Home > Economy, marijuana > USA Today: Mendo could be the Napa of pot

USA Today: Mendo could be the Napa of pot

If marijuana is legalized by the voters in November, which corner of the Emerald Triangle will be to pot what Napa Valley is to wine?

USA Today trains its focus on Mendocino County rather than its northern neighbor, Humboldt.

Mendocino isn’t the only California destination calculating whether, and how, to attract similar-minded travelers.

Joey Luiz, a winery sales manager who’s running for city council in neighboring Lake County, says marijuana tourism could be a plus: “We’ve struggled to find any kind of industry, and the more bodies you can bring in, the better.” Farther north in Siskiyou County, Dunsmuir Mayor Peter Arth has been nicknamed “Mayor Juana” for his support of a downtown pot garden, across from the sheriff’s substation, to draw visitors and provide organic marijuana to patients.

There is no mention of Humboldt anywhere in the article.  If we’re in competition to be the pot mecca, this mainstream paper doesn’t even put us on the map.

[Image source.]

  1. Plain Jane
    October 8, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Maybe they couldn’t get a response from Mayor Bass.

  2. October 8, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Perhaps we’ll have to settle for being Sonoma to Mendocino’s Napa, but my guess is that our branding is much stronger.

  3. Plain Jane
    October 8, 2010 at 6:33 am

    On checking USA Today for this story, they have a slide show and one of the slides has the notation, “Local growers in the “Emerald Triangle” of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties in Northern California worry that legalization of recreational use under Prop 19 would send pot prices tumbling. But they say they think “cannabis tourism” could replace some lost income.”

    So Humboldt did get a mention.

  4. Walt
    October 8, 2010 at 6:38 am

    A few brand name suggestions: Budcata, Budway, Ganjaville, Humdope, Canniboldt, THCounty, Hempboldt. Might as well get ahead of the curve. . .

  5. October 8, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for the correction, Jane. I missed the slide show.

  6. BB
    October 8, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Anything for the all mighty dollar.This is just so wrong.

  7. Anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Wine good, pot bad. duh

  8. the reasonable anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

    “Duh” indeed.

  9. Un-Named
    October 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

    but wine + pot = very good.

  10. Big Al
    October 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Friends and I have at least 6 separate business ideas
    “grown” around the possibility of upcoming legalization,
    Many of us are getting ready for the new pot tourists.
    There is no doubt people will come here, there is no other brand like Humboldt, we need to protect that as well…
    I am looking for an investor (s) to get one of these business started, not a bong bar, more essential…

    I coined the “Bud & Breakfast” (feel free to use that one)

    we also need daily flights to and from from Las Vegas.

    The beauty of the Cana-Toursim is we all get a slice, busboys to growers, there is room for all to benefit.

  11. October 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thomas Payne would be very happy if he were alive today. American foundation is strengthened every time common sense rules the day. Cannabis is not for everyone just as wine or other natural products but to prohibit by law and incarcerate otherwise law abiding citizens and transforming assets in the form of a tax paying citizens into a liability as an imprisoned individual just because of life style or because of organized religion panders to those that have vs. those that don’t have. If think kind of thinking were valid should we then incarcerate gay folks? The prison system in the US is some what private so some among us are making a killing on jails! The more laws we have the more prisoners there are. To say “Wine is good pot is bad duh!” is as ignorant as saying the world is flat! There is evil amongst us and the resource we have to protect the citizens in a free society needs focusing! Law enforcement should be freed up from dealing with pot heads and/or whores both of which should be regulated and taxed. I’d rather have a pot smoking neighbor I know was honest to me! Than a neighbor that claims to be a vice less church goers that I know nothing about! Recently a Harvard professor reported all drugs should be decriminalized and I agree just as prostitution should be as well. Both will create revenue for the government and provide space for violent criminals that are out there! Most of the top ten countries to live in have some kind of “red light district” and a relaxed view on narcotics. America once again is behind!

    October 8, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Too funny,

    pot prices versus consumption……as if most of the consumers would not want prices to go down??? Hence, the criminal element based on private profit is lessened; and, just like market economics, growers CAN control the supply chain or avoid like Billy the Kid. Yet, to grow your own means to stay devoid of political chaos and pyramid price schemes is near effortless. The real burning thought is if all those other costs will go down too that are involved in the production of mj.

