By Dan Grace
For the past 10 years, Dark Heart Nursery has proudly served the medical cannabis industry by providing premium-quality young plants to growers throughout Northern California. Those same plants end up helping grandmothers, veterans and our neighbors suffering from cancer or chronic pain.
Thanks to the ongoing development of smart and responsible state regulations — which do everything from safeguarding children to developing methods for testing driver sobriety — cannabis is ready to emerge from the shadows. We finally have a framework to bring cannabis into California’s agricultural economy. This will allow us to better understand the plant based on science, data and evidence — versus stigma, misinformation and ignorance.
Yolo County stands at the edge of great opportunity in this rapidly growing industry.
Everyone knows Yolo County is one of California’s agricultural leaders; moving forward, it has an opportunity to lead in cannabis as well. Statewide, the cannabis economy is predicted to grow to $10 billion in the next few years, eclipsing the $6 billion dairy industry to become California’s top crop.
In the greater Sacramento area alone, the economic impact is estimated to be worth up to $4.2 billion annually.
Yolo’s location, infrastructure, research-and-development capabilities, workforce and natural resources are well-suited for the emerging cannabis agricultural sector. It’s also true that there are a lot of unknowns and policies yet to be determined. So the Yolo County Board of Supervisors is wise to move as judiciously as it has — the quality of life and economic stakes are too high.
The cannabis industry is just like any other; it’s important for the county to work with companies that understand the importance of investing back into the community, providing good-paying jobs with benefits and working with stakeholders to ensure that any concerns are expressed and resolved quickly.
From the beginning, I was an activist-farmer. And I know my nursery wouldn’t have made it as far as we have without the help of countless other activists, farmers and community members along the way. This sense of camaraderie and commitment continues to drive us to improve our service to the community.
After searching statewide for the past year, I’ve become convinced that Yolo County is the best home to relocate my cannabis nursery from Oakland. Your agricultural heritage is unprecedented, residents have made us feel welcome and your culture is in line with our ethos.
We eagerly wait for cannabis nurseries to be served under the general cultivation permitting program passed last year by Yolo County. Nurseries are a critical part of the cultivation ecosystem, and we believe the whole community benefits when local farmers can purchase local plants from local nurseries.
And in the meantime, we’ll continue to get to know you. We want to help Yolo County maximize every ounce of this coming green rush, and we’d be honored to call Yolo home.
To watch the Vanguard Weekly Video with Dan Grace – click here
Dan Grace is president of Dark Heart Nursery, a cannabis nursery providing premium-quality young plants to growers throughout Northern California. The nursery is currently housed in a high-tech, 20,000-square-foot greenhouse in Oakland.