Tag: growing

How the Emerald Triangle Became America’s Cannabis Epicenter

This three-part series by wine and cannabis writer Tina Caputo explores the past, present, and future of the Emerald Triangle, looking specifically at factors that have made the area a venerable growing region; current efforts to divide the region into cannabis appellations; and questions of whether the region can maintain its preeminence as adult-use legalization hits California in 2018.

Ask any cannabis enthusiast today where America’s best buds originate, and the Emerald Triangle will invariably top the list. In fact, the Triangle—a triumvirate including Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties—grows some of the best cannabis in the world, and has for decades.

The region’s rise wasn’t the result of great marketing or even intention; it took a serendipitous confluence of hippie fatigue, cannabis-friendly topography, and prohibition-inspired creativity—not to mention 40 years of growing great pot—to earn the Emerald Triangle a reputation as the nation’s cannabis capital. Now, with prohibition falling away and adult-use legalization set to hit the Golden State in 2018, many are wondering: What will it take for the Emerald Triangle to preserve that reputation?

Origins of the Emerald Triangle

Marijuana Appellation Growing Regions in the Emerald Triangle | Leafly(Courtesy of Scott Buttfield/Humboldt Legends)

It all began in the 1960s and 70s with the back-to-the-land movement.

It all began in the 1960s and 70s with the “back-to-the-land” movement, when thousands of young people, disillusioned with mainstream society and disheartened by the Vietnam War, moved to the countryside in search of sustainable living. Northern Californians who went “up the country” chose the region now known as the Emerald Triangle for its beautifully remote location a few hours north of San Francisco.

The settlers didn’t initially view the area as an ideal place to grow pot, but they soon realized that its rugged terrain and redwood forests provided the perfect cover for illicit farming.

“The first folks to move there were part of a group called the Diggers, community activists and organizers from Haight-Ashbury,” says Martin A. Lee, director of Project CBD and author of the book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana. The group had a passionate interest in ecological restoration, and sought to continue its efforts in the wilds of Northern California.

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“When they moved to the countryside they quickly encountered the hard realities of earning a living,” Lee says, “and it became easy to grow a little weed on the side. It was really a matter of augmenting what they were already doing to make ends meet. A lot of the impetus was to support their ecological activism.”

It didn’t take long for their side hustle to become a significant source of income. The surrounding area offered a relatively easy place to grow cannabis, and its nooks and crannies were difficult for law enforcement to access. It was also fairly close to the Bay Area’s pot-loving population, and word of mouth helped spread knowledge of the Emerald Triangle’s primo products.

Ties to Off-the-Grid Living

Marijuana Appellation Growing Regions in the Emerald Triangle | Leafly(Courtesy of Real Goods)

“Part of what made the Emerald Triangle a crucible for the cannabis industry was its proximity to the frontier of the off-the-grid rural environment,” says veteran cannabis grower Scott Davies, owner of Humboldt’s Winterbourne Farms and co-founder of Humboldt Legends. “The industry couldn’t have gotten where it is today, out of sight, in a less-remote place.” Such advancements as the availability of solar power, introduced to the region by back-to-the-lander John Schaeffer, set the stage for the industry’s success. Schaeffer moved to Mendocino County in 1972 to live on a commune with 20 like-minded environmentalists, and soon recognized the need for a one-stop shop where hippies could buy off-the-grid living supplies. He opened the Real Goods store in Willits in 1978.

The Emerald Triangle became a crucible … The industry couldn’t have gotten where it is today in a less-remote place.

Scott Davies, co-founder, Humboldt Legends

Along with drip irrigation systems and organic fertilizers, Real Goods sold the first solar panels available in the United States. When used to charge 12-volt batteries, the panels allowed cannabis farmers—the only ones who could afford to buy the expensive systems—to have electricity out in the woods.

“In 1975 or 76, just before I started the store, people were just beginning to grow marijuana,” recalls Schaeffer, who is also the founder of the Solar Living Center. “It was totally secretive at the time—people hardly even wanted to tell their best friends they were doing it. We started to see helicopters flying over the area and people were very paranoid about getting caught and spending years in prison.” Logging was the region’s main industry at the time, and the local population was not cannabis-friendly.

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“People were very conservative,” Schaeffer says. “It was just logging trucks, apples and pears, and good ol’ boys and girls.” When a man from Schaeffer’s commune decided to run for local office, his political opponent created yard signs that read, “Don’t Let Anderson Valley Go to Pot.”

The early to mid-90s … that’s when outsiders started coming in.

