Marijuana convictions reduced with California legalization California Cannabis Is Going Industrial California wants to block federal drug agents from marijuana license users California cannabis companies are hiring. Marijuana Industry Presses Ahead in California’s Wine Country Police are using new mouth-swab tests to bust drivers for marijuana use California May Not Be Ready For Energy Surge From Legal Marijuana Growing California Marijuana Is Not Safe to Smoke California marijuana tax and tracking systems behind schedule Contaminated Medical Marijuana Believed To Have Killed California Cancer Patient California marijuana would fail Oregon’s standards, study finds California marijuana industry is a ‘$25 billion opportunity’ A legal snafu made medical marijuana tax-free in California for 2017 Stanford University: No Marijuana on Campus California marijuana company beats police raid California to become the center of cannabis culture Vacant California prison could be turned into marijuana production site Medical Marijuana draws parents to U.S. for their children’s treatments Just say yes: Some California law enforcement leaders support legalizing recreational marijuana California voters get chance to fully legalize marijuana So, something interesting happens to marijuana after it’s legal Feds drop suit to shut down Harborside in big win for marijuana industry California’s revving up to rein in medical marijuana Runner’s High: athletes use marijuana to improve their training California’s Adult Use Of Marijuana Act (AUMA) Endorsed By Congressman Rohrabacher BILL WOULD BAN SMOKING—INCLUDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA– AT PUBLIC COLLEGES IN CALIFORNIA Monterey County starts granting marijuana business permits. Momentum to legalize marijuana in California is growing California- Marijuana Is Smelling More Like Big Business DEA Will Decide Whether To Reschedule Marijuana Marijuana Helps Arthritis – Doctors Santa Ana’s black market for Marijuana Using Medical Marijuana for Fibromyalgia Support for marijuana legalization hits all-time high Advantis Corp. Delivers to California Medical Marijuana Business Marijuana farmer pays $100,000 for water violation 10,000 Marijuana Plants Found in Monster LA Drug Bust New study finds increased prevalence of marijuana use disorders in U.S. This Marijuana grower lost his crop due to a California wildfire Women take the lead in growing marijuana industry in California Marketing Marijuana California police charged with stealing snacks during marijuana dispensary raid Guide to California’s Cannabis Laws Troubled desert towns seek tax bonanza with marijuana farms Stop Pot 2016 Campaign Questionable Stock Pitched As California Marijuana Legalization ‘Campaign Donation’ CALIFORNIA: Momentum to legalize pot this year KUSH Donates $1 Million to Fund 2016 Marijuana Initiative Humboldt County Approves Marijuana Rules California marijuana opposition promises a buzzkill California Governor Signs Emergency Bill to Fix Marijuana Regulations One of California’s pot legalization initiatives has the green that counts BHO fire season sweeps through California Over 2,000 marijuana plants seized in Shasta County Former Facebook president Sean Parker donates $1 million to California marijuana Will Marijuana Become California’s Next Big Ag Crop? Cash-only marijuana dispensaries flood California tax office Surgeon general calls for marijuana acceptance Trailer Full Of Garbage Bags – 1600 Pounds of Marijuana Pulled Over, Says CHP Investors, stars rush to desert city Adelanto for marijuana growing Roseanne Barr invests in Santa Ana weed shop

Will Marijuana Become California’s Next Big Ag Crop?

California farmers are known for producing some of the finest fruits, vegetables and nuts in the world. But what if the state’s big agriculture also included marijuana?

Some Central Valley growers are already eyeing that possibility, including Los Banos farmer Cannon Michael.

A few years ago Michael discovered a 1-acre illegal marijuana grow on his land.

“They had made reservoirs and they were pumping water,” Michael says. “They had buried generators. They had this whole encampment and we knew nothing about it.”

He says the forbidden plantation was worth around $19 million. That’s more than he makes on 11,000 acres of tomatoes, cotton and other crops in one year. It got him thinking.

“I don’t know, I guess if I thought if I put in a 200-acre planting of marijuana, would the market sustain that?” says Michael.

Cannabis becoming a major player in big agriculture depends on whether Californians vote to legalize pot. If a legalization measure passes, the state would still have to develop regulations on how marijuana can be grown — and farmers would have to figure out which crops grow best. Even still, becoming a big grower early on makes sense for farmers like Cannon Michael, who have land and resources.

“To me it’s just another potential option for something that could be a benefit to the farm, and then also make some money hopefully,” Michael says.

Cannon Michael farms over 11,000 acres in Merced County. He says he thinks a marijuana crop could be worth investing in if it becomes legal.
Cannon Michael farms over 11,000 acres in Merced County. He says he thinks a marijuana crop could be worth investing in if it becomes legal. (Ezra David Romero/KQED)

But small farmers already growing legal medical marijuana say they don’t want big ag to push out smaller existing farms.

“I don’t really see any clear benefit,” says Hezekiah Allen with the California Growers Association, representing over 500 members. “Certainly our hope is that we kind of avoid consolidation and we don’t really move in that direction.”

Read the Rest