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What’s Missing in the Crop Report?

Just a quick observation on this week’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting where the annual Crop Report was released.

I was looking forward to reading what the county Ag Department had to say about its role as a primary administrator of the county’s cannabis ordinance.

Imagine my surprise when I was unable to find a single mention of the words cannabis or marijuana in the report. I even did a word search, and no match for either word.

That’s rather odd since for the past two years the county has spent more time and resources on its cannabis ordinance than any other issue.

The Crop Report did list under the caption “Million Dollar Crops” the following:

  • Wine Grapes—$120,080,200
  • Timber—$102,000,000
  • Bartlett Pears—$14,556,400
  • Cattle & Calves—$9,113,400
  • Pasture—$5,717,250
  • Milk—$3,801,746
  • Nursery—$1,564,000

Is this some sort of bizarre historical revision of Mendocino County history?

After all, for a quarter of a century, pot has been recognized — on one occasion even in the Annual Crop Report — as the county’s number one cash crop.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Ag Department did report on the status of the cannabis cultivation permit application process. As usual the data is confusing to the degree that it conceals more than it reveals. For example, 1,123 applications have been received, while 198 of those have resulted in “issued” permits, and 39 of those have been “approved.”

What does that mean?

The bottom line is less than 10 percent of the estimated 10,000-plus cannabis farmers in this county have come forward to make application under the ordinance.

The real bottom line is there is clearly massive overproduction of pot here and the resulting plummet of market prices endangers the survival of mom and pop growers.

County officials have no idea of what is happening outside of the county seat. They have no idea of how much pot is being grown, who’s growing it, where it’s being grown, and what are the impacts of growing on our watersheds and natural resources.

It’s no wonder that the Crop Report was devoid of any marijuana content. They literally have nothing on the subject to report.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, andis also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District.Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1FM, also streamed live:


  1. George Dorner December 17, 2018

    Humboldt County collected $17 million as tax revenue during the past year. How much has Mendocino collected?

  2. Kirk Vodopals December 17, 2018

    A colleague of mine recently told me that he predicts that, within roughly two years, Mendo County will bail out almost entirely of the weed regulation program and just default to the State regs. They seem to be well on track to do so!

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