Cannabis is destined to become a powerful economic force to drive local rural economies. Local cannabis cultivation talent, once a liability, has become an asset. Cannabis has the potential to generate significant revenue using a tiny percentage of the land required for other crops. See: Economic Impact Report for a detailed analysis and a May 2018 update to reflect data from the first 4 months of the regulated market.
Let us work toward smart growth -- maximum economic returns (direct, indirect, and induced economic activity) while minimizing ecological damage. Policy should support concentrated cultivation sites on remote, fallow land, away from traditional crops and the community. Philosophically, growth is not bad or good: the question is "What are we growing?" Let's grow new jobs and tax revenue!
Clustering the density of cultivation sites on large properties with many parcels is better for the environment and easier on enforcement staff to make monitoring visits. Let's keep it out of the hills!
Co-location is a smart strategy to enable small farmers to continue operating without having scattered, small grow sites throughout the county. Local cooperatives where small farmers can consolidate their production and distribution, and have access to resources to become compliant, are essential.
A multiple choice quiz:
(A) Black market weed with no money for enforcement.
(B) Black market weed, and clean, concentrated white market operations with money for enforcement.
There is no "(C) None of the above"!