California Marijuana Prices Rising After Federal Crackdown

A crackdown by federal prosecutors is casting a long shadow over the state’s marijuana industry, but there is one bright spot, at least for some Northern California growers willing to risk prison time: Wholesale prices appear to be on the rise.

After slumping precipitously, prices for a pound of high-grade, outdoor-grown marijuana are stabilizing and in some areas are up between 20 and 40 percent, according to interviews with growers, law enforcement agents and analysts.

“It’s been a downward thrust since 1996, but this year, prices have been up,” said Kym Kemp, a Humboldt-based blogger who closely follows Northern California’s marijuana scene.

“People are saying, ‘Maybe this isn’t our last season,’ ” she said. “I don’t think people are ready to be optimistic, but they’re less depressed.”

In recent years, California’s booming medical marijuana industry attracted a rush of new players who harvested increasingly large amounts of pot – for storefront dispensaries and the black market. Some longtime operators responded by also “growing big.”

Surging production pushed down prices for some strains to less than $1,000 per pound. This led more growers to illegally ship their marijuana out of state, where they can double or triple their profits.

But this year, production levels have dropped, in part because of rainy weather and a “bumper crop of mold,” said medical marijuana grower and activist Charley Custer. “It was a perfect storm,” he said.

It wasn’t just the weather. Stepped-up enforcement actions by local and federal law enforcement led some growers to lay low and reduce their plant counts to double digits.

“Some growers decided to keep it small this year,” said Dale Gieringer, state director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

With marijuana supplies under pressure, prices responded as they would with any other commodity.

Since the fall harvest, Northern California growers have seen prices jump to between $2,000 and $2,500 per pound for “good-quality” marijuana, according to Kemp.

Law enforcement agencies say it’s too early to get a clear read on this year’s harvest.

“Marijuana remains readily available in California, and we have not noticed a substantial change in prices,” said Casey McEnry of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Francisco office.

But data collected by local law enforcement and a federally funded drug task force indicate street prices have nearly doubled in some parts of the state.

“Supply is down, so prices are up,” said Tommy LaNier, director of the White House-funded National Marijuana Initiative.

LaNier credited the shift in prices to new law enforcement tactics, including the use of more informants, undercover agents and wiretaps and an aggressive effort to intercept marijuana being shipped in vehicles and through commercial carriers like FedEx and UPS. He also said recent actions by the state’s four U.S. attorneys have shaken the marijuana industry.

“The market is significantly disrupted,” he said.

LaNier said creating market disruptions has been a top priority for law enforcement because it could make marijuana less affordable for minors. But law enforcement agencies are not the only groups welcoming the changes. Black market growers say rising prices mean a return to higher profits.

“This is a relief, since my margins were getting very thin,” said one Bay Area grower, who asked that his name be withheld because he is operating outside of state medical marijuana laws. Because of the profit margins, he said he had given up trying to sell his product in California. Instead, he’s been delivering it to the East Coast concealed in private vehicles.

The grower said he might return to the California market if prices continue to rise. “I’d rather not take the extra risk of shipping out of state,” he said.

But Tim Blake, a Mendocino-based medical marijuana grower, activist and impresario, said it is an outrage that illegal growers stand to benefit from the federal crackdown while medical marijuana operators are the targets of raids and forfeitures.

“Prices are going up, but the people who will cash in are the men hiding in the mountains,” he said. “If this continues, the people who are trying to follow medical marijuana laws won’t get anything because they’ll be out of business, thanks to the feds.”

– Article from California Watch.



  1. Anonymous on

    The Illegal Herb that Fights Cancer
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 07 2011 | 420,850 views

    The Medical Miracle You’ll Get Arrested for Using
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 26 2011 | 255,598 views


    The Federal Tort Claims Act or “FTCA”, (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, Title IV, 62 Stat. 982, “28 U.S.C. Pt.VI Ch.171? and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)), is a statute enacted by the United States Congress in 1948.

    The FTCA permits private parties to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. The FTCA constitutes a limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
    The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, for the first time, gave American citizens the right to sue the federal government.”

    The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used by all parties in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided.

    Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa

    The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.

    Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime.

    By Virginia T. Sherr 7-31-05

    Lyme borreliosis is a brain disease as well as a multisystemic disease caused by spirochetal bacteria.* Quite frankly, it is an infection that has been burdened with a thousand inaccurate medical diagnoses. The manner in which the current pandemic of tertiary Lyme disease, neuroborreliosis, has usually been handled— either angrily dismissed or strangely misdiagnosed–throughout the 30 years following its “discovery,” has blemished the historic excellence of modern American Medicine.

    Losses of acuity in the human brain’s visual cortex have been observed as early as 6 hours following the toxic bite of an infected tick. Lyme may persist after too brief a period of treatment or if there has been no treatment, and may result in chronic infections whereupon Lyme borreliosis becomes a potential cause of every symptom in medical and psychiatric lexicons. It is the “Great Imitator” of this Millennium, spirochetal paresis (neuro-syphilis) having been its precursor and its model.

    Special to AOL News
    (May 28) — We’re in the midst of a terrifying epidemic, although you wouldn’t know it to talk to most doctors and health specialists.

    The disease is growing at a rate faster than AIDS. From 2006 to 2008 alone, the number of cases jumped a whopping 77 percent. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 28,921 “confirmed” and 6,277 “probable” cases of the disease, but there could be as many as 420,000 because of underreporting.

    Prominent victims include Parker Posey, Richard Gere, President George W. Bush, Alice Walker and Christie Brinkley.

    If any other disease had stricken so many people, the medical community would be scurrying for knowledge, scrambling for cures or rushing to warn patients (think swine flu).

    But more important is the need for public health community to treat this disease like the epidemic it is, and start putting real resources into educating the public and the medical profession about how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.

  2. Mikey Evans on

    This is just PROOF that the powers that be work for the mexican cartels and NEED drugs to be illegal just to institute a POLICE state world wide.

    Logic would dictate No black market and a controlled industry for cannabis, and other desired plants. If they continue their present road, we are on the way to the end of liberty, and the USA, not to mention the damage done to every other nation on the planet to keep CRIMIMALS wealthy and powerful.

    Shame on US for allowing this.