Coachella Boss, Gary Tovar, Once Run California’s Biggest Marijuana Smuggler.

Gary Tovar, founder of Goldenvoice, the successful concert promotion business that now produces the Coachella, the legendary music and arts festival in Indio, California told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that 30 years ago, he ran California’s largest marijuana smuggling operation.

“When I was doing both my things –- smuggling and concerts –- I considered them crusades,” Tovar said. “Now I think we won on both ends. Our music won –- you can hear a Ramones song in an elevator –- and we won on the marijuana front.” Tovar mentioned.

And guess what? the name of this company Goldenvoice is a strain of marijuana.

“Yes, you could say I feel gratified”, “When I was doing both my things – smuggling and concerts – I considered them crusades. Now I think we won on both ends. Our music won – you can hear a Ramones song in an elevator – and we won on the marijuana front.”

According to Marijuana Business Daily, the legal marijuana business is projected to grow to $8 billion by 2018. While purists don’t begrudge the availability of the drug, they worry the legalisation is ushering in a business dominated by intensive agriculture techniques, grow-boosters and genetic science – a far cry from the hippie ideal of organic, soil-nourished weed cultivated in sunlight and wind.

Tovar is concerned that the old growers are being pushed out. In this “free for all”, the business could be taken over by “opportunists with no regard for the principles or cultural roots of the industry in its illegal manifestation”.

Read the full interview here.

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