OWS HAS SOMETHING TO LEARN
Occupy Wall Street & The Tea Party: Hydroponics Marijuana’s Occupy Weed Street
Occupy Wall Street Can Lean from Occupy Weed Street
As a marijuana “activist” who’s done his share of sign-carrying, yelling political slogans, and getting hit by batons and doused with pepper spray at rallies, I feel solidarity for all grassroots protests—including Occupy Wall Street, UC Davis students, the Tea Party, and other freedom movements worldwide.
I mean, really, who isn’t at least a little bit frustrated and worried these days? We might not all agree with everything they say or how they present their messages, but we sure as hell understand why Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and Tea Party protesters complain that a small, ultra-powerful group of people calls the shots.
From left to center to right, all sides of the political spectrum agree we’re getting ripped off, stepped on, taken advantage of by greedy people and organizations.
Tea Party people see the government as the bad guys; OWS people blame corporations and sold-out politicians. They both agree there’s way too much power in the hands of too few people, which threatens freedom and democracy.
A similar situation existed in the hydroponics industry. It all started in the 1970’s, when North Americans first learned about growing seedless female marijuana plants (sinsemilla) that had more potency than imported marijuana.
Marijuana growers then adapted technology from other industries (such as parking lot lighting, and tomato fertilizers) to create hydroponics indoor gardens that produced stronger, cleaner marijuana.
A handful of entrepreneurs got in early on the hydroponics marijuana equipment and supplies industry, making brands and distribution networks that controlled hydroponics stores.
They also created one hydroponics magazine, Maximum Yield, establishing it as the gatekeeper for hydroponics information and advertising.
Using its power to accept or refuse advertising, and to ban or allow hydroponics manufacturers from hydroponics indoor gardening trade shows, Maximum Yield (along with allies like hydroponics distributor Sunlight Supply and hydroponics manufacturer General Hydroponics) called the shots.
Then came the hydroponics version of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, in the form of three men who met in Canada. This was in the late 1990’s. These three guys were interested in hydroponics, and they soon discovered the hydroponics industry was dominated by a handful of powerful people and companies.
The men opened a hydroponics retail store and heard frustrated customers bitterly complain about too few hydroponics products available, and how hydroponics nutrients and gear never changed for the better. The three men- Mike, Gino and Rob- told hydroponics kingpins that hydroponics growers and hydroponics retailers want hydroponics innovation, better prices, and more choices.
The kingpins didn’t care. They were harvesting big money. Saw no reason to change.
Mike, Gino and Rob decided to shake up the hydroponics monopoly power structure. It was an Occupy Wall Street/Tea Party kind of motivation, but they didn’t go out and protest on the streets.
Instead, they went into plant science laboratories, professional hydroponics gardens, and universities…modernizing hydroponics nutrients, lighting, C02 generators, and cultivation techniques.
But when they brought their breakthrough new generation of hydroponics equipment, education and supplies to the hydroponics marketplace, the good ol’ boys network that controlled the hydroponics industry used monopoly power and even nark tactics, trying unsuccessfully to block Gino, Mike and Rob, who had formed a new company, Advanced Nutrients.
Hydroponics retailers still recall when Sunlight Supply told retailers that if they carried Advanced Nutrients, Sunlight Supply would cut off distribution of other products. In effect, Sunlight Supply was threatening to put stores out of business if they stocked newer, better hydroponics supplies.
In the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, Advanced Nutrients endured abuse and even brutality. Like the Occupy Wall Street protesters, they hung tough while being attacked. They kept up their resistance to the powerful. As a result, you now have a modernized hydroponics industry that’s more democratic, more open to new ideas, more responsive to the needs of hydroponics marijuana growers.
Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protesters are courageous when they stand up to the rich and powerful, but what could they learn from the tactics Gino, Mike and Rob used?
After all, the first phase of “change” comes when people become angry about the way things are.
The second phase is harder: What do you do to create positive change?
Looking at what Mike, Gino and Rob did by creating Advanced Nutrients to modernize the hydroponics industry, we see a somewhat different approach than Occupy Wall Street or the Tea Party. Kind of like “Occupy Weed Street.”
And it works…the powerful few no longer totally control the hydroponics industry, which is revolutionarily good news for hydroponics marijuana growers and retailers!