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My Word: Going legit, if Prop 19 Passes

October 9, 2010

weed leaf
Image by Chelsea Daniele via Flickr
Jordan Anderson/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/08/2010 01:24:51 AM PDT

If you are like me, you are one of thousands of commercial medical marijuana growers in Northern California, and you, like me, are concerned about what Prop. 19, the “tax and control” initiative will do to our economy. You have thrived in a community that supports and even depends on the (variably legal) medical marijuana commerce. If you are like me, when you first heard about the initiative, your first desire was to vote against it. You have exhausted hours discoursing with friends, acquaintances, and probably even strangers about how this will hinder our community and its economy. You, like me, are scared of change and the end of our day in the sun.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, when talking about legalization with friends, associates, etc., is that the general consensus seems to be, “Well, I’m just going to wait, play it safe, and see how it all plays out.” But with November rolling ever closer, polls are continuously gaining support for Prop. 19, and rumors are buzzing like honeybees. I’m sure you’ve heard the ones about indoor warehouses in Oakland that are supposed to produce 120 pounds per day once their cycles get going. You’ve heard about Phillip-Morris weasels buying up land in the mountains/farm regions of Northern California. The threat of legal loopholes and corporate commercialization will swallow up our small private farms (now considered full-scale, commercial grow-ops), and our way of life will come to an end.

Well, I’m proposing we do something about it! We are pioneers who have forged the path to even make this initiative possible, and we have a right to have a say in how it goes when it’s legal. That’s why I’m starting the “Northern California Cannabis Farmers Alliance,” a company (eventually incorporated) that will comprise collective action of group and individual farms all across Northern California. We will grow recreational, medical and hemp-resourceful cannabis for licensed dealers (brokers). With this new initiative, we will have to legitimize business and compete with corporate commercialization. The NCCFA will protect small family farms and current cannabis growers from corporate suffocation and market overflow. It will create jobs, protect farmers’ rights and stimulate cannabis research in a growing market.

The NCCFA will be set up like a huge network. Each farm will operate as its own legal business franchise/corporate shareholder with tax/stock options and full benefits for employees. Farms will be organized by a county branch who will be able to meet specific local needs, supply desired amendments, etc., locally and broker local distributors, etc. Eventually I want county branches to have a service similar to “temp agencies” that can provide local farms with willing, competent and desirable “seasonal workers” (trimmers, etc.) besides their own permanent workers, farmers and employees. County branches will also inspect farms (don’t be scared! Everything will be legal and YOU will be protected) to make sure everything is up to code and environmentally friendly. Most importantly, 3 to 8 percent of all profits (varying by farm) will be donated to fund recreational, medical and resourceful marijuana/hemp research, and get real facts out there about its gifts/uses.I know you might be questioning me. You might say “I’m still going to hope it doesn’t pass!” Or maybe, “What a sell-out, we’ll still be screwed.” I ask you pessimists and nay-sayers to think of legalization not as the end to our way of life, but as a way to legitimize it, and a way to finally be respected as providers of a necessary service. All we need to do this is be organized, figure out our legal business schemes and unite under one corporate entity to protect our individual rights, skills, and (I hate to say it) profits. I, too, will have a hard time adjusting to this new business plan. I am so adapted to our underground ways, I originally feared becoming legit. I probably won’t ever be able to say “Kush Co, how much marijuana would you like to buy today?” on the phone. But this is a chance for us to play ball with the big leagues, and to be able to compete, we must unite. Right now this idea is just a baby (though forms are ready to go for when Prop. 19 passes), and to get it up and running, I am going to need major help from everyone who wants to protect current growers (lawyers, insurance people, brokers, financial advisors, etc.). I am working on appointing a board of directors, which should represent all involved counties. I encourage anyone interested to contact me at andersonNCCFA@gmail.com and check us out on facebook @ Nor-Cal Cannabis Farmers Alliance.Jordan Anderson, owner of NCCFA, resides in Willits.

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