    Humboldt is a name brand too. Additionally, regionally (climate differences), different pot as well. Besides, where Humboldt does get sunshine, there is longer lighted days in the growing season being that Humboldt is more northerly. The economic hit will be on the land owners(pot growers income) who are still paying down an over-valued asset!


  13. October 8, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I talked with the author of this article, Laura Bly, about three weeks ago. She was thinking about doing the article here in Humboldt.

    She contacted me after reading my article on how Humboldt will survive legalization. WE emailed and talked for about a week.
    Why she decided to go with Mendo I don’t know.

  14. Anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 8:47 am

    She should have mentioned Humboldt more often in her article, and Trinity a bit as well to be accurate.

  15. Un-Named
    October 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Henchman, I think the costs involved in growing will only go up…big. Just like anything. The price of renewables (soil, fert, etc) has gone up around 30% across the board over the last decade. Hardware is being produced much more now, but they’re not lowering prices as much as keeping them the same. I can think of only one grow-related company that’s genuinely lowered any of their prices, and it was one popular product at a medium wholesale level by about 10%.

  16. Un-Named
    October 8, 2010 at 8:53 am

    …and the less headline time Humboldt gets in waiting room rags like USA Today, People, Time etc. the better.

  17. Emerald triangle
    October 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Maybe it’s time to quit the regional squabbling in marijuana and Unite on “The Emerald Triangle” Banner.
    maybe we should once again move towards claiming our own County comprising Northern Mendocino Southern Humboldt and Western Trinity. This would be a perfect “Narural Geographic Boundary” versus straight lines drawn on a map which have so little to do with the actual area.

    Why do we still use a divisive “County” system set up in the 1800’s to divide lands according to political divisions?

  18. skippy
    October 8, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Reading about the possibility of ‘pot tourism’ for Humboldt, I have some doubts based upon one expert’s comment elsewhere.

    He opined that Oakland, specifically, Oaksterdam, is many steps ahead of the Bud ‘N Breakfast, Hemp Cafe, Reefer and Redwoods tour, ‘pot-tourist’ curve than Humboldt is.

    He remarked that travelers visiting, flying, or driving into California are simply more likely to visit the Bay Area, Oaksterdam, or perhaps Sonoma or Mendocino, out of convenience and easily accessible geographic location… rather than drive 6-8 hours north to visit Humboldt. Some will; most won’t.

    It’s the same old rural area and basic transportation issue which allowed clandestine marijuana here to flourish in the first place. Sure, we’ll get a few curious sightseers and the like. But if legalization does happen– a big if– ‘marijuana tourists’ will probably visit elsewhere that’s easier and far more accomodating for their needs over the few days of vacation they’ll spend.

  19. Not A Native
    October 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Skippy’s the only one here with real common sense and understanding of business.

    Pot isn’t a sufficiently attractive reason for most people to visit a small place with limited facilities when they can find the same thing elsewhere coupled with many more attractive amenities that enhance their experience. Scotland doesn’t attract large whiskey tourism, San Francisco a sourdough bread tourism, or New England a lobster tourism. Those things are minor enhancements to tourism based primarily on other attributes of those areas. California could experience a bump in tourism if pot were legal. But like gambling in Nevada, successful tourism needs a lot more than a one trick pony.

    Could “genuine” Humboldt pot command a premium in a legal market? I dunno but I’m certain any premium would be small and temporary, like that for Idaho potatoes.

    Theres nothing inherently special in the Emerald Triangle that makes for unique pot, except that lax law enforcement lowers the legal risk to producers. Same reason opium growing is centered in Afghanistan and coca in Columbia, but with little tourism.

    And the biggest joke is that the ‘best’ Humboldt pot is grown in a controlled indoor environment using widely available cuttings and commercial equipment and supplies. Where’s the uniqueness in that?

  20. Frances D.
    October 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    As a “southerner” (from San Diego originally), I can verify that Humboldt county has been the northern county most famous for it’s quality bud…not Mendocino, and not Trinity counties. This I had repeatedly heard since the 1970’s, into the 80’s and beyond.
    Folks here in Humboldt need to jump onto the marketing for this new wave asap. Market your “Humboldt Gold”, give it some kind of name and promotion!
    …and they WILL come.

