Pot is going to pot!
California's Emerald Triangle pot market is hitting bottom
By Peter Hecht
Published: Saturday, May. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am
ARCATA – The pot market is crashing in California's legendary Emerald Triangle.
A man known as Mover, 47, used to prep marijuana
buds for sale in Humboldt County, earning as much
as $200 a pound. Now, he says, "You can't give it away."
The closure of hundreds of marijuana dispensaries across California and a federal crackdown on licensing programs for medical pot cultivation are leaving growers in the North Coast redwoods with harvested stashes many can't sell.
Some pot cultivators who sought legitimacy through the medical market are fleeing to the black market. So much cheap weed is getting dumped in the college town of Arcata, some local dispensaries say business is down 75 percent. Even the region's itinerant and colorful bud trimmers are going broke.
By the scores, people have long trekked into the marijuana fields and indoor greenhouses of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties. Workers used to earn as much as $200 a pound meticulously cutting leaves from marijuana buds, prepping them for display at dispensaries or for sale in a purely illicit market.
These days, a 47-year-old man called Mover, a dreadlocked migrant from Ohio who is a fixture in downtown Arcata, says the tedious work isn't worth his trouble as the per-pound pay rate has dropped to $100 or often just a few nuggets of pot.