Cannabis Prices

I used to wonder how it happened every year.  Cannabis buyers would pop into town around harvest time and shop units at a specified price, say 12-14 for outs.  How come 12-14 and how come everyone was asking for more or less the same?  Was it collusion, a mere coincidence, or something else?

Thanks to my curiosity and 20 seconds on Google I stumbled across cannabisbenchmarks.com, a subscription service aggregating sales data from white or regulated markets across the nation.  Data there is presented by state and by grow type – outdoor, greenhouse and indoor.  Quite interestingly market bids approximate the data presented.  White market numbers presented are very close to what we hear and black market numbers are around a third less as they don’t account for taxes or compliance costs.  As I learned in finance, markets are efficient in that they do a good job of sorting out information to arrive at “fair” market prices.  The cannabis market is proving no different, much to the dismay of growers.

Indoor flower comprises most of the market and commands the best price, followed by greenhouse flower, then outdoor.  Interestingly outdoor, or sungrown cannabis, accounts for approximately 20% of sales volume in white markets.  Despite marketing efforts desperately trying to convince market participants about the value of sungrown flower, outdoor prices are plummeting as consumers are becoming more discriminating.  Consistency, visual appeal, flower structure, size, smell and color now dominate the buying landscape.  Most outdoor simply isn’t that good and doesn’t have as much bag appeal as other grow types.

We might not like it, but what many west coast farmers produce simply isn’t that in vogue as extracts, dep and indoor are becoming ever more available.  Consumer demands are changing, fast, and it doesn’t appear that many farmers seem willing or able to adapt.

Wholesale prices have been in a freefall since 2017, with outdoor flower now averaging around $650 a pound in the US spot index, which aggregates data from all regulated states.  Interestingly, because we produce so much weed here in Cali, our prices tend to reflect average US prices to a large degree.

Recent price reports are rather grim.  Outdoor prices have dropped significantly and forward markets show further price deterioration moving into this year’s harvest season.  The west coast seasonal price bump normally experienced is becoming more muted and there is very real concern among less skilled producers that their goose is nearly cooked. 

Given supply gluts in neighboring states, favorable growing conditions the last few years, and commercial entrants into the market, this new ballgame for lower cannabis prices is predicted to continue.  Markets used to clear earlier, with sales picking back up in February after a brief lull in the action.  Last year sales didn’t really get cracking until April, this year perhaps the same or worse.

Distributors are buying wholesale flower on the cheap, in small batches, and on the front…some citing 4 weeks or more for payment.  This is a recipe for disaster for small, less skilled operators.  Producing units at $400 or more and selling them for a taxable amount slightly higher is a recipe for bankruptcy as many are now learning.  Without the ability to break desirable product into smaller sales units as good producers are, many here in Humboldt and surrounding regions are becoming panic stricken and are closing shop.

Because many farmers are actually really bad growers and because many distributors have very shallow markets, the disastrous consequences of this combination are becoming ever apparent to market participants and the local economy.

Lots of people (who thought they were good at their job) now have little money and essentially worthless product they can’t distribute to either market with acceptable volume or velocity.  The few businesspeople farmers I know with true Jedi Knight like skills are still slaying it and will for some time.  The unsung heroes, growers so good they will never risk disruption by going public will still stimulate local economies, but even their robust contributions will pale in comparison to the black hole created by falling cannabis prices and the evisceration of many mom and pop operators and ancillary service providers.

Those shipping product abroad or to other states are also learning about discriminating consumers and flooded markets.  One middle man recently told me in desperation that “there’s fucking weed in the Midwest for god sake!”  I hate to say this, but once black market dealers are complaining (not bullshitting) about business, time’s are certainly tough indeed.

In Oregon, retail bulk week now sells at just a few bucks a gram and dispensaries and farmers are shuttering businesses at alarming rates.  Craft farmers (not really but that’s what they call themselves) are being decimated and astute operators are swooping in and purchasing assets at pennies on the dollar.  It is they who will garner most future profitability if and when the pendulum swings and the supply paradigm shifts back in their favor.

