Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marijuana 25% of Humboldt economy?


According to Jennifer Budwig, a local NoHum person that recently did a banking study on the marijuana industry in Humboldt county, the Humboldt industry generates $415 million for the county’s economy. She goes on to say that her calculations are “subjective due to lack of hard data,” and the estimate to the value to the local economy goes much higher. She estimates the total local economy to be $1.6 billion. By her conservative estimates marijuana is at least 26% of the total economy.

Her job in banking, and her recent study, qualifies her very well to have an opinion. I have often been asked what my estimate to what marijuana contributes to Garberville’s local area economy. I have been quoted as saying “about 80%”. When asked how I could justify such an opinion, I have said take a walk with me and point out the people that you don’t think have anything to do with marijuana. As we walked down town it was pretty apparent that most appeared that they may have something to do with marijuana.

The impact of Marijuana on Humboldt businesses is hard to estimate. Chances are real good that Humboldt businesses could survive a 26% hit on business, if the marijuana factor disappeared. I’m really not sure that a single business in Garberville could survive the loss of the local marijuana industry. So, what does that mean in real numbers? If all the businesses in Garberville closed their doors, does that only relate to 26% of the economy? Or does it filter down to an 80% impact? Will only the government employees count? Most of Garberville’s school employees live in Fortuna, or points north. Most of the State employees live in Fortuna. Park, CHP, and to a lesser extent Caltrans employees live in the north. So, Garberville’s economy is almost only fed by marijuana dollars. Home grown, bred in the hills growers.

Also, most of the calls for emergency services, fires, medical, law enforcement, etc. in Garberville are in some way related to the drug industry, (Not just marijuana).

I would invite anyone to give a good case that Marijuana isn’t at least 80% of the local economy. I wonder if Jennifer Budwig looked into any estimates on Garberville?

Link:
http://www.times-standard.com/ci_19468078?source=most_viewed


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11 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

Maybe her estimates are based on 26% of the population live in the south county.

Ben said...

Her estimates begin with plant eradication numbers from law enforcement. As we, and presumably she, know, a large percentage of those plants were from "cartel grows". Little, if any of that money stays in Humboldt County. So much of this is speculation.

Kym said...

Ernie--BudwiG is her name. (She's a very nice intelligent lady, too. I've interviewed her for a radio show.) I also agree that it is more than 25%. Certainly, it is more than 50% in SoHum.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kym,
Thank-you for pointing that out. How embarrassing. I, of course, went back and rewrote the misspellings and replaced my dim-wit.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Ben.
You are right about the money leaving, but the grow still has to be some factor in our economy. They probably drop some money here for food, fuel, electricity, etc.

Anonymous said...

You have to realize that once joe pot farmer pays Ernie 100 dollars for a new widget at retail shop, that money is now in ernie's hands and when he pays that 100 bucks out to his supplier and to shopsmart for a loaf of bread the 50 bucks he sends his retailer isn't local any more and the 50 bucks he spends locally isn't considered marijuana income anymore. I guess that is why the percentages are lower than your estimates. Or when Joe Pot Farmer buys 1000 dollars worth of diesel, Renner sends 80% to the saudis and 20% stays local and is considered fuel revenue for the economy. does the 26% drive the rest of the 74%? hell yes, everytime Ernie can buy 50 widgets and get the bulk discount on widgets the 26% helps the 74% with lower costs and increased goods sales. Everywhere but shopsmart and rays where they just keep increasing the prices until we are forced to drive to eureka for a loaf of bread, and the savings pays for our gas and a nice lunch, and since we are there lets see if we can find widgets a little cheaper also.

Ben said...

Indoor marijuana production is spread all over the State... There are vastly more indoor grows in Los Angeles County than Humboldt. It is the outdoor pot that creates a difference from county to county.
As the price drops and law enforcement focuses on cartel grows, local growers plant more girls. Obviously, the growth industries here are the soil amendment business and the clone business. Legalization is extremely unlikely as the Feds will thwart any real effort. Not only is marijuana as big or bigger than the timber industry, in its heyday, it has also lasted longer and been far more stable.

spyrock said...

i was reading in the paper where amador county was making growing medical marijauna illegal until they think about it for a couple of months because a hmong grower was killed by 5 men trying to steal his plants. something like making it illegal to grow it within a 100 feet of a park or a school yard. and because of the skunk smell. making the skunk smell illegal. i think i know what they were talking about because when we were going up the hill to spyrock we stoped near the old rock for a pot te break and we could smell something strong but it was a plant not a skunk. it actually smelt kind of good. that animal skunk smell will stay on you a real long time but the amador folks don't seem to be too worried about putting a bounty on skunks but if they did i'm sure oregon would be tempted to come back home for a visit.

kaivalya said...

I agree with Anon (12/6) observations about the numbers.

And while SoHum may be up to their belly button in MJ industry, there is no shortage in the NoHum areas either. Just look at recent events out 36 and 299.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes, there is marijuana all over Humboldt county, but the north also has other industry and ecconomy. Southern Humboldt mostly has marijuana. So, percentagewise it gets pretty important.

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