The Trek to Tree


The Trek to Tree

By Robert Lara

It is a known fact in the United States, and even across the globe, that people migrate towards money. The U.N. Population Fund notes that most migration takes place because people are in pursuit of socio-economic freedoms. According to the United Nations Population Fund,

“Migration is an important force in development and a high-priority issue for both developing and developed countries.”

Many freedoms are taken for granted in global powerhouses such as the United States. The right to vote is sacred within our country and it is a right that may be foreign to newcomers in the U.S. The State of California finally got the vote right in 2016 and approved the cultivation, manufacturing, and recreational retail sales of Cannabis. After a full year of preparation, debate, and anticipation, recreational sales kicked off in 2018 for a good majority of the state. Although the law passed “freeing the tree”, not all regions within the Golden State are willing to give Cannabis a shot. Many local bans limit participation by county, city, and resident. Certain regions with dense populations and Global Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose are full steam ahead, while the more rural counties occupying California’s countryside are not fully on board yet. These restrictions are causing Californians to have to travel towards Cannabis, just as they do money.

Merced County

According to CannaBusiness Law, Merced County has banned the Cultivation, Manufacturing, and Retail of Cannabis. With a population of  255,793, according to the 2010 census, Merced County serves as a prime example as a county with no inner cities or town with laws that allow them to be exempt from their given county Cannabis bans. For example, in order for residents of Merced County to access the Cannabis plant, they are left to commute to a neighboring County, such as Santa Clara, San Benito, or Sacramento. In Merced County, strict regulations are also implemented when ordering from a delivery service, as no services are permitted to be stationed within the County. This means if one patient in Merced County wants to order Cannabis to be delivered, the Cannabis is to be delivered from a service stationed in a neighboring county that does permit the sales and transportation of the product, that is if they will even deliver to such rural areas. Many delivery services are limited to how far they will deliver, and if they are willing, it will come at a cost and require patience from of the patient.

Other Affect Counties

Many large counties within California are affected by this. Such scarcity in delivery services and dispensaries causes many Marin County residents to commute to San Francisco to get their Cannabis products. San Francisco, with its global influence, is host to multiple dispensary options and delivery services for the 46.9 square mile region. This city is no stranger to migration, as the cost of living went up in recent years, many working-class families were pushed out of the metropolitan regions and forced to live in more rural areas. The commuters now come from all sections of the Bay Area, even Sacramento, and the Central Valley. Even before the re-gentrification process of the city by the Bay, the Employment Development Department estimated that up to 265,164 people commute into San Francisco for work. That is on top of the over 330,965 workers estimated to live and work in San Francisco. Hence the reason for more option for Cannabis spread throughout the City. (EDD, 2010)

Other areas largely affected by county restrictions include Santa Clara. As of the 2010 census, Santa Clara County listed a population total of 1,781,642, with San Jose City, as a global city, estimated to have about 1,015,785 people as of July 1, 2014. The Employment Development Department’s Labor Market Information tells us that Santa Clara County as a whole takes in commuters from neighboring counties, while local residents also stick around, totaling 711,535 workers who also live in the County.

Santa Clara County has allowed for the medicinal cultivation of outdoor and indoor Cannabis but has banned the manufacturing and retail of Cannabis itself. More importantly, the City of San Jose, once crowned the “Capital of the Silicon Valley”, is now center stage in the South Bay as Santa Clara County’s “Global City”. With such a title comes a separate ordinance, allowing the Cultivation, Manufacturing, and Retail sales of Cannabis, allowing San Jose to be the South Bay’s primary distributor of Cannabis (

Alameda County, with a whopping population of 1,510,271, is also the host to strict Cannabis laws on cultivation and manufacturing, banning both practices while still allowing the sales Cannabis. The City of Berkeley, with a small population of 112,580, is one of the Cities at the forefront of Cannabis liberation. Berkeley has been serving Cannabis patients for 22 years, and is another prime example, similar to Oakland and San Jose, in its approved permits for cultivation, manufacturing, and retail of Cannabis despite the host county’s local bans. Oakland, despite a small population of 413,775 (US Census, 2014), is still one of the busiest port cities in the United States and the trade center for the Bay Area. With an influx of people, commuting in and out of town, and Oakland being the heart of the East Bay, it makes sense for “The Town” and its resident population to have easy access to Cannabis Dispensaries.


Despite the approximate numbers, as the Census Bureau only conducts its operations every 10 years, we as citizens understand the transitions that have taken place. For some of us, it has affected our own living, working, and commuting situations. The cost of living has caused multitudes of people to migrate outside of coastal metropolitan areas to more rural inland residences. It is clear that many more people are commuting to places of work, and then back home after a long days work.

With the daily migration towards money and more people spending an increased time at work, stress is becoming a chronic issue. This leaves our modern day worker looking for a healthy relief, a.k.a Cannabis as it is the most effective all natural option to turn to. The exhale of relief is enough for many non-medical, recreational users, to migrate towards Cannabis and it is important to continue to push for accessibility in all parts of the state to assist the cannabis needs amongst our California Residents. 


Originally posted 2018-02-09 10:00:49.