That is what my Pest Control Advisor (PCA) told me. I grow 13 acres of avocados in Carpinteria. Our farm is our primary source of income. For the past 15 years, a local ag company has been spraying our avocados for Persea mites and avocado thrips. Persea mites cause defoliation and low yields; avocado thrips cause scars that cut the wholesale price by half. 

But this year, they won’t spray most organic or any conventional pesticides, because of fear of law suits from marijuana growers. They are one of only three licensed-insured appliers that serve Carpinteria. The second also will no longer spray in Carpinteria for the same reason. The third is checking with their lawyers. My PCA told me if a fly or a bit of dust with a speck of pesticide enters a greenhouse, cannabis growers are threatening to sue for the entire value of the crop. Carpinteria greenhouses have large roof vents that are open much of the day. Insects and dust particles can easily get in.

I contacted Supervisor Williams for help, and he had the addresses of cannabis growers near my farm sent to me so I could coordinate with these growers. But there is nothing to coordinate if there isn’t a licensed and insured applier willing to do the spraying.

All three appliers offered to spray Veritran (Sabadilla), a botanical insecticide, which is minimally effective on Persea mites and not at all effective on thrips.

So, marijuana growers will make millions and I will lose half the value of my crop.  Doesn’t seem fair to me. I am not anti-cannabis. I voted for Prop 64 but I did not vote for this. I did not vote to be put out of business.   

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