Cannabis Association Receives Over $70,000 to Study and Map ‘Potentially Unique Humboldt County Appellation Regions’

Buck and Marijuana garden

[Photo by Kym Kemp]

Press release from the ICFA:

The International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA) is pleased to announce receipt of $72,250.00 to fund the implementation of a Humboldt County Cannabis Appellations Baseline study. The generous grants are from the Watershed Fund ($30,000.00), the Headwaters Fund ($27,250.00), and the Dr. Bronners Family Foundation ($15,000.00).

The research and education project will encompass Humboldt County and will result in the description and mapping of potentially unique Humboldt County appellation regions based on biophysical and geographic characteristics of current and historic cannabis cultivation areas. A portion of the funding will purchase scientific equipment that will uniformly collect climate data, elevation, and temperature on select farms throughout the county. Additional research elements include testing for soil types, soil fertility, and water chemistry. Overlaid upon these mapped biophysical features will be the locations of culturally and historically significant cannabis cultivation areas. The primary objective of the Humboldt County Cannabis Appellations Baseline study is to provide an increased aptitude and preparedness for the County’s cannabis cultivators to compile data and file for a legal recognition under the statewide CalCannabis Appellations Project. All existing and future cannabis license holders will benefit from this effort, as appellations of origin have a vast potential to stimulate tourism in Humboldt County, which can provide an economic boom to the area.

The ICFA will hold community meetings throughout the county to discuss the project, gain input from the community, and identify candidate research farms. The current level of funding covers the cost of establishing eight on-farm research locations that are inclusive and representative of Humboldt’s diverse cannabis cultivation appellations. The ICFA and the research team looks forward to working with Humboldt County’s cannabis farmers and community on this important project, and welcomes additional funding to help support the inclusion of more participation in the Humboldt County Cannabis Appellations Baseline study.

Email [email protected] to be added to the project listserve.

Learn more about and join ICFA at

The ICFA is an inclusive group of cannabis farmers, scientists, and stakeholders working together to promote the unique quality and ecological benefits of sun grown cannabis while preserving the heritage of traditional farming communities. ICFA is honored to receive funds to conduct education and research that support the health of our Humboldt County community at large. Please join us in gratitude for the excellent work done by our donors the Watershed Fund, the Headwaters Fund, and Dr. Bronners Family Foundation.



  • Anyone going to grow in the ground, with native soil?

    • Great point. Ya think the person responsible for the 70k knows or just another bullshit study wasting funds.

      • Yeah, the folks managing the 70k understand the nuances of different cultivation practices and how they relate to the environment and the produced cannabis. Both ICFA and Compliant Farms Certified have conducted work leading up to this point in time that supports the success of the project. For example, ICFA has: participated in stakeholder engagement opportunities with CDFA appellations of origin program development team to gain perspective on their approach; hosted stakeholder listening sessions on the topic during a statewide whistle-stop tour; hosted in-depth educational workshops on the topic within Humboldt County; and co-authored a white paper regarding the importance of cannabis appellations of origin for presentation to participants of a World Health Organization summit in 2018. The Compliant Farms Certified team has extensive expertise in graduate level agricultural research, permaculture design, and development of cannabis farm specific management for environmental stewardship. Over the last 5 years ICFA and Compliant Farms Certified have observed the need for quantifying the environmental aspects associated with cannabis cultivation, the appellations of origin baseline study is a natural container for this work.

    • Yes! The goal is that the study focus on farmers that use regenerative practices, plants touch native soil and at not augmented with lighting and plastic. While this is a bitter pill for many farmers to swallow, appellations are naturally exclusive. Highlighting the farms that are truly benefiting from the terroir of the region and representative of its uniqueness is the whole point of the process. Please attend one of the meetings to share your input.

      • Thanks for the info and I look forward to attending one of the meetings.

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Let’s get beyond the plastic and artificial lighting and back into some farming! Quality not quantity must be the Humboldt mantra.

  • Hopefully this study will show some interesting results. I for one have always been interested and a little bit skeptical of cannabis appellations in comparison to the wine appellations of Napa and Sonoma. As a poster above eluded to is the native soil being a factor not soil from a bag.

    Nice picture above.
    “Hey you deer, get out of my orchard!”

