Outdoor Vs. Indoor: Mendocino’s 9.31 Program Was Meant For Competition

Outdoor Vs. Indoor: Mendocino's 9.31 Program Was Meant For Competition

Back in the bad days, pre-2006, while medicinal weed was still considered legal under California law, the majority of large scale grow ops were being singled out and ruthlessly inhibited.

As a means of providing the Mendocino (California) medical marijuana patients the ability to cultivate enough medicine to last them an entire outdoor growing season. Mendocino’s 9.31 program was put into place through an unlikely coalition of local cultivators and pro-marijuana government officials. The highly progressive program gave the local medical marijuana growers the legal ability to cultivate up to 99 outdoor medical pot plants.

Back in the bad days, pre-2006, while medicinal weed was still considered legal under California law, the majority of large scale grow ops were being singled out and ruthlessly inhibited. As a means of satisfying the never-ending consumer demand for chronic genetics grown to full expression, the indoor hydroponic cultivation world exploded. Flooding the majority of southern California’s medical marijuana collectives by an overwhelming ratio of approximately 9:1, it was a depressing time to be an outdoor cultivator in the Emerald triangle.

Most marijuana dispensaries have vendor days. These are days when marijuana cultivators can bring their goods into the collective and discuss inventory, negotiate purchase price and discuss the collective’s needs for the future. In order to be seen on one of these vendor days, most growers call and speak to the manager. It is generally at this point that most outdoor growers feel the first ache of discrimination. Discounted as inferior in all aspects (IMO…wrongly), most collectives were blowing off outdoor cultivators and showing a strong preference for the indoor hydroponically cultivated OG strains.

Pebbles Triplett, a lifelong marijuana activist had long been diligently seeking a solution for theoutdoor growers plight. A change to the lopsided preference of indoor flower over outdoor Bud, which only deprives outdoor cultivation the respect it deserves – while further overburdening our fossil fuel fed electrical grid.

As medical marijuana growers up and down the green state of California, pump out medical bud from grow rooms that very from the massive to the minute, outdoor cultivators were still struggling, having a hard time getting prop 215 patients to demand their product. This was primarily the result of the discerning and educated palate of California’s marijuana connoisseurs showing preference for tight, sweet nugs that were produced under ideal growing conditions, with intense High pressure sodium (HPS) light and optimum nutrient conditions. Meanwhile back at the ranch… It’s more environmentally friendly cousin (outdoor marijuana )is forced to disguise itself by hiding in the shadows of trees, as a means of avoiding detection from the vultures C.A.M.P. which until recently, swarmed the skies of California during harvest time.

The unfortunate end result is, that a good portion of the paranoid outdoor cultivators crop tends to be loose, lacking in that dank, complex aroma associated with chronic smoke. Particularly in comparison to a plant that has basked under 1000 W HPS, with perfect nutrients, micronutrients and the ultimate cultivators control.

Once the cosmic forces of the marijuana world pulled together the boundless energy of Pebbles Triplett and the newly elected supervisor for the fifth District of Mendocino County, John McGowan the primordial soup, the Genesis of Mendocino’s 9.31 program was born.

To participate in the marijuana grower program, it was originally decided that growers needed to pay a $25 per plant fee (soon raised to $50 per plant) which was set aside for third-party inspections, in addition to a Sheriff who was specifically designated to oversee this program.

In addition to the $50 per plant fee, a grower that wanted to cultivate without fear of negative interaction from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office, needed to pay a $1500 annual cultivation fee as well.

The first year of Mendocino’s marijuana program got off to a decidedly rough start. Of the 12 medical marijuana cultivators which had initially signed up, one was raided by the feds. This unnecessary and unwanted federal interaction had an unfortunate chilling effect, which reverberated throughout the community.

The program has sense been killed and the man once in charge Randy Johnson faces criminal prosecution for the excessive cultivation of medical marijuana. It’s a sad end to a well-intended plan, despite the fact that law enforcement has absolutely no business being in charge of any patients medicines.