SALINAS, Calif. — This vast and fertile valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California’s marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America’s cannabis bucket.
After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.
Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.
“This is cannabis meets Big Ag,” said Steve DeAngelo, the executive director of one the nation’s largest marijuana dispensaries, who last year founded Harborside Farms to supply the business.