TRINIDAD, Humboldt County — Pot politics are nothing new to Sunshine Johnston, who has been cultivating cannabis on her organic farm near the famous Avenue of the Giants for many years. But the emergence of land speculators in the Emerald Triangle is threatening to ruin her bucolic buzz.
Johnston, her friends, neighbors and fellow growers are perturbed by hordes of high rollers who are snapping up every old ranch, logging tract and forested parcel that go on the market.
The scramble for land in Humboldt County and, to a lesser extent, Mendocino County, is an apparent attempt by entrepreneurs to cash in on the possible legalization in November of recreational pot peddling in California.
“The way people are behaving is like multinational corporations in Third World countries,” said Johnston, 43, who runs a growers cooperative called Sunboldt Grown that sells medicinal and “artisanal” weed. “There’s a feeling of a free-for-all and of people taking advantage of the local community.”
The land grab is happening here in part because Humboldt has name cachet in the weed world and because the county was the first in California to adopt a commercial marijuana land use ordinance.
‘It’s pot on crack’
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