  21. Not A Native
    October 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Well Frances, if you remember the 70’s you’re at least 50 years old. Sorry, but you’re hardly in the main demographic of likely pot tourists. Stick to the Acapulco Gold and Maui Wowie you know.

    If 19 passes, most pot “tourists” will be smugglers from out-of-state, hoping to sell at a profit back home. They’ll most likely buy their pot near where they can clandestinely cross the State line. That leaves out the Emerald Triangle.

  22. the reasonable anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    NAN, I basically agree with your analysis of the (weak) prospects for “pot tourism.”

    But you are dead wrong when you say that “….the ‘best’ Humboldt pot is grown in a controlled indoor environment…” Outdoor, organic, full-sunlight makes the best-tasting, best-smelling buds.

    However, it WOULD be correct to note that indoor “name brand” stuff still brings a higher price, though that price gap has been gradually narrowing for the past several years.

  23. Mr. Nice
    October 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    We gotta build the pot version of disneyworld up here. Turn all those burnt out buildings into pot shops and hydro stores. Fuck Mendo.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm


    Thank You for your p.o.v.. It is really sad that greed disallows good busines competition that lowers prices. So many people got too caught up into the vices it appears – which is why the small guy and gal get my dollars.

    Too often, I decline to do business with people who charge way too much because of all the “toys and goodies” that greedy types consume like…..multiple homes, cars, long vacations and trips, fancy clothes and fine dinings, flauntingnesses, etc…. – this type of living causes people to charge more because there exists more taxation, bills and fees.

    Do people really believe that business is monolithic in prices, costs, productivity, waste, time and energy? This is where business is partly in the wrong when over-bilking and grafting the consumer to cover a hoarding lifestyle.


  25. Sharon Letts
    October 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    For some months now I’ve been helping production companies and media outlets line up interviews in Humboldt. I feel our biggest downfall is not talking about this issue. Cannabis has been a covert practice for more than 30 years here, and if we want to continue to thrive we need to open up. The reason other areas such as Mendo, Denver, or Oakland are getting coverage is because they are willing to talk, go on camera, etc. If we want to stay in the game, we need to be willing to play. If you are a legal, 215 grower, stand-up, be counted and set an example. You are not doing anything wrong if you are playing by the rules.

  26. Not A Native
    October 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Legal 215 grower in HumCo? You’ve got to be kidding! There aren’t any, the participants here is about outlaws, not reformers. Only legal growers are a few dispensaries, and they’re keeping mum because if 19 passes their(non)profits will shrink greatly.

  27. the reasonable anonymous
    October 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Even today, sales and purchases of all cannabis — even medical cannabis by state-authorized medical dispensaries — are still illegal under federal law, as is cultivation, even for personal use. So in that sense, all growers, users, buyers, distributors, sellers and so on are still “outlaws.”

    It’s just that the federal laws have proven completely unenforceable, other than in some of the most extreme cases (like very large grows, some dealers and dispensaries) and of course some random “let’s make an example out of ’em” cases.

    The feds simply do not have even .01% of the resources and personnel they’d need to actually stamp out the use of a popular herb that tens of millions of Americans use. So the charade continues, at least for now.

    Prop 19, if it passes, will not directly affect federal prohibition, but the additional cultivation and new networks of wholeale distribution and retail outlets that will result from legalizing for recreational use does have the potential to push the federal situation from charade into farce. Could be interesting.

  28. Mr. Nice
    October 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Got to band together. Napa’s wine co-ops started during prohibition. No reason to wait. Who cares a damn if industrial bammer gets monopolized? That ain’t what folks grow in Humboldt anyway.

  29. the reasonable anonymous
    October 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I agree.

    I believe there are some folks in Sohum that are already planning some kind of co-op that would go into operation if Prop 19 passes. The idea, if I understand it correctly, is so that the smaller growers can band together in marketing and distributing their products.

  30. Big Al
    October 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I would like to talk with “some folks”

  31. October 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Climate and sun will mean absolutely nothing. Outdoor is crap no one with money cares about outdoor,therefore upon legalization they can grow ANYWHERE in climate controlled buildings/warehouses. Anyone wanting to live off the humboldt name or area at that point needs to check their ego

  32. Mr. Nice
    October 10, 2010 at 11:49 am

    SmokeMonster by all estimates there is twenty times as much outdoor in these parts than indoor across the whole state. There is a healthy market for indoor sure but it ain’t ever gonna feed all the potheads. California smokes entirely too much bud to supply them with ins.

