Misguided Boardman – Legal Marijuana Not Good for Local Economy.

In his column today Union Columnist George Boardman is promoting legal marijuana as the economic future of Nevada County.  Link to column his is HERE.  His premiss is based on recreational marijuana becoming legal in California in 2016.  Once it is legal, Boardman thinks that mom and pop legal growers will pop up all over the county, taking advantage our excellent growing conditions and reputation for producing some of the finest marijuana in the state, thus boosting the local economy.

Here is where I think that Boardman is wrong.  If the state legislature passes legalization legislation it will come with a whole host of controls and restrictions that will have to be met by these local growers. These regulations and restrictions will be difficult for the mom and pop growers to meet. This will not be by accident, the major agricultural growers working with state legislators will make sure there is no room in the market for small growers.  That is how big business works in a crony capitalism world.

In addition, to manage and monitor the growing operations, insuring that every ounce of taxes are paid, the state will prefer large grows that can be monitored much easier than hundreds of small time growers scattered across the state.   This will reenforce the need to restrict small growers, while promoting large agricultural operations through the regulatory process.  We do not have room for large industrial grows in Nevada County, while valley counties do.  

Legalization of marijuana will have a negative impact on the local economy, not the positive one that George Boardman envisions.  He is not looking at the larger picture. 

Your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana and it’s impact on the local economy. 

Update:  George Rebane has some thoughts HERE.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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4 Responses to Misguided Boardman – Legal Marijuana Not Good for Local Economy.

  1. Barry Pruett says:

    While one may not agree with George B., his editorials do engage the local population to think about these issues and form their own opinions.


    • Russ Steele says:

      Yes, they do make people think and some times his columns cause our local lefties to soiling themselves. I look forward to every moment of their dismay.


  2. gjrebane says:

    While I am on record agreeing with how post-legalization RMJ will be produced, I do not hold that Nevada County cannot support sufficiently large commercial grows and processing plants that are both profitable and tax beneficial to the local economy. But I do believe that local ‘mom & pop’ producers will be put out of business by commercial grows whether they are located here or elsewhere in California.


    • Russ Steele says:


      It may possible to develop large grows in Nevada County by commercial farms. In Colorado, those grows are in large industrial buildings under controlled conditions. Nevada County would have to build those large industrial buildings and there are some General Plan restrictions on large buildings. The target was limiting big box stores, but those same rules could limit MJ production buildings. I guess it is possible to build clusters, but will the environmental wackos allow it, as it would impact mom and pop business. The whole thrust of the GP update was protection for mom and pop business. Stay tuned.


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