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Petition Seeks Help Protecting Small Cannabis Farmers in the Emerald Triangle

The cannabis industry’s famed Emerald Triangle is made up of the lush growing regions in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties of Northern California—but high taxes and large corporations are threatening this community of multi-generational farmers who want to grow high quality weed as a passion, not just for profit.

Rose Moberly is an advocate for Humboldt and a farmer. She circulated a petition in order to raise awareness about the Emerald Triangle’s dire situation.

Moberly’s extensive and impressive history in cannabis has been a highlight of her career. Starting from her roots interning for the Colorado Senate as an environmental lobbyist to rising in the ranks of a trimming job, grow facilities and even a track-and-trace METRC auditor, she’s explored many facets of the cannabis industry. Two years ago, things really started to take off when she was invited by the California Senate to visit small-scale farmers to teach them about track-and trace.

This path eventually led to her finding love and her current position as co-operator at Huckleberry Hill Farms, a second-generation farm. “Long story short, I wound up falling in love with a certain legacy farmer [John Casali]I met my partner, who challenged me daily to become a better woman, and we moved on. [to Humboldt] over two years ago.”

Photo Credit: Ben Neff

Moberly describes Huckleberry Hill Farms “as mom-and-pop as it can get!” and her passion for cannabis advocacy and growing knows no bounds. Unfortunately, the Emerald Triangle’s small farmers face a serious problem. Corporates have stepped in to challenge the close-knit group of farmers, having jumped on the marijuana bandwagon as soon as it became mainstream. They didn’t spare any effort or support legalization.

“I think it’s important for people to realize where a multi-billion-dollar industry is being created from, and what they had to go through with the War on Drugs in order to legalize this amazing powerful plant,” Moberly told Chronic News.

Even more important, California’s high cultivation taxes make it difficult to operate small farms, and not only those located in the Emerald Triangle. If the current trajectory for taxes doesn’t change, it could be game over for small farmers everywhere. “All farmers no matter where they are in the state of California are suffering from over taxation and over supply,” she explained. “Together we need to communicate with regulators that if they are going to continue to permit farms without federal legalization, they will continue to drive the price down. The Emphasis on the Emerald Triangle has to do with protecting a culture that is not found anywhere else in the entire world, not just California.”

Moberly is confident that some of the nation’s best and most unique cannabis strains are bred in the Emerald Triangle, and if those farmers are forced to shut down due to exorbitant tax requirements, those strains could also disappear forever. “Furthermore, the Emerald Triangle is like the Amazon jungle of genetics. Some of the Legacy Growers here, I’m sure, hold a unique strain of cannabis that might even have the cure for cancer, or Autism, epilepsy, etc,” she said. “If those Farms aren’t able to make it in today’s climate some of those strains and cultivars might possibly be lost forever.”

Moberly shared that a recent local survey showed that 50 to 60 percent of cannabis farms won’t survive through 2022 if some kind of emergency regulations are put in place. Which is why she decided to take action and start the petition “Save the Emerald Triangle Legacy Cannabis Farmers.”

“As a result, farmers who sold flower products last year at $1,400 a pound are now forced to sell their products at $300 per lb to pay their bills,” she wrote on the petition webpage. “Due to the state’s fixed dollar tax, those farmers will be asked to pay a 53 percent cultivation tax of $161.28; while the remaining leaf product which some farmers had to offload as low as $15 per pound will be charged $48 per pound for state taxes. At that price, they’re being subjected to a 320 percent tax rate!”

If she has enough signatures, she’ll send a message to Gavin Newsom (California Governor) and the state legislature to support California farmers. You can support this cause while you wait by signing the petition.