How Growing More Weed Can Help California Fix Its Water Problems

CALIFORNIA: Last Tuesday, the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, California was swarming with potheads. A pro-cannabis rally had been organized by State Assemblymember Jim Wood, who knows how to grab headlines: In July, Wood walked onto the State Capitol floor carrying a live marijuana plant and asked his colleagues to regulate the heck out of it.

The very public pleas from Wood and others were finally heard: Three marijuana industry regulation bills were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday. For the first time in California, there will be comprehensive rules governing the entire cannabis industry, with enough money to fund a large-scale effort at assessing and lessening the environmental impact of growing marijuana—including the way growers use water.

“Cultivators are going to have to comply with the same kinds of regulations that typical farmers do. So they’ll have to comply with all the environmental laws. They’re going to have to manage and procure their water in the same way and they’ll have to deal with pesticides the same way,” Wood said. “It’s going to be treated like an agriculture product.”

California’s Green Rush, The Business Of Marijuana In The Golden State

CALIFORNIA:  The following 4 segments are from a KPIX 5 News in-depth look at the marijuana business in California since it became the first state to legalize the use of medical pot 17 years ago.

VIDEO: SEGMENT 1 (of 4):
In this segment host Veronica De La Cruz introduces a report by Joe Vazquez on the explosion in illegal marijuana grow operations and the environmental impact of those activities.

 

How Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Are Rushing To Cash In On Cannabis.

CALIFORNIA:  LIKE MANY PEOPLE in San Francisco, Sasha Robinson is working on a startup out of his home. His living room is a riot of wires, battery packs, pliers, and metal casings. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a bomb maker. But these are just the raw materials for a new gadget he’s creating. It’s something revolutionary, he thinks, and he should know. In the 2000s, Robinson ran software development at industrial design firm Moto, where he oversaw new product development for the Flip HD camcorder. Before that he was at Juniper Systems and Silicon Graphics, two of the Valley’s foundational tech firms. His cofounder, Mark Williams, has also bounced around Valley software firms, but his main experience was at Apple, where he managed a Mac OS design team. These guys have tech cred.

They also met at a Burning Man party. “We would hang out socially and always ended up talking about ideas and inventions,” says Williams, explaining how they came up with their new product in his living room. “We were sitting on my couch in my apartment, smoking. I was over 40 then, we could really feel it in our bodies. We were social smokers, but we both felt it …”

“Wait. Are you talking about tobacco here,” I interjected.

“Yes … ,” Williams says, looking sideways and grinning. “I am?” Pregnant pause. Robinson chuckles. “That’s what the line has to be from any manufacturer importing into the US,” he says. Openly acknowledging that your product—in this case a high tech vaporizer called the Firefly–is intended for marijuana use exposes you to classification as a distributor of drug paraphernalia, opening you up to the risk of the federal government seizing your assets and bank accounts. And that makes it difficult to pay a lawyer.