In today’s world of intensifying global problems, finding new ways to live together is imperative more than ever. Here are tips from the Humboldt Cannabis industry on supporting community and sustainability.
Be clear on your priorities. Profits must be balanced against people and the planet--the triple bottom line. For Karen Hessler who runs Amaranth Farms with her husband, artist Tom Hessler, it’s not just about making money: "We’re doing the right thing, we’re helping people."
Participate in local fundraisers. In Humboldt, Papa & Barkley employees jumped into the freezing waters of the Humboldt Bay for the ‘Perilous Plunge’ fundraiser for the Redwood Discovery Museum.
Donate to local non-profits. Wherever you live, there are organizations dedicated to community building. Search them out and donate to them. The Humboldt-based cannabis manufacturing company BEAR Extraction House launched Project Humboldt Thrive: when farmers who work with BEAR donate to Project Humboldt Thrive, BEAR Extraction matches every donation. Recipients include the Mateel Community Center and the Eel River Recovery Project.
4. Share ownership and benefits. Structure your business to empower your stakeholders. Eureka-based Humboldt Homegrown is a network of cannabis farmers who not only produce flower for the brand, but who also become owners of the company and all the benefits it has to offer.
5. Insist on sustainability. Whether you are a farmer or an office worker, you can take action towards sustainability. Wendy Kornberg is the owner at Sunnabis Farm in Southern Humboldt, where her family grows cannabis organically and with minimal water use. “I imagine myself as a weed plant,” says Kornberg. “I hear birds, nature, the sounds of children. This is where I want to be.”
6. Give to those in need. Start by acknowledging their existence, and then give them something--from a smile to a meal and more. Humboldt’s community of medicine makers continues to actively support people with illnesses through compassionate care programs.
7. Take time. Take a breath, stop the monkey mind and nourish your humanity. “Cannabis is a powerful spirit,” says Lorelie Sandomeno whose farm, Sunrise Mountain Farms, is located in northeast Humboldt County. “It gives the gift of presence. It creates feelings of deeper connection.”
"How many kids will this one plant feed? It’s shocking how many eat off the weed. This plant will break down, the wealth will spread ‘round-- Whole families fed from these plants we breed!"
Thyme, “215 Humboldt Trimmericks” available at Bayside Garden Supply and other stores in Humboldt County.
Nicole Riggs is the founder of Manifesto Synergies and Chief Marketing Officer at Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC)