Wine Country Could Quickly Become Weed Country
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California the new gold rush has begun. The cannabis industry promises to be a boon for several and many are looking to get in now.
One of the best examples right now is in wine country. Because the land is fertile and perfect year round for growing grapes a winegrape farmer can make a hefty profit growing recreational marijuana.
For this reason, investors are snatching up old winery’s and converting them to marijuana farms. While the process can be a lengthy and complicated one the financial pay off may be worth the risk for most.
Steve Dutton, president of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau looks at it like this:
“As a sustainable farmer you have to be willing to change with the market, and with the crops that are profitable”
The opportunities for farmers are particularly ripe in the fertile soils of rural Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties. Humboldt & Mendocino County already have near legendary reputations among pot smokers nationwide.
An additional side-effect of California’s recreational legalization will be the increase in marijuana tourism. Experts say that if the trend continues it will quickly rival the region’s multibillion-dollar wine tourism industry.
Some winegrape farmers have already begun to look at cannabis as a new financial opportunity. When you begin to look at the numbers their interest is understanable. According to a new wine industry analysis by John Bergman, a longtime real estate broker specializing in vineyard estate sales in Sonoma and Napa counties, an acre of grapes in Sonoma County is worth $75,000 on the low end to $185,000 on the high end. In neighboring Napa County, an acre is worth somewhere between $55,000 to $365,000.
An acre of NorCal bud, however, is worth $1.1 million, according to industry estimates.
Now you understand.
Source: The Sacramento Bee