Hi. My name is Patrick Maravelias and I would like to take this opportunity to say as loudly as I can that I, like countless others, have risked my life, my freedom, my reputation, and my livelihood for the sake of being able to smoke and grow cannabis.
I grew up just outside the Emerald Triangle and I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years working on grows, trimming, making hash rosin, growing for myself, and everything in between. I’ve been robbed, threatened, extorted, and nearly killed more times than I can remember. Not ONCE during that time did I ever see any of you pocket-protector-wearing, rule-following weirdos in those hills risking life and limb with the rest of us.
I really need to get this off my chest because this bush league shit has gone too far. A multibillion-dollar industry existed for 60+ years in the shadows because YOU sorry fuckers, or your parents for that matter, insisted that it remain there. Your friends didn’t go to prison for growing a plant, ours did. You didn’t have to risk multiple felony charges every time you got in your car, we did. A lot of growers still do for that matter. Weed has been legal in California since 2018 and I can’t even smoke a joint in my backyard without overhearing my neighbor tell her children that we’re disgusting.
All that hard work, all the high risk for minimal reward, all the helicopters coming in to terrorize actual children in the middle of the night for DECADES was all for nothing because you people swooped in with your war machines (Excel spreadsheets) and left the victims of the drug war out to starve. Still to this day people in the triangle who don’t even grow weed have helicopters circling directly above their backyards every single year. Does that seem normal to anyone? Does it seem fair that the legacy growers, in lieu of compensation or even basic acknowledgement for their work, have received abatement notices and annual police raids instead?
To make matters worse, the rural communities that built the cannabis industry and quietly flourished alongside it had their businesses and livelihoods taken by a bunch of asshole lizard people from Palo Alto. Do you know how many of my favorite hill restaurants closed down in the last 10 years? I’m not even exaggerating when I say it’s at least five. They’re all being bled dry. Even the non-growers who just want to live in the mountains are struggling. Cannabis is the backbone of rural America whether anyone wants it to be or not and rural America is not doing well right now.
Now, all you skim-milk-drinking cretins are going to your respective state legislatures whining all the livelong day about the black market stealing your business. First of all, losing business to someone playing with less than 100 plants when you’re playing with thousands of lights and millions of dollars is pathetic. Second of all, can you even blame the black market? Why would any financially literate person want to throw their hat into legal weed in 2022? Anyone who graduated the third grade can understand what a red downward arrow on a graph means. All the farmers “taking your business” are breaking even at best every year for the same reason I’m writing this article: we simply love cannabis and we don’t want you anywhere near it.
For the sake of efficiency and to be perfectly clear who I’m referring to, if I’m ever be crowned King for the day anyone who makes the following list will be charged with high treason and sent to Madagascar to be used in barbaric, gene-splicing experimentation:
- Everyone on LinkedIn. Every last damn one of you.
- All you Patrick Bateman-esque suits spending thousands of dollars on booths at every event only to lose money every quarter because all of your products fall on deaf ears.
- Weed journalists that have never worked for a cannabis company and barely smoke if they smoke at all.
- Anyone who uses the term “scalability” (You also qualify for this if Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” starts playing in your head when you jerk off).
- Anyone who has never committed so much as one misdemeanor or petty crime in the name of the cannabis industry.
- Marketing vultures who pester cannabis journalists to cover MSO’s. You’re a thieving band of godless Tik-Tokers and I’d rather eat a live hornet’s nest than do your PR for you.
- Concentrate makers who continue to make CRC and distillate despite being unloved by God and their own children.
- If your name happens to be Chad, I realize this is a “couple of bad eggs” situation but I’m sorry, you all need to go
- Every single one of you assholes who made felons out of multiple generations of people only to show up once the risk was gone and say “nice house, we’ll be moving in now.”
Everyone on that list is walking up steps we all built with our bare hands and simultaneously complaining that the steps aren’t up to code. Now we have metric shit tonnes of garbage cannabis that doesn’t sell, events you can’t smoke at, and that headass CEO who won’t let it go that almost nobody wants to drink their weed. I don’t even remember his name.
I don’t remember any of your names for that matter. I don’t remember your knock off strains or your god awful, mold-infused pre-rolls. I don’t remember your renamed Gelatos and I especially don’t remember strains with a Z in the name that don’t taste anything like real Z. I don’t want your business, I don’t want you reading my stories, I frankly just don’t want any of you here at all.