Like to the north, bulk weed will be dirt cheap within another year or two…little debate needed.  Truly specialized product will garner value, but most will never produce anything good enough to meet the cut.  Other profit centers like oil and extracts and processing and distribution will also erode given increased competition and slackening rents.  From there, only the best will survive.

Good luck to all.

Jesse Duncan

Sour Diesel

The Shift

Across the West Coast cannabis growing regions, a major shift is underway.  Cannabis production, and the economic benefits traditionally associated with such, is going from the hands of many to the hands of few.  Small mom and pop operators are struggling to compete with well capitalized corporations and more skilled producers, and this trend will only intensify.

While the Craft industry (small batch, high end production) offers lasting hope for small family farms, the challenge is that many folks operating in the space don’t possess the knowledge, husbandry, resources, or even basic farming skills required to compete successfully in high quality flower markets.  In other words, it’s not just that small operations lack the capital, business prowess or proximity to major metropolitan markets as many argue.  It’s that many simply aren’t producing a product desirable enough for increasingly discerning and judicious consumers.

In the farming space, small has become synonymous with craft and nothing could be further from the truth.  Most small operators in Humboldt County I’ve worked with are really bad at pot farming.  Tiny buds, poor trichome production, terpene sloughing, powdery mildew, mold, bugs, and terrible drying and curing processes plague the many dozens of farmers I’ve met over the past five years.  And to be very clear, every one of these operators told me they grow killer stuff and the vast majority are holders of temporary cultivation permits.

The remote locations, the somewhat inward or isolated lifestyles of many sungrown farmers and the lack of exposure they’ve had to true top shelf flower has led to outsized and unwarranted confidence around production and skill set.

Sadly, I’ve lost friends (and perhaps gained a few adversaries) as I’ve shed light on the subject for consulting clients.  Cannabis farming has been a very ego driven business and we know that males derive personal satisfaction and a sense of self worth and accomplishment from their work, so I completely understand the angst.  Many find it hard to accept that they have learned little about producing high end product over the past decades and struggle with how ill equipped they are to compete in the current marketplace.  Coming to understand that their livelihood was based, not on skill, but on the fact that there was relatively little weed around is a tough pill to swallow.   Many are exiting the industry while others are barely holding on. 

In defense of the less skilled, we must not forget that until two or three years ago old, brown shit weed still fetched a fair ticket in the illicit marketplace…now those units are being purchased by folks from Arizona and elsewhere at $100-150 a pound.  Given that long-time operators are suddenly competing directly for shelf space with corporate money and those who actually exhibit admirable cannabis farming skills, overconfidence has been largely replaced with fear, anxiety and depression. 

Economically speaking, small communities across the west coast are beginning to feel the pinch as excess rents (profits) go away.  Fewer lifted trucks and less spending on fancy attire, boats, firearms, ATV’s, vacations and dining out are hitting small businesses hard.  With less disposable income and with the corporatization of cannabis markets, money is changing hands quickly.  Corporate producers spend less on local consumption and this trend has only just begun.  Over the coming year it’s estimated that 90% of California cannabis companies will fail and the pain felt by industry participants, local merchants, and ancillary service providers will be significant.

It’s time small farmers quit whining and start executing at a higher level.  The reason many permit holders are struggling with distribution isn’t because the market sucks, it’s because they do.  The quicker growers can step up, hone their craft and begin producing something of value, the more they will realize that opportunity is ripe.  It’s the first inning of the regulated cannabis marketplace and to assume things are over is ridiculous.  Skilled farmers are inking deals with celebrities, building brands of their own, and capitalizing on the rapidly growing industry and the fervor for high quality Humboldt product.  The cannabis industry is now our nation’s fastest growing and there’s a place in it for skilled participants across the operating spectrum.  The ability to meet consumer needs, adapt to their changing preferences, and stand out among increased competition will separate the winners from the losers.

Unfortunately out west, many long term producers are losing and will be wiped out in short order.  Pockets of economic strength will remain and wealth creation will be significant for some, but not many.  Local economies will struggle and must be nimble and adaptive in order to succeed in this new paradigm.  Will you do the same?