    • That picture was taken in the midst of the terrible 5 year drought. Obviously the grower cared more about their money than the health of the creek and its critters. But that is how people got enough money to pay all the permitting fees- you had to blow it up during the 5 year drought. If you didn’t you got left behind…and then all the permit people paid into CAMP funds to eradicate you. Funny how it worked out…

      • The garden above was watered from a 40-year-old pond that sustains wildlife. Even Fish and Wildlife–those notorious hardasses–or the Waterboard didn’t have any problems with it. How do I know? It’s my son’s garden. Also, if 50 plants give or take a few (my memory sucks and it was a few years ago) is your idea of blowing it up…then, guilty, I guess.

        Organic, sungrown, not even fenced, watered completely from stored rain water from a pond that also provides fire protection…and I’m willing to bet the garden pulled in substantially less as we tried to navigate the system than you did that year (and probably every year since).

        Do you ever get tired of passing judgment?

        • Those trees look FANTASTIC.

        • Superb!! I’d be even more proud if it weren’t legal

          • And I’m proud it is legal. There was a lot of work to get here.

            And I’m proud that I don’t pass judgement based on legality rather than morality. So I’m fairly judgmental towards glow worms, diesel spillers, water suckers, and hillside deforesters but I don’t care whether you are legal or illegal–just treat your neighbor and your land well.

            • lol, I was not being serious about the legal comment. Yes, treat your neighbors and land well, agreed.

              • Sorry, I’m just cranky and defensive lately.

                • No need to ever appologize to me. Plus I like mamma bear responses. They the best!

                • Love the buck and it looks like another deer farther in. We have a deer family that visits us about eight months of the year. They come, eat our apples and even some veggies, but we love ’em. The cats even sleep near them now. Plus, where they sleep is great soil after six to eight months of them sleeping on it. Makes great garden soil, even in Nevada.

            • There is a certain fairness, ie morality, in obeying the law in general if you have taken from the society that created the law any benefit such as education, safety, livelihood, etc. We avoid jaywalking (or at least recognize our own fault in doing it) for example because such regulation allows driving powerful vehicles with the relative cooperation that makes it safer. There is no morality in jaywalking because we feel like it.

              The reason for finding morality in disobeying the law is that the law itself creates more than inconvenience. It creates injustice, ie that obeying it demands immoral actions. It should be a very rare occurrence and certainly not arbitrary for convenience sake.

              Growing pot for money is not moral imperative- It does not deserve such glorification. It is simply making money. It is more or less as greedy as is everything that involves taking for the support of an individual. In fact, it’s attraction is that is a way of making more money with less effort than most other legal commercial activities. Nothing moral in it. Violating the law to do it is nothing to be proud of. The best that can be said is there are worse things that can be done for money.

              • It’s only against the law because the feds are greedy. The feds lie and the FDA has proven it does have medicinal value. The injustice is saying that a pot grower is only doing it for money when actually it’s against the law because of greed by your government. Which is proven by the cost to pay for permits to be legal.

                • “My” government is not what you choose to believe. If I could have my way, there would be a lot less laws but the ones there are would be strictly enforced as opposed to making literally volumes of laws and regulations that are unenforceable. Unfortunately “your” government, although less greedy than the average run of illegal pot growers, still has to cope with those people who want to do whatever they see as profitable to themselves, such as using toxic pesticides and fertilizers, bull dozing cuts, damming everybody’s water for themselves, polluting the air and whatever violence accompanies such aggrandizement. That may not be everyone’s grow but it is way too many people’s. Why should not the industry pay for their own messes just like any other modern resource extraction with a bad history?

                  Indeed, the government, first making pot illegal then creating artificial limits on production, gave pot its value in the first place. If not for these things, if the price was based only on the market and the cost of production, pot would be as cheap as oregano and the people who are interested in big bucks from small effort would be moving on to other criminal endeavors. That might leave the few really more interested in the product to earn a reputation for responsibility.

            • Perfectly put Kym. You go.

        • No judgement here, this time, Kym Kemp. Open praise for the superb family photo.

          You have a story to tell. Do you have plans? Seriously, you’ve gathered a journal’s worth of true-life adventure from within the life-style. I think that before the memories completely fade away, publishing your story could be a fine seller.