That said, I’m fully aware this is how things are and how they’re going to stay. But to the specific group I’m talking about, let me assure you that your days making a viable income playing this poor man’s game of copycat are numbered. Everyone that we consider “big money” in weed right now sucked in whatever industry they started in so they figured they’d bring their same dazzlingly average business tactics to an industry full of pot-smoking illiterates and clean up nicely. Doesn’t seem to be going too well for most of you does it? It’ll be going even worse for you when federal legalization happens and the real money comes in.
Now to be fair, it’s going well for almost no one right now, but the OG’s who have been out here risking everything every season just to grow the best weed they can will all survive for years to come because they’ve all seen much worse than this and they have a customer base that is loyal to a fault. I’m talking about brands like Alien Labs, Ember Valley, 710 Labs, Jungle Boys, Jelly Wizard, Fidel’s, anyone with access to real cuts of Zkittlez because they earned them, and a bunch of other people I don’t feel like remembering because I just took a gigantic dab and I can’t breathe.
The point is every single company I named has skin in the game. They have a reputation that precedes them which lets me know they deserve to be playing at the level they are. A lot of cannabis journalists don’t even cover companies that produce true quality. I’m not sure why. Maybe they don’t smoke enough, maybe they’re too busy asking the CEO of Tilray to autograph their copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad. The world may never know.
There are growers known all over the world who refuse to run more than 10 lights per room because they are that concerned with quality. They’re growing the loudest weed this side of the Mississippi but the only people that know about them are the people who understand what quality is. The real smokers will always pay twice as much to their buddy with a one light tent if the weed is better, and it almost always is. The price of real top shelf pounds from trusted brands is still extremely high and those $1,200 dollar organic ounces you hear about in L.A. are one hundred percent real (even if they are overhyped). You can’t fake the love!
That’s the part about cannabis that these suits don’t seem to understand. They’re trying to rerock weed to appeal to people who don’t smoke it. Rather than reinvent the wheel, just grow some good weed! Market to heavy smokers who want to take half gram dabs to the face from sunup to sundown instead of this weirdo boutique shit where we’re supposed to pretend like we can feel 10 milligrams of dogshit distillate in sparkling water. The only reason the black market is still around is because it’s obviously doing a better job.
I’m not here to be a complete pessimist. I love everyone, man. I even love all you second-rate, online-business-school bunch of Mark Cuban wannabes. I do. I just don’t want you taking jobs and money away from MY people. The ones who are in this because it’s what they love. Anyone who truly does what they love to do does not have the option to seek alternative employment and you all keep taking their damn jobs.
However, if you just happened to show up late to the party, I can’t be upset with you for that. Just show some respect! Hire people who did time on illegal grows or time in prison or both. But don’t show up at our house like a walking, talking version of that Steve Buscemi “Hello fellow kids” meme and expect the people who built the damn house to just bend over for you.
So what should all these paper pushers and chronic bedwetters do to earn their place? Well, leaving promptly would be a good start because you all appear to be hemorrhaging money and I’m sure most of your wives are cheating on you by now so you probably have bigger fish to fry than continuing to drive eighth prices up and pound prices into the dirt. I think I speak for the majority of the heads when I say, we got it from here. As kindly, respectfully, and cordially as I can possibly muster: can you all please just fuck off?
In all seriousness though, this part is going to feel like a kick in the dick: at the end of the day we all need each other. The OG’s can grow some serious fire but living in the shadows for decades means they’re not good at abiding by the structure that the legal market demands. The legacy market needs the legal market to help it step into the light a bit and the legal market needs the legacy market because it has no idea which way is up or down without the experience of people who have been doing this their whole lives.
However, I want to be as clear as possible when I say you all need us more than we need you. We did fine for years without you and we’ll continue to out-perform and undercut you at every turn until you give us a rule book we can live with. That’s all I’m asking for. Release the weed prisoners, give the legacy market a substantial leg up in the legal market, require these big MSO’s to hire felons, vote for direct-to-consumer sales, and stop taxing growers back into the Stone Age so they can afford to feed their families.
If you’d like to skip all that and earn my respect directly, I have a quicker method you can try: take a full-gram dab of some black or brown 2013 BHO style wax on video and email me the footage. I want to see pain in your eyes before I give you a pass.