Gathering Sheaves of Information, Small Cannabis Farmers Meet the Buyers at Friday Event
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.“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.”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. “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.
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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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 [email protected] or [email protected]
NOTE: *Cheryl Woodard is a neighbor and Susan Combes used to be a neighbor of this reporter.