More weed legalization and more weed tolerance has come at a terrible price. Christmas as we know it may soon be no more, if reports from Fortune Magazine can be believed.

In a hard-hitting expose on the uncanny spike in Christmas tree prices in recent years, the magazine proposed a surprising hypothesis. Supply has gone down as tree farmers, it claims, have begun to bring joy to the world in new ways, including supplying the world with the year-long noel known as the dank.

Or, in the words of Fortune: “In the Pacific-Northwest , some farmers have moved away from planting Christmas trees and instead have focused on more profitable crops, in some instances marijuana.”

This, among other factors, helps to explain why the price of Christmas trees have gone up 2% this year, and rose 17% from 2015 to 2017.

The claim appears to be part of a fun game of telephone journalism, where one news rag picks up on a claim from another one and then somebody else reprints it and somebody else and so on.

So Fortune got that little nugget about nuggets and Xmas trees from the LA Times, who didn’t back up their claim with anything. And then local Oregonian news outlet the Willamette Weekly took issue in an article headlined “No, Oregon Christmas Tree Farmers Are Not Growing Cannabis Instead.“

The WW talked to a few experts who basically said that just because the Grinch and the ganj are both green doesn’t mean they’re one in the same. It’s not weed that’s ruining Christmas, they say, but two other devious culprits: hazelnuts and Chi-na.

“I have no idea where the marijuana idea came from,” said Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist (cool job!) with Oregon State University. “I don’t know any Christmas tree growers who have switched to grow it. A few growers have switched to growing hazelnuts, largely because they require less labor, I’m told.”

Meanwhile Casey Grogan, president of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, says the problem lies in the rise of fake Christmas trees from China. 44% of all Christmas trees sold in the U.S. last year were fake, according to the WW, way up from only 29% in 2009.

Boy. That’s depressing. I’d turn to weed if I was getting replaced by plastic junk too.Photo via Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dabs Mag Staff
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