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The other side of Eden: Commercial marijuana takes root in California’s Steinbeck country

Aging greenhouses in the Salinas Valley that long produced world-renowned cut flowers are being converted to grow cannabis, causing real-estate prices for these structures to spike.

THE SALINAS VALLEY John Steinbeck’s quintessential California novel “East of Eden,” about pain and poverty in an agricultural paradise, cast this setting in near biblical tones, depicting it as a place of mystical breeze and light, “full of sun and loveliness” and warm like “the lap of a beloved mother.”

He wrote “the top soil lay deep and fertile” and “the whole valley floor, and the foothills too, would be carpeted with lupins and poppies.”

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