This could be one of the best cannabis cultivation regions in the United States…
I’ve written recently about how cannabis is saving small towns.
On my trip to California last week, I visited Salinas. If you’ve never heard of this municipality in Monterey County before, many of the fruits and vegetables you consume every day come from Salinas.
And until a few decades ago, Salinas was the source of most of the roses Americans bought.
That business eventually went to Colombia, and Salinas went into decline. Many of the greenhouses were abandoned; others were underutilized for lower-value crops like lettuce.
However, things are changing.
I’m now more convinced than ever that Salinas will become one of the most important cannabis growing regions in the world for at least the next decade.
And the opportunity in Salinas is huge.
The city and Monterey County have recently lowered their cannabis growth taxes to attract more cannabis growers. They also increased the number of permits available. High-quality greenhouse space is available at a reasonable cost, and Salinas does not currently have water restrictions.
Cannabis Cultivation Is Booming in Salinas
When legal recreational cannabis became a reality in California, Salinas saw an opportunity to reclaim its place in agriculture.
While many other agricultural areas have substantial restrictions on cannabis cultivation – some in California’s central valley even prohibit it entirely – Monterey County and Salinas jumped at the opportunity.
I spoke to one of the larger landlords in the area. This was a person who saw an opportunity and purchased a lot of greenhouses before the tax decrease that set off the rush of producers. As you know from this free report, we are fans of cannabis landlords.
This person’s company alone has over 500,000 square feet of greenhouses available for cannabis producers. Some of those greenhouses are all but ready for occupancy right now. Others will need some renovation, electrical upgrades, more water permits, or other changes to be ready for cannabis cultivation.
However, all are either licensed or in a licensing process.
Salinas has other benefits, too. It is a short drive from the highly populated San Francisco Bay Area and is just five hours from Los Angeles. That connection to the Bay Area also benefits Salinas because of the high tech concentration in the area: testing labs, next-generation agricultural equipment, and a lot of capital are all close to Salinas.
Because of all the other agriculture in the area, highly-specialized farm labor is plentiful and capable of producing high-quality cannabis.
Finally, becoming an important cannabis cultivation hub brings its own benefits. With so many large growers in the area, there is a growing infrastructure to serve the industry. Waste disposal, greenhouse and lighting engineers, and trucking services for those companies that don’t self-distribute are developing in the area.
And, of course, the growers can band together to provide a unified voice on issues where their interests align.
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Conclusion on Cannabis Cultivation
Salinas represents a story where everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do, and the results are fantastic.
The government cleared the decks for a new industry by setting taxes low enough to attract businesses, but high enough to make it worth attracting.
The companies, for their part, sought out poorer communities as places to share the employment and tax benefits of the growth. That led to lowering their costs and increasing the wealth of a troubled area at the same time.
What’s next for Salinas?
In 2020, up to 75 previously illicit growers will be allowed to grow their cannabis outdoors in a few parts of Monterey County.
Overall, we’re starting to see a shift in where cannabis is grown. Latin America will slowly become a cannabis exporting powerhouse. In general, labor in that part of the world is cheap, and the conditions to grow plants are accommodating.
Companies are also looking into growing cannabis in a lab.
I can’t say in 10 years where or how most of the cannabis in the world will be grown, but I do know that a company that operates in a place like Salinas can cut down on costs and increase profits.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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13 responses to “The Most Important Cannabis Growing Region in the World”
July 31 2019