Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC) Launches, Will Bid for County’s Cannabis Marketing Initiative
November 15, 2019 -- Humboldt County business leaders and cannabis professionals have united to launch the HCBDC, a 501(c)3 non-profit providing education, professional development, and marketing support for the county’s unique cannabis community.
In addition to offering free and low-cost professional training workshops for independent cannabis businesses, the HCBDC will submit a proposal to manage Humboldt County’s upcoming branding and marketing program promoting Humboldt-grown cannabis.
The HCBDC is powered by the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA), the primary trade association representing cannabis businesses in the county. HCGA operations director Natalynne DeLapp will lead the HCBDC as executive director, alongside chief marketing officer Nicole Riggs and workforce development coordinator Rachael Moore.
“Humboldt County has stepped up in a big way to support the cannabis businesses that are a substantial part of our local economy,” said DeLapp. “The upcoming marketing program has the potential to cement our county’s reputation as the home of the highest quality and most sustainably grown cannabis in the world. Building and promoting that brand is how in part we will protect and grow the prosperity of our community.”
Humboldt County’s Office of Economic Development released a request for proposals for the marketing program, funded primarily by cannabis excise taxes and fees, on September 30. Proposals are due on November 30.
“The HCBDC believes that developing and marketing a unique brand for Humboldt-grown cannabis and cannabis-related products will bring very real value to the county,” said CMO Nicole Riggs. “But it’s critical that the project is led by a team that combines world-class marketing expertise with an inherent understanding of the cannabis industry and our community’s heritage and influence within it.”
The HCBDC’s work will build on the foundation laid by State Senator Mike McGuire, who led the successful efforts to develop a “County of Origin” designation and legal protections for California cannabis businesses in state law. With those protections now in place, Humboldt County’s cannabis branding and marketing efforts can be assured to benefit the products and companies that call Humboldt County home.
The HCBDC is guided by a board of directors representing the county’s extensive business and cannabis expertise. Led by board president Adam Grossman, the founder and CEO of Eureka-based Papa & Barkley, members also include local business leaders Gregg Foster, Elan Puno, and Dane Valadao, as well as cannabis executives Ashley Hanson and Scott Davies. Former Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos rounds out the board of directors team.
About the Humboldt Community Business Development Center
The mission of the Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC) is to increase prosperity in Humboldt County by supporting the development of Humboldt County alternative agriculture businesses and communities through education, economic, social and environmental protection and development, as well as brand strategies and marketing. Learn more at HCBDC.org.