Dirt-Cheap Calif. Pot Triggers Grower Panic
'Emerald Triangle' suffering amid glut
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2010 3:33 AM CDT
Updated May 18, 2010 6:36 AM CDT
A special agent inspects a trailer full of pot plants that were seized during a marijuana garden raid in a remote area of Annapolis, California.    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Moves towards legalizing marijuana are creating hard times for the marijuana farmers of northern California. The growers—who prospered when government crackdowns sent prices soaring—are suffering from increased competition and consumer preference for indoor-grown marijuana. Pot's wholesale price has plummeted, and many fear the 30-year-boom in California's "Emerald Triangle" is coming to an end.

Some growers are stuck with a glut of marijuana they can't unload at any price, according to the sheriff of Mendocino County. They recently arrested a man with 800 pounds of processed marijuana, the sheriff tells NPR. "We asked him: 'What are you going to do with 800 pounds of processed?' And he said, 'I don't know.'" The host of the annual Emerald Cup competition for the area's best pot says that poor-quality pot is to blame and that the marijuana industry is starting to become more like other agricultural industries, where only the most efficient growers make it when too many compete.