Lately as cannabis becomes more mainstream and socially accepted in the media and investment markets. I’ve seen a lot of articles and investment news that pop up in my feeds and news apps. Similar to the photo I provided. As an advocate of the open market sales of cannabis these seem like amazing leaps and bounds towards legitimate cannabis business being a reality. But over regulation and taxation along with extreme unorganized state oversight and disconnection with individual counties oversight and ordinances which usually are so unaligned with state guidelines it’s head spinning. Needless to say it’s a nightmare and those of you in the trenches. You’re not alone. How did we get here? I understand that coming from a long illegal black market there has to be some transition. But what farmers are experiencing now is more comparable to hazing and flat out mockery of our livelihoods and industry as a whole.
I have to ask the honest question.
Do they even want us to succeed?
That’s a loaded question I know but seriously. Actions speak louder than words and i’m tone def from being yelled at from BCC/CEQA/CDFW/CDFA/CF/ETC ETC to the point that any time I see an the letter C I have anxiety attack from the process of becoming licensed in a county that doesn’t actually have a path in place to even make that possible. So I refer back to the news article in this write up. Stocks, gains, the trading market Mumbo jumbo. I didn’t even read the article. My point is the cart got put before the horse. It’s frustrating to see the world market try to force the next trading commodity and all these big AG massive greenhouse projects develop, expand and fall straight on their face. Using chemical liquid nutrients by the truck load in lit up structures guzzling electricity that resemble a baseball field at night. Rockwool cubes and acres and acres as far as the eye can see of plastic disposable grow bags. Very similar to the photo I provided. An endless supply of plastic plant tags with barcodes for endless metric logging and we haven’t even begun to get into packaging. The labels, plastic containers, glass jars, stickers all for one eighth gram product.
This is leaving tons of other items in the seed to sale list that I can’t even begin to try and list. As a regenerative farmer I see this direction of the accepted practices that the local and state cannabis organizations want us to be. Consuming and disposing, buying over and over so companies can make product supply lines for repeat customers to buy into the system. The large AG layout that they know and love……
Where does that leave us?
The small cottage farmers.
The regenerative farmers.
The farms in the hills and valleys that kept this industry supplied through black markets and prop 215 SB 420 for our “medical” needs, Whether it was for recreational or for your actual medical needs. The farms under The sun in the ground and growing the finest organic sustainable regenerative our any other term name for us farmers putting all our love and knowledge into our farm work. Being stewards of the land and providing food and medicine for those who want clean healthy products grown with the earth in mind. We’re buried in paperwork from 6 different state agencies that don’t communicate and definitely don’t understand who we are and what we’re doing. Inspection after inspection. Consultants and environmental reports over and over. Many have failed to step up to the plate and those of us who have, are still waiting in line for their annual license to be issued even while paying taxes and permit fees for licenses we can’t use yet.
How do we prove that there are better ways, safer ways, sustainable ways?
How do we undo the bureaucratic red tape and endless unorganized state and county wasted oversight.
WE MUST ORGANIZE!!!
Yea Easier said than done and in the middle of a pandemic.
Open forum sharing is a beginning. Me right now sharing this. Industry leaders coming together instead of competing. Showing by doing and leading by example. All small steps down a LONG road that is ever changing. No one is going to hand us anything on a platter and a pat on the back saying “atta boy you’re doing great”.
Quite the opposite In fact. We organize and try to keep our heads above water. Those who know law and how to lobby are out there fighting hard for us. They need support! Those who are in distribution need to support the farms doing things right and growing amazing medicine. Those who have the knowledge need to share it with others. We must be the change we seek.
But it is changing.
Hopefully for the better.
REGENERATIVE CULTIVATION My name is Kirt Rohlack and I am an Regenerative farmer from northern california. I grew up on my family's ranch in southern Texas learning very young what it took to be in the agricultural world. I moved to California in 2007 to start my own farming operation in the medical cannabis market. At that time I became very interested in developing and implementing regenerative organic agricultural practices and processes . I soon after partnered with 2 of the biggest medical collectives in L.A. at the time -La Brea Collective- & -La Confidential- cultivating organic medicine for there patients. I had expanded my responsibilitys running all cultivation projects and complete oversight of site locations and management of crews for -LBC-. 2018-present Me and fellow coworker Noble Thomas Hayes decided to move into running our own business operations and began to build E.R.F. - Emerald Regenerative Farms. This has been a dream in the making and the implementation of all our combined skills has given us the ability to take regenerative farming to the next level. Focusing on quality over quantity. Production of produce as well as medicine. Implementing livestock for food and soil inputs for our cultivation needs. Giving us the ability to give back to the community, provide for our family, and be a guiding light for others to learn from.