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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org