By Kim Pacilio
With medical marijuana legal in 16 states and counting, there is little doubt that legalized medical marijuana will soon become the norm all across the United States. And there is no better example in the entire United States of how successful and profitable medical marijuana can be then in a tiny area in Northwestern California known as the Emerald Triangle. Tucked away in beautiful Northern California, between the Pacific Coast and the Redwood forest, the Emerald Triangle has risen to prominence in recent years and has become infamous for having some of the highest quality medical marijuana in the world.
The Emerald Triangle consists of three notorious California counties Humboldt, Mendicino and Trinity. With a population of just 225,000 spread sparsely across this beautiful woody hills Northern California landscape, it is almost impossible to imagine that this small area of the country is one of the best areas to grow marijuana in the Northern Hemisphere. While there aren’t many plants that will flourish in this hilly, tucked away Northern California landscape, the cool winds and the fertile soil make it an ideal place for growing cannabis.
Since the middle of the 1960’s the infamous Emerald Triangle has become a ground zero of sorts for people looking to make a comfortable living in the cannabis growing industry. Even though growing marijuana is still illegal at the Federal level, California’s friendly medical marijuana laws enable citizens all over the Emerald Triangle to make a small fortune growing and selling marijuana. The Marijuana trade has even become so lucrative that in most areas in the Emerald Triangle one half to 2/3 of their entire economy is based off marijuana. With this kind of volume comes enormous profits, not to mention enormous scrutiny.
With over 1 billion dollars funneling into the Emerald Triangle every year, it is little wonder why the government has begun to take a second and third look at the impact of medical marijuana and the legalization of pot altogether. With the United States government in complete fiscal crisis, the $40 billion dollar a year marijuana industry could bring substantial revenue back to the government. Legalizing marijuana would not only bring substantial tax revenue back to the state, but the government would also save an additional $13 billion a year by simply not enforcing marijuana prohibition.
Taking out marijuana from the Emerald Triangle economy would be a devastating blow not only to the local residents who rely on the growing and selling of weed to support themselves, but also to the local and state governments who rely heavily on their tax revenue. And with new medical marijuana dispensary’s popping up all across California every day, the medical cannabis industry has become a large and integral part in California’s diverse economy.
While many Emerald Triangle citizens walk a fine line between growing marijuana legally and triggering a legal crackdown from the federal government and DEA, many Emerald Triangle growers are undeterred. In an area still reeling from the decades long decline of the timber and manufacturing industries, marijuana has become a mainstay in the Northern California economy and a lifesaver for many Emerald Triangle residents.