Jesse Duncan

Blue Cookie

Murder Mountain

My name is Jesse Duncan.  I’m a lifelong Humboldt County resident, a private financial consultant operating in the cannabis space, and a commercial farmer.  I recently viewed the Netflix “docudrama” Murder Mountain in its entirety and found it both entertaining and insightful. 

The local cannabis community is making quite a stink over the supposed merits of the program, while others applaud bringing the darker and largely repulsive side of our industry to further light.  Opponents dismiss the program as sensationalist and argue that one small corner of the growing community is not representative of the whole.  Entirely true, but Rancho is one of many such places that exist throughout the county.  Having worked atop Waterman Ridge, Bear Creek Road and yes, in between Blocksburg and Alderpoint over the past few years, what was depicted about Murder Mountain was relatively tame.

Arguably stretches of highway 36 are far more lawless and dangerous.  In 2017 alone I heard someone get killed one night around 10pm while foliar spraying the crop (passed the coroner heading down the hill around midnight).  There was the buck mountain shooting, the car chase through the construction zone, regular assaults and armed robberies, and numerous scorched vehicles that were eventually shoved cliffside after being completely destroyed.  Our joke (although not real laughable) was that any car left roadside near Dinsmore was on blocks overnight, completely trashed the next day, and torched by the third.  This I saw at least 6-7 times that summer alone and most were far from junk vehicles.  There were storefront fist fights, rampant amphetamine use, roadside drug deals and much more.

            Waterman Ridge (like southern Humboldt) was home to poppy farms, serious levels of wildlife poaching, roadside garbage like farm slash, and deliberate poisoning of unwanted visitors like bears.  While near Blocksburg I learned that the preferred method for disposing old tarps and plastics was to burn them.  I have been told, multiple times, that they only burn black for a minute or two and have heard many males brag about Murder Mountain being in their backyard so they seem tough.

            Couple these experiences (and dozens more) with the fact that the vast majority of Humboldt farms didn’t give two shits about entering the permitting process, it seems reasonable to assume that our local industry is, quite factually, dominated by relatively bad actors…and no they aren’t all from out of state! 

            As I have heard countless times when consulting with holders of temporary cultivation permits, many of these were sought to gain another year or two of coverage before closing shop and moving back to illicit, indoor grows, which are currently flourishing once again.  When the dust settles, very few of the temporary permits will ever come to full fruition.  The environmental impact of most mountain grows is significant and when considering that road repair alone for many has a six figure price tag, it just simply isn’t going to happen for most farms.  Couple this with the lack of business and cannabis growing prowess that many demonstrate, I’d be surprised to see more than 500 lasting cultivation permits ultimately granted out of the couple thousand now on the table.

            So why the fuss about Murder Mountain when most local residents know how “lawless” Humboldt County pot farming really is?  The answer is simple.  More ethical operators like Humboldt High Five and others are engaged, like the industry as a whole, in a rebranding effort where cannabis farming is positioned as legitimate, life giving, and earth friendly.  Why do you think Hezekiah Allen went to such great lengths several years ago to debunk the absolutely factual claim that female trimmers are being preyed upon sexually?  It is because that ugly and indisputable truth didn’t jive well with the newly forming narrative designed to professionalize and legitimize an industry with lots of skeletons in the closet.  If I only had a dollar for every farmer who laments that trimmigrants are now often accompanied by a male counterpart…

            It seems a more appropriate industry response to Murder Mountain is to own that fact that many participants in both the white and black market farming spaces are less than desirable in terms of their moral compass, ethics, and relationship to consumers and the environment.  In so doing, that will only strengthen the hand and value proposition of those acting in a more socially responsible fashion.  The industry should use this information to create such fervor for snuffing out the black market and illegitimate white market operators that the National Guard troops recently offered should be met with red carpets and fine wine.  While not all market participants behave repulsively, attempting to smooth over the largely grotesque nature of our local and largely illicit industry is silly and will not serve the goals of professionalization and legitimization well at all.