          My own family albums are getting cherry-picked to the degree that what I remember, somewhat, is now without the pictures to show and tell.

        • “Unique Appellation regions” like the ones filmed in the movie deliverance. That’s my take of those “regions”. Hollywood needs to come out with a new series for the old folks called the deliverance version of the beverly hillbillies of humboldt county! Me ain’t gots no edgemecatoin, me ain’t gots no skills, but me got’s millions in cash buried all over me property ’cause I live in HUM!

          • If this idustry is so hot why don’t the fish and game, sheriff , chp, nalemars, cal fire, county dist employees, state dist employees, fed dist employees give up their extensively over-paid jobs to grow pot? Surely, if you could grow a half a mil , most gov jobs would become extinct… Really wondering… It’s for the pension? No, that’s going extinct too by the FED bailouts… Bad situation, I am moving to costa rica or panema. I hope they have good Sharp Cheddar Cheese!

            • You don’t have to quit your job to grow pot. You don’t even have to grow pot to grow pot if you can afford to hire people.

        • In my 1911 I trust

          Just figure I would call you on it Kym. The whole just 50 plant thing is a jaded, old school grower defense when it comes to blowing it up. You sound like my grandpa haha. You Damn yung ins with your greenhouses, I only have 60 plants. Yeah grandpa? Your 60 plants are in 8×8 boxes and take up a half acre of hillside and weigh in around 10 bows a piece. Explain how you aren’t blowing it up? That’s why its square footage, not plant number. Beautiful trees by the way, that buck looks like one happy camper.

          • The garden’s under 4000 square feet if my memory serves me right. And we plant in the ground not in boxes. Your greenhouse?

            • In my 1911 I trust

              An example. I wish I could have a greenhouse. My point being a lot of people consider a 20x100ft greenhouse filled with 200 25gals blowing it up, it is, but its 2000 sqft. Whereas 60 plants on a quarter acre does not receive the same kind of judgement. Just pointing things out. Yes, boxes. He has good soil, but its better being shoveled into boxes with rabbit fencing in the bottom. The gophers are ruthless in his area.

    • Yes, I, too, hope that the study produces exciting results! Perhaps of interest is that the American Viticultural Areas that define the appellations of wine country are simple geographic areas. By using a deeper understanding of the ecological setting within which cannabis is grown, we hope to hope to inform the development of more rigorous European Style of appellations for Humboldt County.

  • Does all the product go through legal channels for sales?

  • I am actually Happy a study as such is being conducted. I think different elevations, and moisture levels produce different results. Just the difference in the terpene profiles, to the THC ratios, I think are effected. Soil can have an impact certainly on the the Terpene profiles as well… I have definitely seen differences in plants at different elevations. Even a few hundred feet in elevation has different results. Also moisture content plays a role. Also variances can come out in drying, and curing stages.

  • Spoiler alert for all the Humboldt Snowflakes out here that know “EVERYTHING” about Cannabis.

    The “appellation” scheme is a marketing ploy, just like it is in viticulture.. concocted by of course who else, but the “French”, the biggest and most special snowflakes of all time.

    What they need to be testing is the results of the final product, (Terpene/Cannabinoid profiles/ratios) and comparing it to results from products produced in other regions, where we have already discovered that the chemical makeup of Cannabis cultivated in “Humboldt” is no more “unique” or “special” than the flower produced from the “terrior” in other areas/regions/ environments.

    What we have discovered through extensive testing is that Humboldt does NOT produce novel Terpene ratios and produces lower Cannabinoid ratios than the material tested from other areas that consistently receive higher amounts of UV intensity.


    Get over yourself Humboldt.
    Climate is not a static phenomenon, and neither is the profile of “native” soil after Cannabis has been cultivated in it.

    What we’re really talking about here is Dry farmed, full term Cannabis that is cultivated in native soil , that is amended with indigenous materials, which unfortunately, can not be commercially scaled effectivley in Humboldt.

    It’s just like the wild hair brained idea of commercially producing Hemp in Humboldt, there just isn’t enough land that meets the criteria for economic feasibility.

    Yes, there are a few small farms like “Eel River Farms”, that are cultivating Cannabis traditionally , but sadly, their model will not endure in the long run due to the average consumers lack of discernment, the ever increasing level of price sensitivity, and the fact the projections for demand have been grossly over estimated.

