The Emerald Triangle Shares A New Cannabis Product: Education
Humboldt County is pulling back the Redwood Curtain to share two of their signature exports: clean, organic cannabis and generations-deep knowledge about the plant. And this one is all about the ladies. Celebrate is a cannabis conference focused on the women farmers, product makers, business owners, industry leaders, medical experts, patients, and recreational consumers.
Men are absolutely welcome to attend. While topics will be geared toward women, the wealth of information and products offered are of interest to both men and women. Many of these businesses and farms are also co-run by husbands, sons, brothers, and friends of their female counterparts.
The speakers series is on August 19th.
In 2018, Californians over 21 will have access to legal cannabis for health and fun, and it is crucial that the community is aware of what it is and how to use it. Thanks to Humboldt Patient Resource Center (HPRC) and Up North, there finally is an affordable event to learn about cannabis, and the event name says it all, “Celebrate!” Tickets are only $20, a far cry from the $100-$500 range of comparable events. This price point makes cannabis education a realistic, viable option for all. New to cannabis or just curious? This event will cost you less than a gram of top-shelf herb.
HPRC has been a leader in the medicinal cannabis industry since before there was one. Ganja farming is deeply rooted on California’s North Coast. I spoke with HPRC’s executive director, Mariellen Jurkovich, and Naomi Atkinson, manager of the women’s division, on one of those rare sunny days in Arcata, California. They informed me about the upcoming Celebrate event, and shared stories of women creating high-grade, cannabis infused products in their home kitchens on the farm, just like their mothers and grandmothers did, who learned it from their mothers and grandmothers.
“Now that cannabis is becoming more legal, women are more comfortable engaging,” explained Jurkovich. Early in the legalization process, she noticed that the large majority of farmers bringing products to dispensaries were men. A 2006 study published by the Society for Judgement and Decision Making (SJDM) and the European Association for Decision Making (EADM) showed that women are less likely to participate in high risk behavior due to potential negative outcomes. Now, that cannabis has become more legal, Jurkovich sees more women coming forward with their crops, products, and expertise.
Atkinson and Jurkovich also work closely with the Women Cultivating Community (WCC), a group of women cultivators and product makers. HPRC helps WCC members and their products reach more patients in larger markets through events like the Emerald Cup just north of the Bay Area, and the Emerald Exchange in Los Angeles. Women and products for women have been underrepresented in the cannabis industry, as Jurkovich observed, and the WCC and HPRC are working to change that.
The WCC’s founding members will be at the farmers market, and attendees are encouraged to ask questions.
Between packed schedules of farming, child care, creating products, marketing, and advocating, the owners of Kiskanu Humboldt, Space Gem, and Humboldt Harvest talked with me about the WCC and the upcoming Celebrate event.
Kiskanu Humboldt, is a cannabis farm and product line run by Gretchen Miller and her husband. She is a cannabis therapy consultant, and has been with WCC since it’s inception. “I appreciate the supportive environment,” Miller said. The concept at Kiskanu Humboldt is that “cannabis shouldn’t be an expensive, high-end commodity. It should be available to everyone who needs it,” Miller stated.
Wendy Baker, owner and maker of Space Gem, is grateful to HPRC because they were one of the first dispensaries to ask for product testing. “[HPRC] sets the standards high for their products. Mariellen is all about getting information out to people, and her work is very education focused,” she noted. Space Gem is a vegan candy company made with ice water hash from local Humboldt farms. When asked how WCC members work in direct competition, Baker replied, “We all make wonderful medicine and I use all of [the other WCC] products.”
Esther Benemann is the owner of Humboldt Harvest, a line of CBD tinctures, edibles, and body care products with added terpenes to target different needs, like PMS relief. Benemann raved about HPRC’s community involvement and focus on affordable cannabis education. “They have created a really nice place for local businesses to showcase their goods,” she said, “It’s roots, it’s awesome! It’s how we’ve always been.”
Celebrate brings local and statewide experts together to shed light on the dark side of the bud; politics and proof. Here’s a look at some of the lineup.
Dr. Jessica Knox is a preventative medicine physician and co-founder of the American Cannabinoid Clinics, a family owned practice helping patients heal and stay well through cannabis therapies. Another visiting health expert is Jessica Peters, the President of Moxie Meds and a cannabis clinician known for her work with women’s reproductive concerns.
Notable cannabis attorneys, Amanda R. Coney and Kimberly R. Simms, share legal insight. Simms is the Chair of San Diego’s Women Grow chapter, and will discuss cannabis compliance law. Coney, founding member of Brand & Branch LLP law firm and co-founder of the National Cannabis Bar Association, is tackling intellectual property law.
There will also be an all-Humboldt panel to confer about local concerns, led by Chrystal Ortiz, Operations Manager at True Humboldt, and Kristin Nevedal, Director of International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA).
Education and access are key. “The cannabis industry is about more than making money; it is about helping people feel better and creating healthful, clean products people can learn about and access,” Atkinson said. “The sense of community is strong in cannabis. This is not a brand new industry. This is a transition from the underground market into the mainstream. The community has always existed,” Jurkovich described, adding “this is my industry, these are my people.”
Purchase tickets here:
747 13th St.
Arcata, CA 95521
For more information about HPRC, visit: