News

California Blooming!

October 4, 2017
Liz Hafalia
Supervisor Dale Ramos harvests plants to be processed at Butterbrand Farms on Friday, August 18, 2017, in San Francisco, Calif.
SOURCE: Liz Hafalia

Editor's Note —

The notion that marijuana use only leads to lounging around just doesn’t match up with what you’ll find reporting on cannabis.

Surveys show cannabis users are better educated, are more gainfully employed and make more money than those who wish pot didn’t exist. The $7.2 billion industry is bristling with driven, effective sources who work long hours and love cannabis all the while.

The estimated $1 billion in annual taxes legal pot is expected to generate in California is a drop in the bucket compared with the economic impact of tens of thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs that legalization is creating.

So for our third print quarterly edition — our biggest ever — we pulled back the veil on the cannabis commerce in our region. This trade isn’t theoretical; this is California as it is today. Doing so is part of The Chronicle’s goal to lead the state and national dialogue around cannabis in our culture — so as citizens, we can better make decisions about cannabis policies that affect us all.

Gabrielle Lurie
GreenState’s 32-page print section in the San Francisco Chronicle debuts Sunday, Sept. 10.

The theme for this issue became “Produce!,” and it yielded some extremely engaging stories. The Chronicle’s photo team, including Gabrielle Lurie and Liz Hafalia, fanned out across the greater Bay Area to shoot massive harvests, bustling trim scenes, eye-popping pot chocolate factories, and high-tech cannabis oil labs. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, our photo essay is a novella in image form.

You probably don’t know it, but there’s a corporate exodus to cannabis country under way, and Oregon freelancer April Short details how Fortune 100 transplants from places like Apple and Target are following their love of weed to new career heights. It’s the opposite of a brain drain — it’s a brain big bang. The Bay Area is also synonymous with Silicon Valley, and reporter Alex Halperin collects nine tech brands and celebrities you probably don’t know are already in the pot trade.

Cannabis is more than factories, execs and tech — it’s putting food on working-class tables. It’s Bay Area artists who survive through the art of trimming cannabis flower buds and budtenders serving us each day. It’s also too much to outline here, so check this section out and then go to our public beta site www.greenstate.com for even more stories and photos, videos, interactive tools and links. And thanks for reading. — David Downs

David Downs is The San Francisco Chronicle’s cannabis editor. He is the co-author of the new book “Marijuana Harvest” (with Ed Rosenthal 2017) and author of “The Medical Marijuana Guidebook” (2016). Email: ddowns@sfchronicle.com

Cannabis editor David Downs meets with a writer on Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Chronicle in San Francisco, Calif.
Liz Hafalia
San Francisco Chronicle cannabis editor David Downs


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

STATSHOT

Pot By Numbers — The California cannabis industry index

REVIEWS

Productive Puffs — We review three vape pens that could help you lean in

TECHNOLOGY

Tech Touchpoints — Nine tech brands in cannabis you should know

GUIDE

Harvest Buyer’s Guide — How to select the highest-quality cannabis produce

Productive Pot — Why one type of cannabis, ‘sativa,’ is used for daytime

Glossary — Cannabis terms defined

NEWS

Corporate Exodus — What’s making Fortune 100 talent flock to cannabis?

Danielle Schumacher of THC Staffing Group is seen on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 in San Francisco, Calif.
Russell Yip
Danielle Schumacher, co-founder of THC Staffing Group — a cannabis executive placement firm. 

Secret Sidegig — How Bay Area artists are surviving by trimming

Pot Temps — Ravenous for workers, the weed industry is trying short-term help

PHOTO ESSAYS

I, Budtender — Portraits from cannabis’ front line

California Blooming — Mega-sized pictures of an industry in motion

CEO Steve DeAngelo gives a tour of Harboside Farms in Salinas, Calif., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Liz Hafalia
Harborside Farms director Stephen DeAngelo walks past ongoing construction at the farm in Salinas, Calif., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.

Trimmer Massiel Picado (left) hangs marijuana plants to dry as processor Brian Ramos (right) prepares plant for hanging at Butterbrand Farms on Friday, August 18, 2017, in San Francisco, Calif.
Liz Hafalia
Small containers full of expensive, refined cannabis oil are hand-filled at Jetty Extracts, in Oakland, Calif.