    Even if Oakland had four warehouses I bet that still ain’t enough weed for Oakland. It’d prolly do Fruitvale and 73rd street but the dubs would still be selling Humboldt. Humboldt got the best name in Oakland. All the heads think the Oakland indoor weed sucks and can’t wait until November when they start getting Humboldt. Those heads are no doubt lounging right now talking about how they are about to smoke some real Humboldt shit in a few weeks with some big ass buds the size of your fist and shit.

    Compare to any other crop. Tomatoes. Go to the Ray’s and they got hydro tomatoes from Mexico and SoCal and those are okay but it ain’t as if there’s no market for outdoor, heirloom, big daddy, bulbous, super-tart, outdoor type of tomatoes.

    This shit is all silly. Folks grow indoor grapes too to avoid root borers on their cutting stock. But it ain’t like you could fill a warehouse with grape vines and supply any kinna wine demand. Too many drunk ass wine connoisseurs for all that.

  33. Big Al
    October 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    if 19 passes there may be an initial shortage as production ramps up to meet demand. growers that can afford to might consider stock piling for the first boom.
    I imagine that the production would catch up pretty quickly (not necessarily maintaining the same quality)
    and the price would drop some, but there may well be a spike in prices at first. for us here in Humboldt, it is absolutely essential we not only maintain the quality of any product that carries the “Humboldt” name but also ensure it was actually grown here if it says so on the label.

  34. Mr. Nice
    October 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Why would there be an initial shortage? I’ve never seen an early January shortage of bud.

  35. Big Al
    October 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    spike in demand… willing to bet

  36. Cristina Bauss
    October 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Mr. Nice, you always make my day.

  37. High Finance
    October 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Lower prices = increased consumption.

    That is what several of you have said & you are right. Is having a lot more consumption of a mind altering substance, having more escape from reality, having more pot heads a good thing ?

    Think about it.

  38. suzy blah blah
    October 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Outdoor, organic, full-sunlight makes the best-tasting, best-smelling buds.

    That’s subjective ;) But more importantly, it’s cosmetic. What marijuana consumers are most interested in obtaining is the pot that gives you the best high. Then, in the course of nature, the pot that has the best effect on you becomes the kind with the smell and taste which you like best too. Check the surveys. They will show that as soon as potheads smell that familiar killer smell that got them so stoned before, they swoon in ecstasy remembering the nirvana that was theirs for a spell. That’s why people love the smell of skunk, bubblegum, stinky ogkush, etc, it’s not that they’re naturally aromatic, like the smell of a rose etc., it’s because that is the smell of the smoke that get’s them off –the recognition of the same smell of what got them so high.

    Oh sure okay, I guess if all else is the same, ie if you have the same strain grown indoors and out then I would agree that the outdoor will be more desirable to most consumers. But all else isn’t the same, yet. What a grower who want’s to compete has to do in the (new) market space, imso, is to have the pot that has the best effect on the consumer, ie the pot that gives the best high.

    I do hold the opinion that outdoor is the best if the strain(s) is the same. And it’s true that different folks like different smokes, so everyone won’t have the same favorite strain. But generally speaking, in consideration of how high one can get, there is suburb herb, and then also, a smoker can cop the mediocre. It’s always better, and in the long run cheaper too, to have the best, because one toke of the kind is better than a half joint of the not so kind. And the superb strain may smell like horseshit and the mediocre may smell like a rose, but the consumer will prefer the horseshit smell. In short, what naturally happens is that you get to love the smell and taste of the pot that gives you the best quality high.

  39. Mr. Nice
    October 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    spike in demand… willing to bet

    The short supply items will be clones, seeds, and neem oil.

    The current California demand for finished product is so high that I doubt it could change by much. In 1980, it would have made a difference. These days so many people smoke weed that it would have to be free to drive up use.

  40. Chemdawg
    October 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Ninety-nine plants to 3 plants per person.Colorado state law is telling us growers to grow big plants. Why? We’re only allowed 3 plants flowering/3 plants veggie.Places like Fremont County where the the infamous “Una-Bomber” is housed, allows 25 for unincorporated towns in there county.Do you really need 99 plants Humboldt? No helicopters here! GREEN RUSH COLORADO!!

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