All seeds considered, California cultivation more resembles a low-budget grow in Anza—an unincorporated Inland Empire township whose inhabitants on average earn $41,200 yearly—than a dispensary in The Castro or Francis Coppola’s Napa operation. And most cannabis cultivators have common ground with Ronnie Bell, “a peaceful farmer” with back pain, who only wants to grow a business legacy. Chronic busts by law enforcement are Bell’s biggest pain of all.
Los Angeles Times
- Riverside County’s bud Mecca, Anza is loaded with Ronnie Bells. Our pandemic-caused recession has boosted the relevance of their operations, yet on May 13 Bell was arrested by sheriff’s deputies, along with nine others. Beyond the cost of defending himself, the 42-year-old has absorbed the cost of damaged lights and confiscated cannabis.
- No permits have been granted to cannabis cultivators in Riverside County.
- “So much revenue comes in from this plant, and we just want to positively contribute to the revenue stream in Anza. This town is asleep, and it’s begging for life,” Bell said.
- In the first quarter, cannabis taxes brought in $134.9M, up 15.7% from winter 2019. Contrast that with a 30% drop in all California sales-tax revenue for May, versus May last year. Part of the essential gig is propping up budgets, thanklessly.
- In case you missed it, here’s everything that happened so far in 2020.
Cannabis Industry Journal