Stark wooden beams form the skeleton of a greenhouse at Dramm & Echter, one of the few flower growers left in Encinitas. Owner Bob Echter hopes a new crop sprouts in the unfinished structure, one he never thought he would touch when he bought the property in 1995.
That was before soaring water and energy costs, before cutthroat global competition, before minimum wage hikes and before Proposition 64 legalized pot growing (if a local jurisdiction signs off).
Now, Echter’s goal is to dedicate less than an acre of his flower-growing operations to marijuana.
“I care deeply about farming,” Echter later said in his dimly lit warehouse, buckets of wrapped roses at his feet. “Without this, the path to keep doing that here isn’t as clear.”
The Encinitas City Council is open to the idea. It cited the wilted flower industry when it established a subcommittee in February to explore allowing marijuana cultivation on farmland.
The Council also had reviving agriculture in mind last year when it passed an urban agriculture ordinance. Backyard bees, small farms and community gardens are popular with much of the community — but would marijuana farms fly?
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"Security Guards"? Hmm....does anyone think the same San Diego County Sheriff who does not believe in letting citizens have CCW permits will let security guards be armed? The Casinos are on their own sovereign land, pot farms are not. Only the financially desperate or those actually planning to rip the pot farm off are going to be willing to guard this without a gun.
Unreasonable fear surrounds marijuana. I, for one Encinitas resident, support the responsible growing of this cash crop.
Might be a good idea to let these folks grow the cannabis plants as a revenue stream. Seems better to have knowledgable and local professionals growing as opposed to the product coming from outside the region or, possibly worse, outside the country (its origin and properties likely and mostly unknown). As I understand it, they could focus on the varieties that prove to have the most beneficial and/or medicinal qualities. That, coupled with the relatively small but very real life science/biotech community in SD county could be a good mix.