My dad’s always emailing me links to mainstream media coverage of that which is cannabis. Like the other day he sends me a link to a video tutorial on how to make weed butter at Huffington Post. Thanks, dad!

Cannabis is so photogenic and so fun to write and talk about. And oh, how cannabis is in the spotlight now… Covering cannabis is something our local media is quite practiced at — gotta work that pot beat for all its worth. Permit me to bring some local cannabis coverage to your attention.

The cover of the Jan. 9 North Coast Journal features an ounce-plus of bud looking fabulous in a mason jar on what could be the Eureka waterfront. All right, NCJ. Way to work that cannabis. Cover that pot. And the cover story is “This is What Legalization Looks Like — What Washington’s new pot licensing system can teach the North Coast.”

(Note: The all-time best NCJ weed edition is Aug. 16, 2007: “Disorientation Week — Your student guide to housing, transit, surfing and weed.” The cover art is like this budding marijuana plant with Founders Hall as a backdrop. Classic.)

The other local media moment of interest is the Jan. 15 edition of The Computer Guys on KMUD community radio.

Their topic: “Marijuana growing technology in a new emerging industry.” The Computer Guys are so hip to technology, to NSA surveillance politics, to personal security issues and to Internet access in Humboldt County. To hear them talk pot is just too good.

Audio here.

These media exemplars capture two different outlooks on legalization (unintentionally, probably). There’s pessimism: Legalization could mean the Humboldt economy is fucked. And optimism: Legalization could mean a new golden era of prosperity for this region.

The Computer Guys (that’s Rick, Steve and Garth) feature Kevin Jodrey, the cultivation director at the medical marijuana dispensary Garberville Grass. Cha-ching! Jodrey talks lights, he talks genetics and he talks about working with bonafide scientists. The C-Guys ask relevant, insightful techie questions.

In the second half of the program, the C-Guys welcome Matt Cohen, the co-owner of TRiQ Systems — pronounced like “trike” as in trichomes, as in “Check out the crystals on those nugs.” Cohen is vice-chair of the Emerald Growers Association and the former CEO of Northstone Organics — a medical pot op. (And then came the feds, right? But that was so two years ago.)

So Cohen talks TRiQ on the radio, and it’s all tres cool technology and software solutions for your totally legal pot op. TRiQ is operating predominantly in Washington, Colorado and Canada because that’s where the legal pot is at, though Cohen comments that he hopes to be back in Cali “soon enough.”

Towards the end of the show, Cohen says that all of the assets of the cannabis industry are here in the Emerald Triangle. He thinks that people should feel proud to be here and he thinks opportunities are going to remain here through legalization. He advises that cannabis people find a way to exist in the new business.


The NCJ story, on the other hand, is pretty much a downer. Zuckerman lays out legalization in Washington, and it’s all talk of permits, limits, applications, background checks and bureaucracy, complete with phrases like “gauntlet of paperwork,” “crowded field” and “recreational homegrown strictly verboten.” Pot may be legal, but it’s not wild and free.

Zuckerman does offer commentary from Humboldt County peeps throughout his Dickensonianly sad story, mainly at the end. (It is a good story.) There are quotes from local filmmaker Mikal Jakubal, including a comment on the looming competition from “flatland-grown weed.” A local grower talks about more regulation (as in “red tape” via legalization) going over “like a lead balloon.”

The doom of legalization, Washington-style. Understandable, tangible doom.

Zuckerman also gets commentary from Kristin Nevedal, the co-chair of the Emerald Growers Association. She throws out tips on how growers can prep for legalization — like make sure your water supply is legit, etc. She’s level-headed. And of the two media exemplars discussed here, Nevedal’s is the only female voice to be found in either.

Check out the last line of Zuckerman’s NCJ story: “How Humboldt growers and regulators respond [to legalization] will determine whether the county’s latest economic driver runs out of steam like the many booms, from gold to old-growth timber, that have come and gone before it.”

That’s foreboding.

Legalization in our sister states is a lot of red tape, competition and strict regulation — it looks constricting. But legalization also looks inspiring, what with all of these stories about business, science and changing attitudes. I say kudos to The Computer Guys for a pot show with a hopeful tone. And kudos to Zuckerman for a detailed look at what’s happening in WA.