John Schaeffer, owner, Real Goods

Despite local hostilities, the cannabis industry continued to expand. “In the early 80s we started hearing about 1,000-plant gardens and people bringing in ‘trimmigrants’ from the outside world to work on the farms,” Schaeffer says. The Emerald Triangle’s timber industry began to collapse around the same time, which slowly began helping to change locals’ attitudes about the cannabis business. Many who had opposed the region’s pot culture suddenly found themselves in need of work, and turned to cannabis growing as a lucrative alternative. It was no longer the hippies versus the rednecks.

Even so, cannabis didn’t really become big business until the early to mid-90s, Schaeffer says. “That’s when outsiders started coming in.”

The Impact of Cannabis Prohibition—and Repeal

Marijuana Appellation Growing Regions in the Emerald Triangle | Leafly(Courtesy of Scott Buttfield/Humboldt Legends)

Lee believes that rather than hindering the cannabis industry’s development, prohibition helped it succeed. “Ironically, I think it helped magnify the growth of the whole thing,” he says. “Prohibition was a catalyst for a lot of innovation on the part of the growers, because they had to be very creative to avoid law enforcement.”

Today the Emerald Triangle supports more than 20,000 cannabis growers, by conservative estimate, and is known around the world as America’s cannabis epicenter. A study has never been conducted to measure pot’s economic importance in the region, but local growers’ organizations confirm that cannabis is—by far—the tri-county area’s most important industry.

Today the Emerald Triangle supports more than 20,000 cannabis growers—by conservative estimate.

“Cannabis growing is completely out in the open now,” Schaeffer says. “People come into the store and say, ‘I need a solar system for my trimming crew. How many lights should I get?’ Before, no one would ever let on what they were doing. Now you’ve got ‘The Cannabis Hour’ on the local radio station.”

Even Schaeffer has gotten into the business; in 2015 he co-founded Emerald Pharms, a solar-powered medical dispensary in Hopland, right next to the Real Goods store and the Solar Living Center. “Sometimes I see people walking out with bags from the dispensary and lighting up in the parking lot,” he says. “It’s crazy.”

California’s legalization of adult-use cannabis will bring about a new phase of transformation for the Emerald Triangle: On January 1, 2018, the region’s growers will finally be able to step into the light and talk about the factors that make the Emerald Triangle arguably the best cannabis region in the world. (Whether all growers will choose to do so is another story.)

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When the discussion begins, growers in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties will have an important advantage. “What the Emerald Triangle has going for it is a very significant history,” Lee says. “The farmers in this region have a lot of experience and a lot of know-how. They have a name that means something.”

How to harness that advantage? The urgency of addressing that question is increasing as 2018 nears. Many key players believe the answer centers around the potential of establishing cannabis growing regions, or appellations, for cannabis, similar to the way in which wines from Sonoma and Napa Valley may be legally labeled and marketed as such. In the next article, we explore the challenges and opportunities associated with such a project.

Part Two of this series details efforts to divide California’s cannabis country into distinctive growing regions known as appellations.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Texas Issues One of Three Planned Producer Licenses, But Questions Remain

Production of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis can begin in Texas, as the state’s Department of Public Safety granted one of three planned licenses to a medical marijuana producer on Friday.

The constricted medical marijuana program was created by the Texas Compassionate Use Act more than two years ago. Currently, only patients suffering from intractable epilepsy are allowed to receive low-THC cannabis with permission from a very limited number of physicians.

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Cansortium Texas, the company that received the license on Friday, will now start growing medical cannabis. Two other companies, Compassionate Cultivation and Surterra, were granted provisional licenses back in May but are still waiting on their final licenses.

Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Leafly that it remains unclear why the other two cultivators weren’t issued final licenses today. Each of the three that were given provisional licenses had to pass onsite inspections before given a final license to start producing, so that may be a reason.

Even with the delivery of a first license, the Texas medical marijuana program still has major issues to work through.

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According to the Marijuana Policy Project, data obtained from the Texas Medical Bureau, the American Board of Psychiatry, Neurology, and the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology indicate that only 411 doctors in Texas have the necessary qualifications to register for the program.

According to MPP, this amounts to approximately 0.54% of the licensed physicians in Texas.

The number who actually register will likely end up being lower. Some physicians may not decide to register in light of the personal and professional risk involved.

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“The few patients that could be helped by this program are now one step closer to finding relief,” Fazio said. “However, the extremely limited scope and flawed language may doom the program unless it is revised.”