            The fact that many are looking at Murder Mountain as a sensationalized, isolated anomaly is ludicrous and most of us in the cannabis industry know this.  Those portrayed in the Netflix Documentary are not simply “tweekers” as many are quick to point out.  Many farms I’ve seen are in a similar state of disrepair, resembling garbage dumps more than agricultural facilities.  To pretend otherwise is disingenuous and again, will not serve the conversation well.  We must embrace the facts, take a courageous stand against the very real lawlessness that plagues many of the county’s growing regions, and must passionately and ardently tell the stories of other operators doing things right. 

            We must not forget that the regulatory push for cannabis regulation here in Humboldt was largely predicated on the fact that we needed to drive bad actors out of the hills and return some sense of normalcy and environmental protection to a region that seems out of control to many a casual observer.  Now it seems we are saying that’s not the case…seems fairly insane to me.  And to stand for the equally absurd copout in saying that’s not really Humboldt or not the Humboldt we know is also silly.

            Actions speak louder than words. More operators should use interviews, farm tours and Instagram posts to show the world they mean business and are serious about environmental protection, consumer protection, and producing world-class products.  To be defensive about the dominant behaviors plaguing our industry or to be outright disingenuous in pretending they don’t exist will only fan the flames of discontent and make our local industry look more pathetic than it already does.

Jesse Duncan

Creme Brule

A Cannabis Story

Like many others I have a storied history with the cannabis plant.  I retired after a decade of financial advising in 2014 to cannabis caregive for my dying mother and have been growing full time since then.  Both personally and professionally I hid my use for years.  Until far too recently I was a full grown man behaving like a damn child, sneaking around and lying about who I was.  Almost seems laughable…except it’s not fucking funny.  It’s sad and it’s criminal and it put me in a crappy emotional space for years.

For a decade I sat behind a desk longing to do more.  I wanted to farm professionally and with respect to capital markets and personal finance, I wanted to engage people more like myself.  I wanted to use freely and perhaps most importantly, I wanted to shed the negative internal dialogue that held me back and prevented me from operating at my highest potential.  I know that cannabis makes me healthier, but it also makes me kinder, more understanding, more appreciative, more connected to God and nature, and far more loving and empathetic.  To be denied that, by statute, enforcement action, or because of misinterpreted negative externalities or someone’s own imposed morality is both cruel and intolerable.

Things really began to change for me at Tech conference in Oakland.  I knew nothing of the event until a day or two prior and was right in the middle of harvest season when I got the invite.  I was feeling busy so declined, but was mystically nudged in the right direction and changed my mind later the same day.  The experience was amazing.  At conference I learned about the cannabis Movement for the first time.  I was lucky enough to be in a room where Wayne spoke passionately and was introduced as the very first 215 patient in Cali.  I was amazed by the overall love for cannabis and by the caliber of professionals who were leaving other industries to play with us. 

My Central American sweetheart and bride of nearly twenty years calls me a loser for growing and using cannabis and believes I am taking my family to hell as a result.  Some of you may know how that feels and it hurts, a lot.  Nonetheless I will march on and the reason is simple…In 2014 my lack of knowledge and understanding contributed to the unpleasant and tremendously sad death of my mother.  Had I known then that high ingestible loads of THC and CBD oil could have saved her, I would have responded very differently.  Instead of using cannabis to replace opiates, ease her pain and combat the ravages of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I would have used cannabis to reverse her cancer and allow her light to continue shining.  She was a gift to this world and loved kids more than anything else.  To see her life cut so short and in such a terrifyingly painful and sad way was more than I could handle.  I sunk into a deep two year depression and were it not for the grow-room, the life giving beauty of my cannabis clones and flowers, and my desire to improve lives, there were many days I would have simply stayed in bed.

All of this breaks my heart to this day and angers me deeply.  Mom’s death, while certainly not my fault, is now my cross to bear at some level.  Because of this experience though, I believe ever more in the free flow of credible information and in my role in the Movement.  I want to actively participate in saving lives and took a meaningful step toward this end in both 2017 and 2018 where 10% of my personal crop was donated to a woman fighting cancer.  This season I will do the same once a needy recipient has been identified. 

