Santa Rosa

I’m on US101. Those are long drives through half the state from the desert to the clouds near the ocean. But now it’s a bunch of short hops northward until I hit Chimacum, likely taking 6 weeks or so. I’ll sit in towns and fairgrounds and ports and such waiting out rain storms, moving when the weather and views are good.

I’m in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park which is always interesting. There are a lot of construction folk here, probably for the highway expansion nearby.

It didn’t take long to remind me that Santa Rosa is one of the most difficult places to navigate I’ve seen. It’s a bunch of winding roads from the hills, no grid layout, overlaid by 101 walking through it with no regard to it’s road layout.

Here for 5 days, at least.

Indio

I got into the Fantasy Springs Casino lot in a stiff wind with a lot of blowing dust, glad to be off the road. Today I sat to let the winds die down.

This was a good chance to check out the new Harborside pot store in Desert Hot Springs. They are particularly proud of their drive-through window though it’s not the first in the country.

Harborside is a famous old medical marijuana dispensary which started in Oakland and earned it’s fame through a long list of legal cases and activism which were crucial to the advance of cannabis laws from back in the 90’s. The founders, Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, got out a couple of years ago after decades of activism. They managed to build a suite of successful businesses and have been involved in almost every cannabis law in the country. Still are.

Harborside is now privately held by other entities with a cultivation operation in Salinas Valley and the stores in Oakland and San Jose, plus the new one in Desert Hot Springs. The DeAngelos are still involved as advisors and such, but it’s not theirs anymore.

The new store is easy to find, just off I-10 at Gene Autry Trail with ample parking (easy RV parking on the street). Selection is decent, flower offered is predominantly from their own farm plus some from a local grower. Prices are typical for California. If you’re eastbound from LA to points east, this would be an easy and quick place to pick up product before heading into the illegal states.

New Awning

I destroyed my awning several years ago and didn’t miss it at all. Then I got the bug to fix up my rv and included replacing it as part of the project. I arranged to meet ShadePro at Quartzsite for measurements and such, and after a few days they showed up with the awning.

Unfortunately the guy doing the measuring skipped a step and different parts were required. So we met in Yuma today and the outfit got it installed in no time.

Tomorrow I head to Indio, where I’m likely to hold up for a wind event. There’s good weather in California right now and I’d like to take advantage of it.

Yuma

I’m in Yuma now, and am planning on just 4 or 5 days if I can get everything done. I’m anxious to get to Sonoma County by next week.

New Mexico legalization

New Mexico gave a shot at passing a legalization/regulation bill through the legislature during a 30-day session. It failed to pass.

The consensus is that it’s failure was due to the sponsor not distributing copies of the bill quickly enough, which meant only a few of the lawmakers had time to read the actual bill. Not to mention propose and vote on amendments. But, given the short session it was unlikely to get through the process anyway.

Friction against the bill was from business interests who felt it didn’t address protection of businesses who wanted a drug-free workplace, and law enforcement.

Personal opinion: We’ve learned that when debating these bills, law enforcement has almost no useful input into the discussion. Their argument seems to be that since marijuana is illegal at the federal level, anyone involved with state-legal pot is a criminal therefore crime goes up when it becomes more available. Circular argument.

NM’s next chance is a year from now which means the first stores can open in Spring of 2022. Colorado can continue to collect profits and taxes from New Mexicans for another 2 years…

Pot prices and taxes

People complain about the high prices for legal marijuana in California, usually blaming high taxes. Besides the fact that CA’s taxes are roughly in the middle of legal states, have you ever heard that CA has lowered taxes on anything? CA’s problem is extremely high licensing, permitting, and other start-up costs, not taxes.

I don’t see a relationship between a state’s tax rates and the prices paid:

StateExcise tax (%)Sales tax(%)Price (3.5g flower)
AK25060
WA376.530
OR01730
CA157.2550
NV106.8547
CO152.940
MI10655
IL176.556
MA10.756.2552
Maine1610No market
Vermont00No market
AZ6.6040
OK7950

Almost all states allow localities to add 2-3% in sales tax to marijuana, and most do.

New markets always start out high.

AZ and OK are large medical only markets.

Prices are my estimates of the “typical” price for medium and better quality flower. Some states permit discounts and specials (“wisdom”, veterans, new customers, etc).

High rent places (ie San Francisco, Las Vegas) can show much higher prices.

Quartzsite

I was happy to get out of Deming. Mainly because I was tired of the cold. But I’m somewhere warm now, planning on maybe a week here. The crowds are thinned out now so it will be easy to get around town.

New Mexico pot legalization stopped

Late last night the Senate Judiciary Committee killed the legalization bill, despite overwhelming support in both political and non-political groups.

Reasons given were that the bill didn’t do enough to “keep cannabis out of the hands of children” and “didn’t do enough to address impaired driving”. The NM bill was about as thorough and proven on these issues as any state in the union, and was as comprehensive as current experience elsewhere demonstrates.

New Mexico has one of the least transparent legislative systems I’ve seen, so it’s going to take a day or two for the details to become available.

I do not understand why lawmakers prefer the loosy-goosy medical laws over the much more robust adult use laws that other states have and can show how they work in real life. By the time a bill gets passed, the existing medical program will be pretty much out of control.

Got my house back

I was really annoyed yesterday when the shop wouldn’t let me take my rig because of the weather. I had to find another motel room. But, when I got up this morning my truck had 5 inches of snow on it. Soon, the sun came out and there was water everywhere. I was glad they insisted I leave it indoors until today.

I am very happy with the results. They took everything off the roof, and scraped the rubber coating off down to bare wood. In spite of several real and potential leaks, no damage was found to the wood.

They then replaced the skylights and fans, anything plastic which had deteriorated because of UV damage. My solar panels were adjusted slightly to compensate for the curved roof to prevent leaks, and the final sealant application was done in a very artful manner. I have new fans that work, and the solar works perfectly.

A note on Jimmy’s RV in Deming, NM. Every RV’r sooner or later hears about Jimmy and his competence and honesty. It takes months to get in for any major work (I set this deal up in October), but if you’ve got a minor issue while on the road, he’ll fit you in so you can keep moving. His new partner/employee John is great; I worked with him mainly. They absolutely, positively won’t make promises they can’t keep. Which is really frustrating at times.

I need a day or two to get provisioned, then off to Quartzsite for some additional work. I’ll have an awning put on, and the floor and carpets replaced. And some more until I run out of budget for this refurbishment project. The biggie is done, though.

It’s very cold at night, but snow is not expected. I really want to get down from 4000 feet and out of Deming.

Deming again

I’m back in Deming at a totally typical motel until my RV is ready. I won’t know when until Monday.