So far, all attempts to fix the program have failed. Earlier this year, Rep. Eddie Lucio III introduced HB 2107, which would have resolved the problems contained in the current Compassionate Use Program.

A majority of House members signed on as supporters, but the bill did not end up getting to a floor vote before the end of the session.

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing ACDC Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and Botanicare are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: Few strains produce as much CBD as ACDC, and as the demand for CBD increases, so does this strain’s popularity. The THC/CBD ratio of this strain can reach as high as 1:20, which means it delivers little to no psychoactive effects. ACDC has been utilized heavily by the medical community to treat conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, and pain. Consumers sensitive to THC’s side effects have also come to deeply appreciate the mild and relaxing effects ACDC has to offer.

Grow Techniques: This strain will grow in any medium. The plant structure is naturally bushy and requires little or no training. HST (high stress training) will help level the canopy of the plant, and pruning will keep the energy focused towards the topmost buds.

Flowering Time: 10 weeks 

Yield: Moderate

Grow Difficulty: Hard

Climate: ACDC is a picky strain that likes a stable, consistent climate between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: ACDC can be grown indoors or outdoors successfully. If growing outdoors, make sure you have enough time for the strain to finish flowering before temperatures drop in the fall.

Feeding: During the vegetative stage, feed half the recommended amount of nutrients and increase to full feeding during flowering. As a high-CBD strain, ACDC is sensitive to overfeeding.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing Purple Trainwreck Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and Botanicare are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: Purple Trainwreck is a cross between Mendocino Purps and Trainwreck. Both parent strains are well-known in the California scene, and Purple Trainwreck follows in their footsteps. Known for its large yields and resistance to disease and mold, this strain has been a longtime favorite for outdoor cultivators.

Grow Techniques: Grow this strain outdoors if you can. Healthy soils and exposure to sunlight will allow this strain to grow large. Top once when the plant is a few feet tall and again every few weeks until it reaches flowering; this will allow the plant to grow into an even bush of buds. If you prune and stake the branches, you will be well rewarded.

Flowering Time: 8 to 9 weeks

Yield: High

Grow Difficulty: Moderate 

Climate: Purple Trainwreck resists mold well and tolerates colder temperatures. While harsh weather can lower the yield, this plant can push through some tough times. Ideally, Purple Trainwreck should be grown between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: If you have the option, grow this strain outdoors where it has enough space to take off.

Feeding: Healthy soil at the beginning of the season will get Purple Trainwreck started on the right foot. Compost tea can improve the plant’s vitality, and top dressing the soil with phosphorus-dense nutrients at the beginning of flowering will keep Purple Trainwreck growing at full speed.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing King Louis XIII Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and Botanicare are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: King Louis XIII is thought to be a unique cut of OG Kush as they share many similar attributes. The buds offer a classic earthy Kush aroma, and the light green buds are dense and resin-packed. This indica-dominant strain is cherished for its relaxing effects that segue nicely into sleep.

Grow Techniques: King Louis XIII flourishes indoors in a hydroponic setup. Utilize a SOG (sea of green) or SCROG (screen of green) method with clones to fill your space. Train the plants and switch to flowering early to keep a continual rotation in your garden.

Flowering Time: 8 weeks

Yield: High

Grow Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: If kept in a consistent climate, this strain will thrive and produce beautiful, dense buds. King Louis XIII prefers temperatures between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: Grow indoors to keep the plant protected from the elements. If grown outdoors, be aware of high humidity levels which can cause mold.

Feeding: Feed on the heavy side, especially with CalMag and phosphorus. Introducing CO2 to your grow space will help these buds pack on extra weight.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing God Bud Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and General Hydroponics are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: A longtime favorite from British Columbia, God Bud was bred by Jordan of the Islands, who mixed a Canadian strain known as “God” with Purple Skunk and Hawaiian. God Bud is a powerful indica strain that offers potent medicinal properties and a sweet aroma of berry, lavender, and pine.

Grow Techniques: This strain can be grown indoors or outdoors in a hydroponic or soil setup. The plants and buds grow dense, so prune and train them to maintain airflow while using trellising to keep ample space between buds. God Bud’s flowers develop loads of sticky resin, making it a great plant for creating hash.

Flowering Time: 7 weeks

Yield: High

Grow Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: God Bud can handle colder climates, but be careful of high humidity levels as the buds develop. A drop in temperature can cause the buds to take on purple hues, but this strain prefers temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: God Bud can be grown either indoors or outdoors with success. 

