This blog is going to be short because I just spent an hour writing an entire piece about how magical Humboldt County is and while adding a few pictures to the post, my browser crashed and I lost everything I had written. Lesson learned: write everything in Microsoft Word first and then copy it to the infernal WordPress later.
Humboldt County is probably my favorite place to visit and I hope to retire there one day. Redwood trees sit on enormous hills, the Eel River is full of and surrounded by all manner of charismatic megafauna, and the people are truly unique.
The population is made up of a weird mix of old hippies, rednecks, young freaks, old families, rural oddities, outdoor enthusiasts, loggers, law enforcement officers, yogis, Bulgarian crime organizations, burnouts, entrepreneurs, and everyday Americans. It’s not unusual to see enormous diesel trucks driven by waifish girls with glitter on their faces and burly men with long hair, rough hands and turquoise jewelry.
It’s like the Deep South and 1960s counterculture California had a baby and it was raised on a commune where people like guns. It’s a truly great place. The grass is really good, too.
My wife and I just returned from the Ganjier’s Spring Kickoff. It was a work event for her and I came along for the ride because I have a bunch of friends up there.
This was my third trip to the area. Previously I’ve been up there to attend some fairly radical behind the curtain events. I’ve seen a side of the cannabis industry most never will (until legalization occurs) and met some of the warmest and most open career criminals you’d ever want to meet.
I want to be fair here. I have an extremely biased view of the cannabis industry. I enjoy smoking a joint on many evenings and I’m very excited about the business opportunities in the industry. I think it’s a good plant and I believe when it’s legalized it will provide good jobs and people will enjoy it about as responsibly as they enjoy anything else.
For a critical view that isn’t informed by the same old bullshit Reefer Madness propaganda, I recommend checking out John Hardin’s writing in The Lost Cost Outpost. I can imagine he’s not well liked by the people he calls “dope yuppies”, but he makes some good arguments about the environmental impact of bad farmers and more dangerous criminal activity from foreign cartels. It isn’t always pretty up in the hills of Humboldt.
For what it’s worth, I seem to have fallen in with a great crowd up there who are passionate about their work and take care of their land. The farms I’ve seen were clean and seemed to be in balance with their natural surroundings. This plant can be grown well and I believe most people are trying to do it the right way. As people are coming out of the shadows, they are sharing techniques and knowledge to make a safer, better product.
I plan on writing more about Humboldt County soon. It looks like Cannabis Product News, the cannabis magazine I write for is back up and running, so I’ll be up there more often looking for stories and taking more pictures (I shot everything on this post).
If you want to know more about Humboldt County’s cannabis scene, I highly recommend reading The Ganjier. A lot of people I respect contribute to it and the articles are really well written. For a broader view of the area, read The Lost Coast Outpost. It covers local news and the crime reports are often hilariously unusual, especially around harvest time.