Near mom’s death I began farming full time and was kicked out of my own home for four months, forced to live alone and away from my five kids at the time.  I was eventually allowed to return home, but because a lack of regulation and other factors has led to a somewhat dangerous growing environment in Humboldt County, my small 16 light medicinal operation came under attack and was ravaged by criminals.  The high THC flowers stolen were destined to improve and save lives, not make me excess profits.  Heartbroken and afraid as I came under repeated attack, I closed shop and transitioned from organic indoor growing to organic sun-grown farming on a small commercial scale, operating in the 10,000 to 20,000 sq ft space. 

While I no longer financial advise corporately, I have served as a private financial consultant since retirement.  While my money-centric consulting platform serves both cannabis professionals and those from other industries, my newest offering thru Nor Cal Financial and Cannabis Consulting is pro bono and is designed to help small and mid size farmers achieve financial success in an increasingly competitive market. 

In the spirit of full transparency, I won’t pretend that my relationship with cannabis has always been a bouquet of roses.  Like my mother and many family members before me, I am another talented and passionate individual plagued by the affliction of addiction.  I am one of the 9% of users who are physically addicted to cannabis and tolerance break for me means smoking flower only instead of dry sift or oil topped flowers.   If I were to not use for a few days, as I did last week, I can’t sleep, I can hardly eat, and stimulus is overwhelming.  I’m not proud of this part of myself, but have learned over many years and after much trial and error that cannabis is the one substance I can use productively.  Abstinence doesn’t work for me as I really get enormous physical, spiritual, emotional, and interpersonal benefit from using cannabis, but excess use is also damaging.  Fully aware that I can become someone who’s very existence revolves around using cannabis, I approach my use with an added level of respect and caution. 

I have also felt the sting of the law.  In 2002 as I was nearing college graduation, I was caught growing four marijuana plants at my mother’s home.  The Sheriff’s office confiscated my product, ransacked her house inside and out and came for me six months later.  Several squad cars and multiple officers showed up unannounced and cuffed me in my undies outside my apartment at 6:30 am.  Of the course the wife and two kids were home and the landlady who lived next door was as well.  I spent the day in jail and was subsequently forced to quit smoking, go to a detox facility for heroine, meth, opiate and alcohol addicts and enter a 6 month prop 36 drug deferral treatment program.  All of this made quite a stink when financial advising and I had to threaten litigation to keep my job with a Wall Street Investment Bank when my fingerprints trigged a booking report.

In my wife’s defense, cannabis hasn’t always been the healthiest of things for me.  While I used to righteously debate and contradict the merits of her views, I have learned better over time.  As I’ve grown up and matured emotionally, I’ve come to better understand and appreciate the criticisms associated with cannabis…things like laziness, negative health consequences, greed, addiction, violence, illicit activity, and environmental degradation.   For those reasons I share Green Flower Media’s desire to help professionalize and de-stigmatize our industry.  I want everyone to have safe access to high quality cannabis products around the world and have decided to make this my life’s work.   As more and more top tier professionals confess to using cannabis and dedicate themselves professionally to the Movement, the more consumers will be empowered, vindicated, and celebrated.

Jesse Duncan

Mountain Grown

Your Author

At 40 Years old, I’ve been using habitually for more than two decades now.  I’m one of the approximately 9% of cannabis users physically addicted to the substance and have seen its darker side as a largely unregulated intoxicant.    My life was put at risk given my participation in the industry, I’ve seen firsthand the criminality and wonton environmental destruction occurring in our hills, and my Central American Wife of nearly 20 years believes that cannabis is of the devil.  I view cannabis as God given and life giving and have made farming, helping farmers financially, creating cannabis awareness, and ensuring safe access for all people worldwide my professional pursuit.

