2010年5月28日星期五

大麻價格暴跌在加州製造恐慌

大麻價格暴跌在加州製造恐慌
Plummeting Marijuana Prices Create A Panic In Calif.

by Michael Montgomery


Marijuana in California costs much less than $2,000 a pound, according to interviews with more than a dozen growers and dealers. But the people who don't have quality product aren't selling it, according to a former underground grower who now cultivates medical marijuana.
在加州的大麻成本大低於 2,000元1磅,根據採訪十多名種植者和經銷商。但是沒有高質量產品的人不賣,根據一位前地下種植者,他現在培植醫療大麻。

May 15, 2010

For decades, illegal marijuana cultivation has been an economic lifeblood for three counties in northern California known as the Emerald Triangle.
幾十年來,非法大麻種植在美國加州北部的三個省,一直是經濟命脈,被稱為翡翠三角
The war on drugs and frequent raids by federal drug agents have helped support the local economy — keeping prices for street sales of pot high and keeping profits rich.
毒品戰爭和頻繁的聯邦緝毒特工突擊搜查,已幫助支持本地經濟 - 保持街上大麻煙葉的銷售價格高企,和保持利潤豐富。
But high times are changing. Legal pot, under the guise of the California's medical marijuana laws, has spurred a rush of new competition. As a result, the wholesale price of pot grown in these areas is plunging.
但高峯期在變,合法的大麻煙葉,在加州的醫療大麻法例幌子下,已促使一場匆忙的新競爭。結果,在這些地區種植的大麻批發價格暴跌。

需求達不到供應
Demand Not Meeting Supply
In 1983, the Reagan administration launched a massive air and ground campaign to eradicate pot and lock up growers in northern California. Charley Custer, a writer and community activist, had just arrived to Humboldt County from Chicago. With the Reagan crackdown, Custer recalls, wholesale prices shot up — to as high as $5,000 a pound. That sudden and ironic windfall for those growers willing to risk prison time transformed the community.

"A lot of people were living on welfare and peanut butter and banana sandwiches for a long time before pot made it possible to be part of the middle class," Custer says.

Nearly 30 years later, Custer says that boom may be over.

"Outdoor growers are having a hard time unloading their fall harvest," Custer says. "And this is six months later and when some people do move it, they don't get nearly the price they were hoping for."

That goes for both legal growers who cultivate limited quantities of pot under the medical marijuana laws and illegal operators who often grow larger amounts.
合法種植者根據醫療大麻法律下培值有限數量的大麻,和非法經營者往往種植較大數額。
Prices are now much less than $2,000 a pound, according to interviews with more than a dozen growers and dealers. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says some growers can't get rid of their processed pot at any price.
現在的價格大大低於 2,000美元一磅,根據採訪十多名種植者和經銷商。門多西諾省警長湯姆奧爾曼說,一些種植者無法以任何價錢擺脫他們的大麻出產。
"We arrested a man who had … 800 pounds of processed," Allman says. "Eight hundred pounds of processed. And we asked him: 'What are you going to do with 800 pounds of processed?' And he said, 'I don't know.'"

'只有在好的做得到'
'Only The Good Ones Make It'
As recently as last December, things were still pretty upbeat. At Area 101, an events and healing center near Laytonville, local growers gathered to celebrate the Emerald Cup, an annual competition for the season's best pot buds. But the event's host, Tim Blake, says the mood has darkened since then.
近至去年12月,事情仍相當樂觀。在101區,一項活動和萊頓附近的康復中心,本地種植戶聚集在一起去慶祝翡翠杯,一個每年一度的比賽,選出季內最好的大麻芽。但活動的主人蒂姆布萊克說,自那以來心情一直漆黑。
"There's a tremendous amount of concern, borderlining on fear," says the former underground grower who now cultivates medical marijuana.

He says the drop in pot prices is in part the result of more growers and a more tolerant legal landscape. But he says another factor is quality. Indoor-grown marijuana is increasingly favored by dispensaries and consumers for its looks, consistence and potency. It costs more to produce than pot grown under the sun, but commands as much as double the price. That's one reason retail prices haven't hit the skids.

"What's happening is the people that don't have quality product aren't selling it," Blake says. "So they're the ones that are creating this panic. So it really comes back down to that, just like in every other agricultural industry. When you get too many vineyards and too many people growing vines out there, then only the good ones make it."
“發生的是,人們沒有質量產品不賣了,”布萊克說。 “所以他們是那些人創造這個恐慌,所以真的回到底,就像所有其它農業產業。當你得到太多葡萄園和太多人生長葡萄樹,那麼只有好的做得到。“
Matt Cohen is one of those growers who are making it. On an organic farm near Ukiah, Cohen raises chickens, grows vegetables and cultivates high-grade medical pot. He has avoided the downturn by distributing marijuana directly to patients. But other growers who rely on middlemen and dealers for legal and illegal sales are in financial trouble.

"And I know people, and they're living from credit card to credit card," Cohen says. "They're not even making money. It's just a lifestyle that they're in and the alternative is to go do what?"

不穩定和焦慮
Instability And Anxiety

In recent weeks the upheaval has spurred a series of unprecedented public forums about where things are headed for the marijuana industry, especially if Californians vote to legalize pot this fall.
最近幾個星期的動盪已經引發了一系列前所未有的公共論壇,關於大麻產業朝向那,特別是如果加州人在今年秋天投票大麻合法。
"The displacement of persons deriving supplemental income through clipping, gardening and distribution of marijuana dwarfs the number of growers who will lose their income entirely," says local activist Anna Hamilton, who organized a gathering in Garberville. She says the broader community is already feeling the ripple effects of falling pot prices.

"There are business foreclosures, storefronts closing. There's a lot of instability and anxiety," she says.

Still, amid the turmoil, Custer says some locals haven't lost their sense of humor. He recalls a recent musical revue where three performers in miniskirts, sunglasses and spiky heels mocked the plight of local pot growers all to the beat of the '60s hit "My Boyfriend's Back."

"'My dealer's back and I'm gonna get ready/Hey now, hey now, my dealer's back,'" Custer sings. "It was a song of hope in this hopeless situation. 'It'll happen to you. Your dealer will come back.'"

Or maybe not. California's pot economy is transforming, and it's starting to resemble a real commodities market where only big players can compete. It's a shift that could leave some growers in the dust.

Produced as part of a collaboration between member station KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting's California Watch.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126806429

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