This isn’t your ordinary farm — but, according to its listing, it’s definitely a legal one.
In northern California, a charming wood-shingled home that’s part of a larger property listing recently made its way to the popular Zillow Gone Wild Twitter account — but not showing images of the home’s arched doorways, oversize windows or views of evergreen treetops under California’s crisp blue sky. The post, which got north of 1,345 likes and a slew of comments, showed a stock of cannabis — the plant from which marijuana comes — growing in neatly organized rows spread across flat ground.
“This would be a wonderful place to post up with your family and run a legal farm while enjoying this beautiful property,” the listing says of the Humboldt County offering, located in prime Salmon Creek. When reposted by Zillow Gone Wild, it elicited comments including “That’s dope” and “now that’s living the high life.”
Indeed, in California, the cultivation of the cannabis plant is legal: It requires licensing. And the property’s listing representative, Brooklyn Marvin of TOP Properties, told The Post there’s been big demand in the wake of the pandemic to operate cannabis farms.
“Everyone’s trying to jump on the opportunity to open up,” said Marvin, who has 18 cannabis listings and also specializes in timber and residential sales. This listing, in particular, asks $925,000 and includes 22,500 square feet, or about a half acre, for cultivation — as well as a unit for workers or guests, two barn/dry structures, a 4-million-gallon pond, gardens and that one-bedroom shingled home. “A lot of these guys started in LA and San Francisco … and then they realized that it would be a real benefit for them to be owning their own farm to feed product into these legal channels.”
She added that smaller-scale in-state retail companies of marijuana sales are trying to head up to Humboldt County, which is known for its craft weed scene.
“I think our community has really contributed to how special the product is coming out of this area, which is why we’re famous,” she said.
Ryan McDowell, 48, this property’s 12-year-long owner, has enjoyed the scenery from this perch — particularly the wildlife the oak woodlands attract, such as migrating birds, turkey and deer — but he’s looking for new hands to take on the farm’s operations. He and his family have since moved about 90 minutes away and he wants to stay put closer to home.
“The farm has been doing really well and it’s hard to leave,” he said — adding that the land also previously had a vegetable garden with sweet corn, tomatoes and broccoli. “It’s just more of a difficult life choice to move on.”
He said the cost to maintain the house runs up to $15,000 per year, while the cost to operate the farm can reach up to $100,000 annually.
“This area is interesting,” he said. “It can be pretty warm all year, so there’s four-season farming potential there. As long as you get stuff in the ground, you can have things growing all year round there.”
But the way cannabis farming works is a bit technical. McDowell said, in this nook of the state, he had to get permits through the county with the state then reviewing the data to grant an annual license, which has to be renewed every year. And that, too, makes for a slightly more complicated sale. As opposed to a standard home closing there, which these days can take 45 days on average, cannabis sales typically require a 60-day period. Not only is there value associated with the property, but there’s also value tied to the LLCs that own the cannabis licenses and permits, which must also be transferred with the sale.
“It’s more involved,” said Marvin. “We have teams of attorneys and CPAs, and a lot of people are involved in the transfers of the LLCs with the properties.”
The listing has been on the market for nearly a year, and Marvin said it’s gotten a good bit of interest. One prospective buyer had a deal fall through, but she still adds the property is “not only a working licensed farm, but it’s also a beautiful place to be and hang out.”