By Mikal Jakubal
Times have changed, no doubt. Last week, a member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and a sheriff’s sergeant testified in a Santa Rosa courtroom on behalf of two men charged with transporting pot through Sonoma County. The defendants are employees of Northstone Organics, a permitted medical marijuana collective in Mendocino County. Yes, you heard that right: the sergeant testified for the defendants. These two men were stopped on two consecutive days in what was a clear case of intentional surveillance. It’s unclear why Sonoma County law enforcement would prioritize intercepting an operation that is merely passing through Sonoma County en route to its Bay Area delivery route, nor why they’d intentionally provoke neighboring Mendocino County, throwing down a de facto challenge to the validity of Mendo’s medical pot permitting ordinance.
The North Coast counties are producing counties, dependent on medical marijuana “exports” to the rest of the state (and to the rest of the country on the black market, but that’s another subject). By testifying in favor of the defendants, the Mendo officials were indirectly acknowledging something that few in politics or law enforcement have been willing to say out loud: for the Emerald Triangle’s nascent white-market medical marijuana economy to have any possibility of success, we have to export to and transport through the rest of the state.
From the point of view of officials in more restrictive or conservative counties, many of whom have been tripping over themselves to put the lid on the medical pot business, that must seem like a slap in the face. So be it. Times are changing. Kudos to the Supervisor and Sergeant for standing up for their own laws, economy and citizens.
Mendocino County has an openly vested interest in seeing its program work, as hundreds of thousands of dollars are generated by it every year for the County government and Sheriff’s Department. It also provides a clear framework allowing legit growers to be legit. It likewise provides clear guidelines for law enforcement about what is and isn’t a legal or permitted medical grow. Sonoma County needs to catch on and join the 21st Century. As does the rest of California.
If you visit the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department home page and look on the lower right sidebar, you’ll see links to .pdf files with the 9.31 Mendo medical marijuana ordinance, the State Attorney General’s guidelines, Q&As and so on. After that, wherever you live, go to your local law enforcement agency’s web page and see if you can find helpful information on the front page about how to grow weed legally. It’s different up here. Really.
In other seasonal update news: the price of early or light-depo pot (all medical, of course!) seems to be quite high at the moment. I’ve heard of anywhere from $2300/lb to $2700/lb for wholesale amounts. I doubt these early season prices will last like this too many more years, as more and more people get hip to light-depping and the market begins to saturate earlier. (Ah, another upcoming post.)
Typical of any farming culture, crop prices are as much a topic of conversation as the weather. Those with early weed, trimmed and ready to go, are looking to sell it at the best price. Those with full-term plants are counting their chickens, babying their plants and hoping for another good year.