich river bed in San Antonio, where good
Pot is being developed. You can grow Pot anywhere, IT’S A WEED. But to grow the best, year in and year out, there is no other place like the Triangle on Earth, for now.
Plus, most of the all Weed grown in the Triangle is organic. I can’t stress that enough. That means, the WEED you smoke, only contains natural chemicals; nothing artificial has been added that is supposed to replace dirt and sun.
The WEED you get from the Triangle is mostly organic and here’s the second part that is just as important as the first, the WEED you got from the Triangle, hasn’t decimated the Earth.
Much like your smart Iowa farmer, your Triangle grower respects the Earth (why not, it’s usually on their land or close to it) and they grow their WEED in balance with the land.
What is happening now is the Mexican Mafia is setting up guerilla growers deep into the forests of the Triangle with seeds, tortillas, beans and rice, machine guns and a big old mother fucka of a diesel generator. What is happening is diesel fuel is leeching into the water systems of Northern California from this land abuse. There is violence in the woods. Because of the amount of money in play now with growing, there will be others following the Mexican Mafia’s business plan. Local law-abiding Hispanics, who have lived in the area for generations, are given the stink eye by the town folk. An air of suspicion follows anyone the growers are unsure of.
But back to Indoor versus Outdoor.
Here’s the real deal with Indoor-It is better than outdoor. There I said it.
I identify with the outdoor growers but I understand the whole indoor thang.
Yes, you can control EVERYTHING with bridled growing. The weather, the amount of water the plants get. The Ph balance and having the perfect amount of nitrogen and other bloomin’ chemicals that will make your crop shine and stand-up like the Radio City Rockettes at Christmas time. You can get really fancy growing indoors.
Now when everyone is clamoring for purple bud, the indoor grower can introduce CO2 into the system, which depletes oxygen in the environment, which causes the plants to gasp for air, thus stressing them out, giving the outer leaves a purple hue. That’s marketing, and it doesn’t stop there. (Please realize that the dispensaries are the game changer. The need for WEED has never been greater because of the dispensaries having almost a 12/7 market weekly.) The buyers in Dispensaries also want anything that has Kush in the title. (There is no such thing as Kush, another day about that.)
So the indoor grower can recreate any environment needed to grow a certain strain. Think about where you live. What kind of tomato grows best there? The same with WEED, only growing indoors, you don’t have any limitations.
Indoor growing does market research. Indoor growing is responsive to the market and laws of supply and demand. You can place orders with the indoor growers.
It is like the Triangle growers are driving a Chevy truck with a couple of hundred thousand miles on it. It is dependable and on most days, can drive itself to the patch because of the countless hours of sweat equity that the grower has put into honing his or her’s craft. But the indoor grower is like a high performance machine. And right now, the indoor grower is beating the brown dirt farmer by laps.
It is my belief that the Marijuana Industry is being define and refined by the large amount of dollars involved. There is a slow rush to establish yourself before the music stops.
More to my point; your average Northern Californian grower made roughly around $3500 for a pound of grade ‘A’ WEED. Now they’re getting around $2,000-2,400, depending. Yet, your indoor grower can get up to almost $3,000-5,000 for their boutique brands and carefully marketed orders.
Okay, I don’t know if you appreciate this aspect but the other complaint about indoor growing-It’s bad for the environment. Really bad.
Beyond growing WEED, the average outdoor grower is a small town consumer, but in a very Nor Cal way. Most everyone I hang with is totally organic in their lifestyle. They drink milk from Ball jars that the dairy-people down the mountain traded with them for some Weed or money. All the breads and grains are nature’s own, very little store bought items. The meat eaters get their organic chickens and grass fed steaks from another family, mostly all done through a barter system.
They walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to organic, spiritual, in-harmony with Mother Earth lifestyle.
Your average Northern California grower is aware of their carbon footprint and their entropic value. They always try to leave nothing behind and always strive to be in balance with the land where they and their family will spend the rest of their days. It’s all about making real roots, not temporary stations.
Indoor growers steal power. They over-tax an already strained electrical grid. They use chemicals instead of the healing powers of the Sun. They take over warehouses growing hundreds of plants, then leave. The perception is that indoor growers are not in harmony with the Universe the way outdoor growers.
But it gets back to the money. With outdoor growing, you get one magnificent harvest per season. Indoor growers can have up to three to six in a season, not counting stagnated growth. That’s where one crop follows another, ad infinitum.
You might say one crop is grown under the watchful eyes of the Gods and another is under the watchful eyes of the bankers.
This sounds harsh but this is the changing markets that are happening right in front of our eyes. At least, right in front of the eye’s of the growers who for the past fifty years, have been bringing us our Dope, and now, is almost relegated to watching from the sidelines.
Marijuana is a billion dollar industry, in California. The pie is being cut and slices are being divided. There is enough pie for everyone but the lure of cash is turning some from compassion to the bright light of a bull market that is crashing the good china of the North while giving a wide berth to the indoor grower. (Not that the indoor grower is immune from thefts, power-outages, bugs, mites, and the Man.)
Don’t get me wrong, dispensaries are still buying from the outdoor growers, just not at their price and the appreciation isn’t there too. The days of bringing your crop to town and having it bought almost sight unseen are over. Working all year for the harvest and being sure you’ll make your money for your family and having a little something leftover is gone.
That’s why Northern California, the Emerald Triangle will have to change the way they did business.
Next up: The Change.