Tommy Wayne Kramer
February 26, 2023 at 8:27 a.m.
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Mendocino County’s marijuana industry was started by curious hippies, all with a tinge of the outlaw, and grew and flourished through the years despite the real possibility of arrest, imprisonment, ripoffs, crop failures and more.
Mendo weed thrives as no other marijuana “brand” in the United States. It’s the benchmark, the best and most famous product of its kind. Comparing it to the finest champagnes from the most prestigious French vineyards is not unreasonable.
Tales are told of growers without formal education but willing to work hard hours and face daunting risks enroute to becoming millionaires.
They paid no taxes on profits from their crops, yet the flood of money generated by illegal pot propped up county and regional economies for many years. Growers drove expensive vehicles, vacationed in Hawaii and bought second homes anywhere they wanted.
Times were good, if you didn’t get caught.