“If we’re not up and running in the new building by 4/20, I’m going to have to hide out for a while,” said the enthusiastic Marv. “But we’ll be ready. We’re ready now, really.”
Toke: Do you pay taxes in Orange County?
Marv: We pay the state’s Board of Equalization, and from there, Orange County gets some of the bread.
|Mendo marijuana is grown outdoors.
Toke: For seven years now, Area 101 has hosted America’s longest running cannabis competition, the Emerald Cup. I know personally that some of the best marijuana in the country is represented. Will any of that be available to members of the collective?
Marv: Five or our 12 farms within the collective have placed in the top 10 every year. But while our medicine is top-notch, what we’re stressing is to make the patients aware of the most medicinal ways to use their cannabis and most eco-friendly manner, as well as that it was grown by small farms who pay taxes and give back to the community.
Toke: So obviously, all of your medicine is outdoor organic.
Marv: (Laughs) For the past 10 years, since I’ve been really involved in this industry, I’ve lived and breathed what is happening here in Mendocino. One of the things that makes me laugh is the word “organic.”
See, the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, owns that word. Marijuana can’t be organic because it doesn’t qualify as “organic” as stated in the USDA’s rules.
What we are is Clean Green
. It is a transparent, accredited third-party company run by Chris Van Hook, who also works with the USDA organic program, to ensure that our farmers are indeed growing strictly outdoors and in accordance with state and county regulations. No toxins are chemical-based fertilizers are going into the medicine.
And just as important, their water and electricity are coming from legitimate sources. And we grow from seeds, which is really different from 75 percent or more of the medical marijuana growers in California.
Toke: I know the medicine is good. What can a patient expect to pay for an ounce?
Marv: Between $220 and $280, depending.
Toke: Same rules apply, a person needs their medical marijuana card, make an appointment, fill out the free membership, and then you’re a member?
Marv: There’s some checking and verification, but yes. Even though I’m laughing about this, we take everything every serious. We’re too close to have anything go wrong now. That’s one of the reasons our farms are so thoroughly reviewed; we do that for the farmer as well as ourselves.
We want to help our collective growers with the paperwork and political stuff so they don’t fail or worse, bring us and the other farmers down. Same thing with patients.
We need to set an example for the rest of the country that this can be done. That’s another reason it might seem slow to outsiders [who wonder]why this is taking so long. We can’t afford mistakes.
You mentioned the Emerald Cup. We now have award-winning medicine in our grasp, but what is also happening is those growers, who are a part of our collective, can now come out and take pride in their crop.
This is big. Beyond everything that we’re doing up there… One of the things we’re doing… is to create…
No, that’s not right. How can I say this? Most of us already have pleasure in what we’re doing, for the most part. Growing marijuana can be a lot of headaches; it’s a hard life. Snow knocked out my power for five days last week.
But what the growers now can do is say, “This is my stuff. I grew this!” That pride will become contagious. We’ve never been able to come out like this before.
People are going to want ou
r medicine because it was grown clean and green in Mendocino County. And soon, like Napa Valley wines, we’ll be everywhere.
Toke: When will you be able to deliver to the Bay Area?
Marv: Soon. Very soon. That’s next.
For more info on MFC, call (707) 354-3081.