The cannabis culture has long been rooted in the underground or black market as we will refer to it. It has long been taboo to discuss sources, connections, people and advice. These were closely guarded secrets, though far reaching.
Growers held their strains and growing techniques in vaults much like the modern day corporations holds its trade secrets and recipes. You can’t get the recipe from Coke to make your own. This ensured that the grower/distributer held the reputation and market to a specific product (ie: Purple Kush, Crippler, etc.). This was early black market marketing.
I know from experience that the best growers and black market scientists never wrote a book. These individuals are the max at being reclusive. These are the underground cave dwellers. They know better than anyone the value of good security. These people have nothing to say to the public in regards to strains and techniques. Even the most outgoing of these types of individuals will take their knowledge to the grave, rather than chance any exposure to the powers that be.
Most distribution is actually done through the High School aged individuals. This does not bode well for Public Relations on the black marketers, but I have found it to be true. Perhaps it is the unwritten code that the young individuals are more enthusiastic and trustworthy than older adults. They are not the largest consumer I believe, just a huge part of the distribution cycle of the black market.
When 9/11 went down, Mexican cartels found that growing here in the US was much easier than fording over the border with kilos of product. All they need now is a few workers, seeds and a patch of California forest. We also have other organized groups such as the Asian and Russian gangs that are renting homes and turning them into grows. Many of these gangs have come down from Canada. This attack is happening from both our borders. I can tell you many stories of the Old Boy network right here in the US. Pot has always been a cash crop, even for the American Farmer.
There is no doubt about it, Marijuana is big business. It has held its value better than gold for many years. The best part about it is that it is a consumable, meaning that it needs to be replaced often; not like a gold ring that lasts for years.