The cannabis industry is exploding at an exponential rate. With the recent legalization in some states of recreation marijuana, the influx of new farmers into different regions has not slowed down. Northern California has long been regarded as ‘The’ place where you could find marijuana growers. It’s no coincidence that areas like Grass Valley are well known for the cannabis farms. This has been a cash crop that has sustained families for a long time and only recently have the prices dropped so dramatically that they have been forced to stop because of the profit losses. There is a lot that goes into growing cannabis beyond simply cutting the plant and selling it. Many think that this is a get rich quick scheme when in actuality, the amount of work, planning and money that goes into this is no different than any other business.
Finding the right location that has access to plenty of sunlight but also some privacy, a water source, and close enough to a road where you can get supplies but far enough away to be secure. With fences and gates, lighting, green houses, leveling the earth, digging irrigation ditches, it is literally farming like any other plant. The difference is that when it comes time to harvest you also need to have a space large enough where you can dry everything, as well as monitor the humidity to stop bud rot, and be secure enough that the smell wont pour over the valley. When everything is dry you then need to hire strangers to come to your farm and stay for weeks on end trimming everything. The level of trust you must place into complete strangers can bring a lot of stress into your life, especially if you are trying to beat the rush and the others farmers and get your product out there as fast as possible. Some people will harvest early just to get in the door first, taking less quantity or quality of a crop to get in before the rush.
Once you have it all cut, dried, trimmed and ready to go, finding someone who will be able to take everything you have at once is a priority. The less you have sitting around the less risk you are at of burglary. You just let strangers know how much you have, where it is, and that its done, so even after the job is over, if you don’t have a dedicated trim team year after year, you need to maintain some level of trust or you will make yourself paranoid. Much like driving around your child who is not fastened into a car seat, you will always been looking over your shoulder to make sure everything is where its supposed to be, safe and sound.
Twenty years ago the market was high as well as the demand and it was a pursuit worth the risk. Nowadays, with legalization and the amazing perks that come with it, also include a dying out of home-grown farms and a turn to more commercial operations. This may mean a drop in price for the consumer but along with a drop in quality.