Home > marijuana > EMERALD GROWERS ASSOCIATION: Recent Federal Crackdown on Medical Cannabis Industry not only Bad for Patients, but also for Environment

EMERALD GROWERS ASSOCIATION: Recent Federal Crackdown on Medical Cannabis Industry not only Bad for Patients, but also for Environment

[Press Release]

In response to a study released by UC Davis this week, declaring that California fisher populations are declining from ingestion of rat poison used at illicit marijuana grow sites on public lands, the Emerald Growers Association released a statement today calling on the Federal government to re-allocate its limited resources to enforce eradication of illegal marijuana grows on public lands instead of closing down medical cannabis businesses complying with state laws.

The Emerald Growers Association (EGA), a medical cannabis trade association located in the Emerald Triangle region long-known for its high-quality cannabis cultivation, has been working to regulate the medical cannabis industry on a local and state level.

“What the Federal government is completely ignoring is that the more they shut-down state law-compliant medical cannabis businesses in our communities, the more they increase the demand for black market production and destruction of our public lands,” said Kristin Nevedal, Chairwoman of the EGA, “We want to see our federal administration focus on the real problems in cannabis cultivation – namely the illicit grows on public lands that we’ve known are trashing habitat and depleting our water, and now we know they also are killing the California fisher, among other species.”

EGA Vice Chair, Matt Cohen, whose work helped to establish Mendocino County’s groundbreaking Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation ordinance (otherwise known as the “9.31 Program”), knows first-hand the pressure the federal government is putting on local law enforcement by cracking down on legal medical cannabis cultivators instead of illicit growers.  The 9.31 Program exemplified cooperation between small-scale medical cannabis cultivators and law enforcement, and was featured on PBS’ documentary series

Cohen was raided by the DEA in October 2011 after the airing of the Frontline documentary, despite being a model of compliance with the program.

“By targeting law-abiding medical cannabis cultivators, federal authorities are putting tremendous pressure on local law enforcement who should be focusing on the true outlaws,” said Cohen, “The 9.31 program saved four Sheriff Deputies from getting laid-off in Mendocino, but now the program has been gutted because of threats from US Attorney Melinda Haag’s office against our county government and local law enforcement rather than the illicit growers ruining our public lands.”

The EGA is calling on the federal government to utilize their limited resources to focus on the real issues effecting public safety and environmental degradation rather than focusing on medical cannabis patients and providers.

Citing the links between public safety, environmental safety, and patient safety, Alison Sterling Nichols, executive director of the EGA, asserted that, “This is a classic example of our federal government having their heads so far in the sand that they don’t even know what beach they’re on.  To prioritize shutting down lawful businesses in our current economic climate, instead of protecting the health of patients and our environment is beyond irresponsible, it’s reprehensible.”

The EGA’s mission is to “promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle Region (Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties) by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry.”

For more information or to contact the EGA, you can visit www.emeraldgrowers.org info@emeraldgrowers.org.

To read the UC Davis study Poisons on public lands put wildlife at risk, visit http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10287

  1. July 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I just commented on this in the Times Standard . Here is my post….

    Steve Miller · 32 years old
    ” seriously folks i believe this story . Just another reason to legalize & the money made would go to stop these poachers & for jail to house them ” .

    PS – Both Romney and Obama are liars .

  2. Labtech
    July 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Totally sickening development. I’m done giving the growers slack while we lobby for legalization.

  3. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Fisher population have declined in one area from 52 to 28 fishers

  4. tra
    July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm


    Lumping everyone who grows cannabis into one category, “the growers,” is foolish and counterproductive. I’m willing to give some “slack” to those growers who are being responsible neighbors and good stewards of the environment, but I don’t have much sympathy for those who are on the get-rich-quick trip and don’t give a rip about the environment.

  5. Not A Native
    July 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Self serving BS by local pot growers. No mention of poisons and environmental pollution on private lands. Guess that never happens, does it?

    I’ll rewrite this as it’s really intended:

    “Hey cops, give me a pass and arrest my competition. Also, defend my ability to sell pot at black market prices while I have no risk of criminal penalty. And please, ignore the legal understanding that CA legal medical pot can’t be sold for profit and can be sold only by caregivers directly involved in the overall healthcare of the patient.”

