Northern California is the home of some of the best illegal weed production in the United States. The Emerald Triangle is where Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt counties meet and it is one of the pot growing areas that is going through a transformation thanks to the legalization of marijuana.
The old pot growers are “cannabis cultivators” now, but some of them still hide their product in the thick forests around the Emerald Triangle until they can sneak their product into loving hands of potheads around the country. But the old way of doing business isn’t cutting it anymore. California pot growers are part of the legal agriculture sector now, and they have to start acting like they are upstanding citizens. Most marijuana growers realize that tending their crop by hand doesn’t cut it anymore. The future of the marijuana industry lies in robotic harvesting, genetic testing, and crop data analysis.
The message at Oakland’s New West Summit marijuana conference was to “get tech-savvy” if you want to reap the financial rewards of the legal marijuana industry. But most pot growers are still trying to preserve the old traditions of pot growing. Just like the old moonshiners of yesteryear they cultivate and produce their type of ganja with tender loving care. They still pot farm by hand in order to serve a boutique market that still wants their Dobbie’s to have that old school, illegal scent of harvesting in its aroma.
The stoner stereotype isn’t what cannabis consumers looks like in this tech age, according to the president of BDS Analytics, Liz Stahura. Cannabis consumers look like any other consumer now. The global marijuana industry is a $13 billion industry, and it should hit $32 billion by 2023. BDS Analytics tracks the improvements and the expansion of the cannabis market. In order for the industry to grow at the rate it needs to grow, marijuana farmers must get on the tech bandwagon, according to Stahura. That means more robotic growing and picking, and more testing for the harmful free radicals that can invade the plants.
Legal pot is here to stay, according to Stahura, and techno-pot growing is going to be the foundation for the industry. But there will always be pot growers who don’t want the techno-age to rain on their handing picking parade. Picking marijuana by hand is an ancient custom, according to those pot growers. There’s no need to change that method just because it’s legal. The hand-picking pot farmers will merchandise their crop like Cuban cigars. Their hand-picked pot will be the high-priced, hard to get weed, that some pot smokers will pay a premium for because it isn’t techno-friendly.