I am an ardent supporter of medicinal cannabis for the seriously ill, be they adult, child, or infant.  While I would prefer that medicinal efforts for kids focus mainly on the non-psychoactive side of the equation, I strongly believe in emerging science showing the ability for high viral loads of THC and CBD oil to reverse certain types of cancer, so would also advocate for high THC loads for kids in life threatening and serious health situations.  As a father of 6 I empathize with parents facing the terrifyingly painful reality of a sick baby or child.  The thought that a child would be denied life saving and life giving medicine because of outdated statute, policy driven restrictions on cannabis R&D, someone’s own imposed morality, or misinterpreted social and economic externalities is both cruel and unacceptable.

I started using because it was fun – weed made me laugh and feel good and that was enough.  Humboldt Grown Cannabis is very powerful though and was disruptive for me in my early years.  For these reasons I strongly support legislation that restricts the use of recreational cannabis till the age of 19, a time when most individuals have completed secondary education and reached sexual maturity.  

In time and perhaps due to increased tolerance, improved access to medicine, or acquiring more personal maturity, my using became centered around emotional and spiritual connectedness, enhanced sensory experiences like sex, wellness issues like stress relief and harm reduction, and around health.  After being diagnosed with acute gastritis, dislocating both hips, and suffering from persistent tears to the Posterior Iliac and regular SI joint slip, cannabis also became a sleep aid and my preferred pain management tool.  Despite living with moderate to immense physical discomfort all the time, I remain alcohol and opiate free to this day and thank cannabis for that.  Because bottles kill people like me, the conscious choice is clearly cannabis. 

While I actively engage the children in conversations around my use, we have made it clear as parents that our kids will not indulge while under our roofs unless, God forbid, they fall seriously ill or are seriously injured.  Because we are a family that suffers from addiction and believe that addiction is genetic at some level, we have shared that recreational use of any intoxicant is dangerous for our kids.  This is not a conversation my parents had with me and I didn’t acquire a vocabulary for addiction until after a deferral program in my early 20’s.  I’ve told the kids it’s a crappy roll of the dice they got, I know, but that it’s our job to protect them and give them the straight skinny.  The oldest, now 16 and 18, have curiosity around drinking and using, but abstain to this day and are better for it.  Because cannabis alters the developing mind and the sexual function of males specifically, exploring in one’s later years seems healthful and prudent.

I retired from corporate financial advising in 2014 to caregive for my dying mom and came to fully appreciate cannabis as medicine as I watched her body get ravaged from radiation, chemotherapy and a failing immune system.  After her death I carried forth a private financial consulting platform to pay the bills, but decided that farming professionally and saving lives with cannabis would be my next pursuit.  I engaged a mentor and studied and farmed rigorously over the ensuing three years.  I transitioned to commercial operations two seasons ago and am now a practicing clean rusher fighting to solidify Humboldt County Small Family Farms’ place in the global cannabis supply chain.  If Canada can ship weed internationally and establish production facilities in Latin America, then on a local and state level we can assuredly grapple with issues of on-site consumption, cannabis tourism, cannabis for kids, less discriminatory land use ordinances, and formalizing the interstate marketplace that currently exists in robust and illicit form.

I am a member of the Humboldt County Cannabis Chamber of Commerce with a pro bono offering, NorCal Financial & Cannabis Consulting.  This educational platform is designed to help farmers better understand their industry’s increasingly competitive operating environment while helping implement farming and financial systems and strategies to improve profitability and prudently manage business and personal finances.  Small family farms play a critical in many localities and this has folks around town nervous.  As cannabis prices fall economic activity in the county will be negatively impacted.  Inefficient farms are going out of business, trimmers will be offered $100 or less per unit this season and many will lose work altogether as oil, rez, and derived product growth continues.  Brokers will get squeezed and fade away, while retailers and others providing services to these groups will be hit hard.  This is beginning to happen now and folks are noticing.  Unfortunately, we’re probably in the earlier innings of what promises to be a tremendously uncomfortable and disruptive adjustment. 

