Local Weed Supply Disrupted
Area supplies of marijuana were abruptly choked off earlier this week when Green County resident Lloyd Shmelt, 75, was interrupted by agents with the Blue Ridge Narcotics Task Force during the long-time farmer's peak harvest time. According to Shmelt, not only did the agents confiscate over 1300 plants, they also arrested he and his wife, Claire Belle Shmelt.
"I feel real bad for our customers," says Shmelt, speaking from jail, "This was a good crop."
Indeed, someone who said he was a friend of Shmelts said he had a friend whose son said it was "f**king righteous weed." During a living room interview with the young man, who wished to remain anonymous, a Hook reporter confirmed that Shmelt's crop was indeed of good quality.
"That dude supplied my dad and my grandpa," said the young man, "now there's just gonna be shit weed everywhere."
Brandon Oaks, a professor of business administration at UVA's Darden School, says that the economic impact of the tightened supply chain caused by the stoppage of Shmelt's operation could have an adverse impact on the local economy.
"Dozens of distributors and their employees will be feeling the pinch," says Oaks, "and the area could feel a economic "ripple effect" from the closure of a major agricultural operation. This isn't corn we're talking about, this is high-grade weed with enormous market value. "
Indeed, Oaks believes that the sudden "weed vacuum" could cause consumer panic, and eventually drive up the per ounce value of out-of-state product.
Meanwhile, Greene County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mel Carson says the old farmer and his wife will be held in jail because growing marijuana "is against the law." Blue Ridge Narcotics Task Force spokesperson Bart Shmoo said the Shmelt's fall crop would be burned at an undisclosed, secret location.
"Oh, Dude, Man, wouldn't you like to be down wind from that?" said the young weed user. "That'd be, like, the world's biggest tokefest, Man."
Here in Charlottesville, consumers aren't anxious quite yet, as weed supplies haven't completely dried up, but there is some concern about the coming winter.
"Enjoying the Shmelt's fall harvest has been a holiday tradition for as long as I can remember,"said long-time local attorney Paul Young. "Christmas isn't going to be the same this year."