Regulation, enforcement take heavy toll on region that relied on illegal weed for 80 years.
Art imitates life in a new movie that might hit a little too close to home for anyone involved in the cannabis industry pre-legalization.
Freeland, directed by Kate McLean and Mario Furloni, was filmed off the grid in California’s Humboldt County and follows the struggles of a legendary cannabis producer in the era of marijuana legalization.
It tells the tale of Devi, a black-market grower, who is desperate to keep the remote homestead she has lived on for decades in the face of growing fines and persecution. Filmed during Humboldt’s harvest season, the movie follows the small players who get left behind by big cannabis.
“When cannabis is legalized, the fragile balance of (Devi’s) whole idyllic life is thrown into disarray,” the movie’s Facebook page notes. “Forced to confront the rapidly changing realities of the weed industry, she fights to go legal in an increasingly hostile landscape that is threatening her whole livelihood.”
The end of marijuana prohibition hit Northern California’s Emerald Triangle region — composed of Humboldt, Mendicino and Trinity counties — particularly hard, according to Leafly.
Eighty years of illicit cannabis production fuelled growth in the area, but also made the region reliant on a product that has since gone legit and become more expensive to legally produce. It has devastated illicit production in the area.
Published: February 17, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News