Remember that economic activity is primarily a function of two things, how much people have to spend and, importantly, how they feel about their future economic prospects.  What I’m seeing as a financial practitioner is this…even the very well heeled among us are playing it a bit safer…less aggression, less expansion, and less capital investment as record high asset prices tend to concern, not excite the financially educated.  Without another pony show, our county is in very deep trouble.  As former cannabis commentator John Hardin wrongly predicted, Arcata will not be o.k. without a thriving cannabis community…why the hell are they troubling with the MIZ then?  The University, to which he looked as an economic bellwether, is in embarrassingly bad shape and CR looks absolutely vacant compared to when I was there in the late 90’s.  The hospitals are on borrowed time and the county is burdened with unfunded liabilities, huge capital needs, and the very real possibility for economic collapse.  We need money and that will only come with responsible economic development and capital inflows.  While I am in favor of preserving natural space and protecting the environment, I’m also a capitalist and believe that ganja is the best thing the county has going for it.

Many believe that cannabis tourism, a topic we’ll discuss in the future, has the ability to draw in resources from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere to help replace the void created by lower weed prices.  With tourism, micro industries like cannabis cuisine will flourish and bring further vibrancy to areas like Old Town Eureka and others.  And the county needs to move fast as the Law of Diminishing Returns has found cannabis at last.  As we know from economics, in the absence of collusion, cronyism, or government controls, excess rents – or excess profits– get competed away in time.  It’s already happening as unregulated and wholesale cannabis prices converge and it will be happening in retail, oil, extracts, and derived products as competition prices those excess margins away.

This is why Humboldt and many other localities are nervous…rents are going away and it hurts, a lot.  Luxury goods and service providers feel it first, followed by everyone else as the engine slows.  Without rejuvenation, revitalization and a fresh influx of capital, energy and investment, pot farming and our very community will no longer be as economically viable.

Thru policy action, advocacy, research and the spread of credible cannabis information, it is my hope that a barrier free global cannabis marketplace that ensures safe access to all people comes to fruition. 

Jesse Duncan

Sour Diesel Dep

The Cannabis Conversation

As a Humboldt County Native, a long-time personal user, a former caregiver for a dying parent and other terminally ill cancer patients, a commercial farmer, and a private financial consultant serving the cannabis community, the subject of cannabis is something I care deeply about.   

It seems the current literature on weed is far too compartmentalized.  As we continue to stumble over the moral underpinnings of cannabis and continue to silo ourselves into staunch “for” or “against” mentality, the ability for true and meaningful debate is impacted.   Like in our political discourse, grandstanding only goes so far and it doesn’t solve problems…kind of a copout really.  A more thoughtful and meaningful dive into the issues is harder and takes more time.  That’s what The Cannabis Conversation is about.

It’s about moving past the same type of compartmentalization that stifles thinking and creativity.  It’s about exploring the issues around cannabis and about offering lasting policy and community solutions to save lives, improve society and create lasting economic opportunity for ourselves and our children.  To be clear, this piece will not be a disingenuous rag that solely pimps the benefits of using cannabis.  Nor will it be a feeble attempt to prop up or redefine an industry that has a lot of skeletons in the closet.  My hope is that it will be a spirited platform for furthering the cannabis conversation here and abroad. 

As someone physically addicted to cannabis, someone whose wife thinks cannabis is of the Devil and as someone whose life has been threatened because of my participation in this industry, I understand the negatives associated with cannabis.  I’ve seen firsthand, the rampant lawlessness and environmental destruction occurring in the hills of Humboldt County and it’s repulsive.  Pretending that cannabis, while herself pure and life-giving, is something akin to a bouquet of flowers is disingenuous and will not serve the debate well.   With a more balanced critique acknowledging both the positives and negatives associated with use and production, we can make more meaningful strides in educating the public, ensuring safe access for all people worldwide and reclaiming the superiority of the Humboldt Brand.  

Additionally, because I grow cannabis at an exceptionally high level, The Cannabis Conversation will also share my own tips and techniques for growing high end, high value flower for the discerning consumer and for achieving financial success in an increasingly competitive industry.

Jesse Duncan

AK 47 Dep