Small Cannabis Farmers Lament Broken Promises in Monterey County
Cannabis cultivation regulations in Monterey County are choking out small, rural growers in favor of Big Marijuana, reports the San Jose Mercury News. But it’s not just Monterey. This is a pattern, experts say; a lamentable phenomenon emerging across the state.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Hezekiah Allen, executive director for the California Growers Association. “The state passed legalization. But most small and mid-sized growers are still living in the shadow of prohibition.”
Small-scale farmers in places like Big Sur say they feel “shut out and betrayed” by the local rules which prohibit rural cannabis farming. The Association warns that an increasing number of growers will begin operating in the shadows as a result.
In places like Humboldt County, there are some protections in place to support small farmers. But as the Mercury News notes, fears of a “corporate takeover” of the marijuana industry have persisted statewide ever since the release of new state rules that included no cap on farm size.
Traditional growers in Monterey County are now “proposing a ‘pilot project,’ working with local regulators, to allow fields of only 25 or 50 plants, along with food crops. The combined yield of every grower in the Big Sur Farming Association would fit in a single one-acre Salinas greenhouse, they say.”
But for now, they’re in limbo.