Farming Pot for the Economy

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American citizens and state legislators are looking to marijuana for some relief from the ongoing economic crisis. Writing for Miller McCune, Susan Kuchinskas profiles a few entrepreneurial Californians who are growing pot to supplement their dwindling incomes. One source in the piece reportedly, “doesn’t know anyone in Sonoma County who isn’t growing pot.”

The state of California, too, is looking to cash in on pot to bolster its ailing budget by levying taxes on still-illegal drug. The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act (pdf) could add an estimated $1.38 billion per year to the state’s depleted coffers.

Small pot farmers, like the ones profiled by Kuchinskas, received some good news recently when the federal government announced that it was loosening its drug policy. The Justice Department will now defer to local drug laws, instead of arresting medical marijuana users and growers who comply with state regulations.

Some see this move as a step toward “full legalization of marijuana use and distribution,” according to the Christian Science Monitor‘s editorial board. That legalization could be a mixed blessing for the small pot farmers, Kuchinskas writes, as it would allow them to operate more openly, while opening the door to competition with large, industrial farms. Kuchinskas’s subject “Sarah” welcomes the competition, however. She’s quoted in the piece as saying, “I’ll be like a boutique winery. You’ll come to my farm to get your primo flavors.”

Source: Miller McCune

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