National Geographic : 2015 Jun
48 national geographic • June 2015 comprehension. Mindful has big plans to ex- pand, building similar facilities in other states. “Pot is hot!” Hague says with a laugh that con- veys amazement and exhaustion. “I’m blown away by what’s happening here every single day.” He throws open an industrial door, and my eyeballs are scalded by a halo of plasma bulbs. We step into an immense, warm room that smells like a hundred Yes concerts. Once my eyes adjust, I can see the crop in all its rippling glory—close to a thousand female plants stand- ing six feet tall, their roots bathed in a soup of nutrients, their spiky leaves nodding in the in 2009 that it would not focus on prosecut- ing people who complied with state medical marijuana laws, he looked at his wife and said, “ We’re moving to Denver.” Now he runs one of the world’s most prominent “grows,” where more than 20,000 cannabis plants thrive. We file past the curing rooms and down a hallway pulsating with pumps, fans, filters, gen- erators, trimming machines. A forklift trundles by. Surveillance cameras capture everything, as young workers in medical scrubs scurry about, their faces lit with the pressure and promise of an unorthodox business that’s boomed beyond In northern California, Nicholas and Richard Lopez take photographs of their harvest to share online. Recovering meth addicts who’ve served time for drug offenses, the brothers say they’ve turned over a new leaf. They proudly tend a small garden of pot, which they use to cope with bouts of anxiety caused by years of meth abuse.