Feeding: This indica strain requires heavier feeding. Keep the plant happy by top dressing with organic nutrients.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing Silver Haze Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and General Hydroponics are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: Silver Haze brought the beauty of Haze genetics to new heights by breeding in Northern Lights to increase the yield and quality of buds. This Haze-dominant strain now produces yields that made it financially worthwhile. Known for its cerebral sativa high, Silver Haze also offers a sweet and woody aroma.

Grow Techniques: Try growing this strain indoors with a hydroponic setup using the SOG (sea of green) method. It can be switched to flowering early on as it will stretch quite a bit. This strain responds well to training methods and can be packed in closely with other plants without causing problems.

Flowering Time: 10 to 12 weeks

Yield: High

Grow Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: Responds well to dry, warm climates between 70 and 80 degrees.

Indoor/Outdoor: Silver Haze grows well indoors or outdoors given the right climate. It does exceptionally well indoors for a sativa strain. 

Feeding: Be careful to not overfeed this sativa-dominant plant. If growing hydroponically, keep the EC (electrical conductivity) low to start off, and slowly increase as you pay attention to the effects the nutrients have on the plant.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing Platinum Kush Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and Botanicare are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: Platinum Kush is supposedly a cross between an Afghani strain and Master Kush. Regardless of its lineage, it stands alone as a unique and powerful indica strain. Named for its shiny coat of resin that leaves the buds shimmering, this strain delivers a skunky gasoline aroma and deeply sedating effects.

Grow Techniques: This strain is an excellent candidate for the SOG (sea of green) grow method. The plants stay short and dense, and they are generally resistant to mold. Grow this strain hydroponically indoors or take it outdoors to be grown in soil. Prune lower foliage to keep the energy directed towards the buds receiving full sun. Make sure you have a few pairs of scissors in rotation while you trim this plant–Platinum Kush’s resin production makes for a sticky end product.

Flowering Time: 8 to 9 weeks

Yield: High 

Grow Difficulty: Moderate 

Climate: Platinum Kush’s resistance to mold makes it a popular strain to grow where moisture content is high in the fall. It performs best in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: Suitable for either indoor or outdoor gardens.

Feeding: Platinum Kush can take heavy nutrients to keep the resin production up. Feed heavily with nitrogen and CalMag early on in the vegetative stage while moving to phosphorus-heavy foods during flowering.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing Afgoo Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and Botanicare are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: Afgoo, also known as Afgooey, is a classic indica strain that has been around for years. Made available by Green House Seeds, this strain is a cross between an Afghani landrace and Maui Haze. Its sedating effects are delivered alongside a fresh pine aroma that leaves you feeling euphoric and centered.

Grow Techniques: Afgoo will grow successfully either indoors or outdoors. The breeders at Green House Seeds state that any medium will allow this plant to flourish. They do recommend exploring SOG (sea of green) or SCROG (screen of green) methods to increase the yield. The strain produces bushy, short plants ideal for small spaces.

Flowering Time: 8 weeks

Yield: High

Grow Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: Prefers a Mediterranean climate with temperatures between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Afgoo should be able to tolerate slightly higher humidity levels.

Indoor/Outdoor: Afgoo can be raised indoors or outdoors. Make sure the plants get good airflow while growing outdoors if higher humidity levels are present.

Feeding: Breeders at Green House Seeds state that Afgoo can take higher feeding levels than most strains. Keep the nutrients up and push your garden towards a massive yield of quality cannabis.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Tips for Growing J1 Cannabis

Ever wanted to grow your favorite strain? Leafly and General Hydroponics are teaming up on a series of grow guides that will equip you with all the tips and tricks you need to grow different strains successfully.


Strain Overview: J1, also called Jack One, is a cross between Jack Herer and Skunk #1. The strain is known for its elevating cerebral high that leaves you feeling calm and collected. The aroma is similar to Jack Herer: skunky, piney, and with sweet notes of citrus.

Grow Techniques: Grow indoors or outdoors in complex healthy soils to keep the flavor of this strain as strong as possible. The buds are known to grow dense, which means you’ll need quality air circulation as well as protection from rain and humidity to prevent mold.

Flowering Time: 8 to 9 weeks

Yield: Moderate

Grow Difficulty: Moderate

Climate: This strain prefers low humidity (40% RH) and temperatures between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indoor/Outdoor: Will thrive indoors or outdoors. If growing outdoors, J1 performs best in a Mediterranean climate.

Feeding: Feed this strain carefully as it may be sensitive to overfeeding. Utilize amendments to make a healthy soil that will aid the production of its notable aroma.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.