By Steven Voser

California has been at the forefront of pro-cannabis activism in the United States. Possession of personal amounts of cannabis was decriminalised long before the legalisation of medical marijuana in a 1996 referendum.

The dispensary system gained a reputation for being flexible to access. Still, other states soon followed in legalising the cultivation and sale of medicinal marijuana products. With California at the forefront, this is not just the state that pioneered entertainment and tech.

This is a state with long-standing traditions of cannabis cultivation going back decades. The highly-crafted artisan output from the Emerald Triangle in northern California is known throughout the world.

Humboldt County, California


The Emerald Triangle is named for the beautiful green crops produced by three counties in northern California. Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties have lots of forested lands.

This has been put to use over the years hiding the massive cannabis farms of dedicated cultivators. With the advent of medical marijuana in the state, Humboldt County, in particular, stepped up to provide expertly-crafted marijuana.

Humboldt's Finest was founded in 1996 as a pooling of resources from different cannabis farmers in Humboldt County. Years of supplying to the medicinal market required their "craft cannabis" to be of the highest standard.


A key factor in the success of Humboldt County's cannabis suppliers is the land they have to work. That part of coastal California, with its ocean fog and rich soil, offers ideal climatic conditions for the outdoor cultivation of cannabis.

A concept of wine cultivation known as 'terroir' has entered the cannabis industry. It is the various geographical conditions that enhance agricultural output. The hot days and cool nights of this region form part of this terroir, yielding strong crops of marijuana buds. This also allows for less indoor cultivation which is highly energy intensive.


Humboldt Finest

The cannabis industry's use of land and water has been controversial in the area. Humboldt's Finest is one company who talk up sustainability.

They claim to save a lot of energy through outdoor cultivation and arguably absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with their plants. They collect rainwater in aerated tanks so as to reduce the burden on rivers.

With California's recent droughts, it is all the more prudent to conserve the use of water. The aerated water also increases microbial activity to boost the nutritional growth of plants. Classic strains have emerged from production here, including OG Kush and Girl Scout Cookies.


Grown in Humboldt
Grown in Humboldt

Soon Humboldt cultivators will seek a "Grown in Humboldt" seal for their products. They realise that if their region has natural advantages they should be promoted.

The community and climate of Humboldt are likely to cement the county as a significant player in cannabis production for years to come.

As regions of California, France, New Zealand and elsewhere become associated with great wines, likewise shall there be regions known for great cannabis growing.

These places will emerge where the terroir is right and the local industry is dedicated. The future is bright, the future is green.

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