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How Legal Weed Is Killing America’s Most Famous Marijuana Farmers
By Natalie Fertig
Posted July 16, 2019

over regulatedUnder Prop 64, though, cannabis has become what some in the industry call “the most regulated crop in the nation’s most regulated state.” Each plant must be meticulously monitored through a central system called “track and trace.” There are separate state and county regulations, and the county requirements—from additional taxes to environmental impact studies—can be drastically different for farmers in different parts of the state. And where farmers once paid just income and maybe some sales taxes on their medical marijuana, they are now paying taxes before they grow, after they grow, and after they sell.

Zoning certificates and water board fees can cost $3,000 to $5,000, but the biggest costs come in environmental and structural changes to the property. Many Humboldt farms lie in the mountains, deliberately out of the way to avoid easy detection, at the end of long dirt roads that are hard to navigate. Paving the dirt roads alone can cost over $100,000. More…