The Original “Dukes of Mendo” Oppose Proposition 64

Photo: LA Times

Photo: LA Times

When John and Robert Cunnan uprooted and moved to northern California they never could have imagined what was in store for them. The Cunnan brothers didn’t end up in Mendocino County by accident, these identical twins from southern California are now 76-years-old and they think that proposition 64 will be the end of the industry that they help pioneer.

“We came here with the back-to-the-land movement,” they told the LA Times. The brothers moved to Covelo a small town in Mendocino County in the late 70’s seeking a better life. When they left Glendale they didn’t know that they would be a part of a bigger movement.

When they made the move up north the brothers bought 10 acres of land with a creek down the middle for $6,500, a price that is unheard of today due to the inflation of the land prices due to demand. They have made a living out of woodworking and building cabinets for small mom-and-pop businesses in the area.

The Cunnan brothers oppose proposition 64 because they, like many small farmers, see proposition 64 as a threat to their own way of life. “The thing you need to realize is that this is a movement that is becoming an industry,” Robert said. “The movement was organic gardening, the back-to-the-land, alternative lifestyle. We were the original generation that came out here and set up our pot gardens.” Similar to mom-and-pop businesses that were squeezed out by big box retailers, Robert said, so are pot farmers in danger of being squeezed out of business once big corporations get a toehold in the cannabis business.

Although, we agree with the Cunnan brothers that the industry that’s emerging will definitely lower pricing when the big corporations finally get in, we also believe that there will always be room for smaller boutique growers. Just like how not everyone shops at big box stores, quality marijuana will always be a commodity that won’t grow old.


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