Gathering Sheaves of Information, Small Cannabis Farmers Meet the Buyers at Friday Event

 

Susan Combes and Cheryl Woodard (1 of 1)

Small cannabis farmers, Susan Combes and Cheryl Woodard, partners in Locus Craft Cannabis, explored the Meet the Buyers event held this Friday in Fortuna. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

On Friday, the friendly city of Fortuna, (a town not known for being friendly to marijuana) was flooded with cannabis growers and dispensary workers. The Humboldt County Growers Alliance sold out every spot in its “Meet the Buyers” event. Around 600 people attended, said Terra Carver, Executive Director of HCGA.

“This is economic development!” she said indicating the number of people swarming in through the doors of the River Lodge. Gas stations, grocery stores, print shops and more in Fortuna were all receiving a boost from the cannabis community, she explained.

“We represent the entire supply chain,” Carver noted. “We set up the event to help that supply chain…to make connections that span the entire state.” Next, she said, her organization plans to have workshops for growers that bring up experts in marketing and branding.

Inside the event, farmers mingled with buyers–everyone trying to network as the room roared with the noise of hundreds of people promoting their businesses and farms.

Humboldt County departments were there with information.--packets on pesticides and weights

Humboldt County departments were there with information.–packets on pesticides, weighing, etc. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

“I had a hard time hearing,” said Cheryl Woodward*, a small cannabis farmer who lives in a remote rural property in Southern Humboldt. Then, she added that she didn’t want to sound ungrateful. “I appreciate the Humboldt County Growers Alliance for putting out such a great effort to help us. I really feel like they are trying to help our industry and support the farmers in the  County.”

However, she added, the sheer number of people and the noise they generated made creating connections difficult, “It was good to see there were so many distributors that came [and] we did get a lot of good information,” she said. However, she added, “I came away slightly depressed…I felt like a very small fish in a very large fishbowl.”

One booth provided a graphic showing the permitting process in Humboldt County.

One booth provided a graphic showing the permitting process in Humboldt County. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Woodard, who had hoped to market her and her partner’s signature strain of Black Candy, which she described as a CBD and THC balanced variety that “smells like black pepper and grapefruit” as well as other strains she grows, said that it was hard to make meaningful connections but that she came away with a bag holding flyers and cards with email addresses.

Some distributors had information on what they were or in this case, were not, looking for in product they were buying.

Some distributors had information on what they were or in this case, were not, looking for in product they were buying. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

“Will anyone even remember me?” she asked plaintively. But she had hopes to make those tentative new connections memorable by reaching out to the buyers by email. This week she said she will be trying to build on what she learned at the event.

Woodard said she “found it interesting to learn what distributors were looking for.” She also enjoyed a “fireside chat” speaker who talked about how to market farms.

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RHBB couldn’t get around to all the booths. There were too many. But here is a sampling of what we learned that may help the small farmer who was there and overwhelmed or wasn’t a member of HCGA and couldn’t attend. We tried to add in any particular information in green that could help with sales.

 

Distributors at:

Humboldt Legends:

Mike Lyons (Right) and coworker at Humboldt Legends booth

Mike Lyons (Right) and coworker at Humboldt Legends booth. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

  • Based in Arcata, Humboldt County
  • Buys whole flower, trim, sometimes even untrimmed product
  • Works with branded and unbranded farms (white label)
  • Payment: Can be cash (COD) if product is already tested.
  • Quote from employee Mike Lyons, “Consumers buy with their eyes and their nose. How [the cannabis] looks and smells matters a lot.”
  • Call the director of farmer affairs Ryan at 609 713-2636 to make the connection.

Oakland Distributing:

  • Based in Oakland
  • Buys trim, pre-packaged products, and some bulk flowers.
  • Works with branded and unbranded farms
  • Payment: Pays out every week whatever is sold and settles by 30 days. For trim, they will pay cash on delivery.
  • Quote from Chris Ahern in sales: “Packaged products is what we can get on the shelves quickly.” And “This market wants more variety.” And “Trim is hot right now.”
  • Contact Chris Ahern (510) 593-1976

Altum Mind (Note: This is an advertiser of this website)

Altum mind

[Photo by Kym Kemp]

  • Based in Arcata, Humboldt
  • Buys trim and B buds.
  • Works with unbranded wholesale product
  • Payment: Cash payment after 7 business days to test. If the product is clean, then COD.
  • Quote: Ian Hart wants farmers to understand that the higher percentage of THC trim has the higher pay the farmers get, so not only is it important that the product be pesticide free but that it also be free of stem and other content that will drop the THC. 
  • Contact (707) 517-6463 also see website.

Legion of Bloom:

Legion Grown

[Photo by Kym Kemp]

  • Based in Sonoma County
  • Buys wholesale flower, trim and smalls
  • Unbranded (Could be interested in branded)
  • Net 30 post testing clearance
  • Quote from Troy Meadows: “Proper grading and adhering to high-quality standards is really important…Don’t leave long stems at the bottom [of buds]… Have a product that is ready to go to market.” He also noted that growing some CBD strains could help as they are hard to find right now.
  • Contact Brandt@thelegionofbloom.com or Natalie@thelegionofbloom.com

NOTE: *Cheryl Woodard is a neighbor and Susan Combes used to be a neighbor of this reporter.

 

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20 comments

  • Feeling like a “very small fish in a very large bowl” seems like a spot-on description to me. I’ll bet many guilds and much cooperation will result, and it will be necessary.

  • Has anyone had their outdoor crop pass through the test process successfully?

  • Such a strange, tax law induced world currently where trim is in such greater demand than flower. I’ve talked with growers wanting to literally put perfectly good bud through a chipper to make “trim” because it’s so easy to sell currently (don’t do it).

    JB

  • Humboldt legends aren’t commercial, they wanted to stick it to the man and not support a war economy. Fcuk me runnin’!
    Cheryl, I am guessing it’s very challenging for you to be trying to navigate these new waters! I wish you the best!
    Signed,
    a friend from the paddle ranch in the 90’s. (Not K.S.)

  • Those toss on the ground pens must really be in demand for trim to be king.

    Possibly the Pentagon is recycling them into weapons and using the tax dollars to fund some new type of weapon?

    It’s always about a weapon, always…

    Dim light in the fog of it all, glad Kym is posting all this up like Encyclopedia Britannica.

    Maybe in the future when they stop spraying Brondo, it’s got electrolytes, on the crops someone will read all this and chisel it into stone?

    • There is a movie called Idiocracy. It comes up on spellcheck I can’t believe it’s not a word yet. I am so crazed – annoyed about the special “Glorification” of the pot industry. I have lived here my whole life, and have avoided the pot idiots at every turn. I have self educated myself and run a small business. I see marijuana as a last ditch attempt failure to survive, which I never had to consider. Since the 80’s, I always remember hearing the local stories from my parents. People in sheer desperation for survival would grow, being poverty struck with no education or financial support. Many would get POPPED and go away. It was alot more serious offence then. Nowdays it’s mainstream and you have people from NY Mass Virginia Georgia Nj , A whole flood of city people. As of current, the majority of locals have left the area, living on large land leases to these people. I just pray now for the area that all this [edit] gold rush shit stops. Look at Oregon!

  • Love the permiting graph! Lmfao. Looks so easy. Humboldt supervisors must have made that the night before while drinking champagne and eating caviar off of silver spoons.

  • Thanks for the time and effort you put into this article Miss Kym.

  • I think it’s offensive singling out the small growers. Just because they are not as large of stature or height as larger growers doesn’t make them worth less. Grower Height and girth shouldn’t matter anymore in the industry. I know a couple of “little people” growers that do very well..

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