  6. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    unfortunately the research only focused on National Parks, National Forest and Tribal Lands. The extent of damage on private lands is not known and could be worse since their is no law enforcement presence like our National Park lands.

  7. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I have seen virtually every wild animal that lives here many times, but have seen only one wild fisher in my entire life.

  8. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Lets face it, growers are people who willfully break the law to make money. Kind of like the hippy version of a banker.:)

  9. Felix
    July 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Is there a Feed Store in the area that refuses to sell these products? If not why not? More people use them than just growers on public lands – so, if education fails how about some pressure on the supply? It would be very good PR if one of the many would set an example ( there are many more products I would eliminate, but it’d be a start). And I think people would patronize them in response.

  10. Giggles
    July 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Ooooh, maybe Labtech works for the CIA… http://bit.ly/MKt04Z

  11. Thorstein Veblen
    July 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    funny, the Fairhaven Pulp Mill was trying to sell its products as enviro-cool, but look where they are now, just another defunct former mill. The idea was that people would pay another nickle or dime to wipe their rear end, or nether-parts for the women, with ecologically correct toilet paper. Seems that people will not, en masse, voluntarily pay more for a product than is available cheaper from the fuck-the-planet producers. Is it the same with pot?

    And on the supply side, can one make more money by being anti-environment in the production of pot?

    We’ve incenticized bad practices by not assigning all the costs of production on the producer. Same as with petroleum, coal, electronics, etc. Why should pot be any different?

  12. Anonymous
    July 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Crazy photos and no wonder the above statement was done. Not so green as many think.

  13. WTF
    July 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What people don’t understand, when its illegal there is no regulation. So how can the Fed’s distinguish between a “law-abiding medical cannabis cultivator” and the illegal medical Cannabis cultivator? And why would the Fed’s care if it was grown for medical reasons or street and festival sales? Is Humboldt bud grown differently than medical Cannabis? What is the difference between people that buy Humboldt buds to get high and medical cannabis to the feds?

  14. Walt
    July 19, 2012 at 6:28 am

    It’s Money that matters
    Now you know that it’s true
    It’s Money that matters
    Whatever you do.
    –Randy Newman

  15. Mitch
    July 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

    The EGA: growing fine birch seedlings since 2011.

  16. Anonymous
    July 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Felix :
    Is there a Feed Store in the area that refuses to sell these products? If not why not? More people use them than just growers on public lands – so, if education fails how about some pressure on the supply? It would be very good PR if one of the many would set an example ( there are many more products I would eliminate, but it’d be a start). And I think people would patronize them in response.

  17. wurking stiff
    July 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    The US AG should call her witch-hunt to target the most legitimate operators among dispensaries, growers and local governments dealing with all the gray areas of medical cannabis, “Operation Maximum Cartel Money, Power & Violence”. This is because the ultra violent organized crime cartels are the biggest beneficiaries of her “crackdown”.

    Good work there you federal clowns!

  18. back in the saddle
    July 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Grow houses. To grow plants, it is called a green house. You know, the thing with clear plastic or glass. Houses are for people to live in. Discuss.

  19. Richard
    July 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Not A Native is an idiot. These folks, the Emerald Growers Assoc. is specifically NOT the ones polluting. In fact their entire mission is to adhere to “best practices”, and they support doing it in daylight, both literally by not burning fossil fuel to grow inside and figuratively, by being 215 compliant, filing 1099s, and not having anything to hide from (local and state) law enforcement. They are demonstrating everything that could be done right in the MJ industry. Even NaN should be able to realize that the people who are operating outside the law, are not issuing press releases about their operation, …with their names on them.

  20. Not A Native
    July 20, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Richard is a misleading fool. Of course these growers are violating CA law, they’re selling pot at black market prices, making black market profits, while not having a personal caregiving relationship with those their buyers. And as for giving names meaning anything, thats also bogus. The frontspeople have good cover stories, current doctor recommendations or valid caregiver status with small grows that are indeed legitimate 215. But there’s alot more that isn’t being revealed and thats exactly what the Feds are targeting. And those illegal operations are what EGA want to be ignored and winked at.

    Anyone selling pot at blackmarket prices is not operating in accordance with CA law, period.

  21. High Finance
    July 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Who is worse ? The illegal growers “selling pot at black market prices” or the quack doctors giving phoney 215 cards to anyone with $65 ??

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