    The “Humboldt” name became synonymous with Cannabis due to the amount of Cannabis being produced here , not it’s quality.

    From farms being raided by CAMP to being robbed by thugs, and the buyers that come from all over, none of them showed up because the quality of Cannabis was so much better than anywhere else, it was, and it still is because of the QUANTITY!
    Hence, Humboldt possessing the highest number* of cultivation permits.

    The number* of permits issued in Humboldt is already becoming a moot point though.. where it’s more about the size of the cultivation permits issued else where. It’s simple math for those not infected with “Green Rush Fever”.

  • That is one of my all-time favorite pictures! A handsome Buck surrounded by a forest of Donkeys- NorCal natural splendor at it’s finest !

  • I suspect your reply/inquiry is more insincere than naive, but typical around these parts.

    To answer your question.., yes, there is an extensive body of test results from all over the world that are available to the public, if you trust the labs conducting the anaylsis and the authorship of the results.

    You may also simply aquire an extensive amount of samples yourself from farms/retailers, and have them independently tested.
    Tip* Having the same samples tested by multiple labs is a sound protocol for narrowing standard deviation rates.

    See* ISO 17025 Accreditations

    Or, you can just earn a degree in Organic Chemistry, enter the Chemical Anaylsis field, and spend 10 years working in collaboration with other scientists testing and comparing an extensive number of samples.

    Do yourself a favor though, before you put the cart before the horse here,..
    Research the lastest studies and recent advancements, on the age old debate over Genetics vs Environment.. and quickly get yourself up to speed on the importance of genetics over all other variables.

    While it’s common knowledge that environment ‘influences” phenotypical expression, ultimately, the potential range of expression is limited by genotype.

    My turn.. why haven’t you reported on?!?.. #ab1948.

    • I can throw a curve ball into your logic but that would be giving away info you do not deserve. So, I will try and beat around the bush while tryin to make my point.

      We use color to determine the chemical properties of matter yet we see a very narrow spectrum. Now, yes we can prove what we can see but that is all the knowledge that can be fact. As an example genetically Australia can clone a sheep but it technically died. Clones are weak and fragile genetically so….that is fact! Stewards of the plant have done more scientic research than any scientist ever will….Fact.

    • What a weird mix of nerdiness and clueless condescension.

      • Matthew, I’ve been condescended to by the best but I’m admiring of this level and thoroughness.

        Artesian Egos, I haven’t reported on #ab1948 for the same reason I don’t report on a lot of things–I’m one person and there’s a lot of things to write about.

        • Fair enough. Running a crime themed watchdog site is a full time job, no shortage of content around here in that category.

          Maybe litigation incited by the conflict of interest with the ICFA and the baseline study will get coverage.

          Thank you for the compliment, speaking of being condescending, check out the level of grandiosity in the name of this local group, of self appointed “experts”. “INTERNATIONAL” Cannabis Farmers Association

          No need for a reply, I don’t want to take up any more of your time, thank you for allowing me to use your platform for public record.

          “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”

  • Billy Casomorphin

    Great photo of a Pot Orchard!

  • Legal? Oh, that’s right, The whores in local (state, and county ) gov. railroaded the dupes and supes into the “medicinal” scam from the get go. Then came the “recreational” scam which has led to the dumbed down stoner future generation that has become our kids. We all know that the weed blowup that gets quieted out of state is a free for all black market fuckfest. Weed get’s you stoned, meth makes you tweak, booze makes you drunk. Justify the almighty ganja any way you want, it is what it is. Just SAY IT!
    Can’t stand it when someone pisses on my leg, and tell’s me it’s rainin’.

  • I hope they study the redwood moths. I miss them coming to the porch every year

  • Why don’t the deer mow down that orchard? I have found them to just love munching on fresh, juicy cannabis leaf on the branch.

    • We think it’s because there is growing green vetch or clover inbetween the rows. We normally put the starts in the ground early and they’ve reached the point where they are less tasty by the time summer sets in and other greenery is scarce. And then there is lush greenery on the ground which is tasty. They occasionally nibble a branch but it is minor.

      That said, this last year the garden got in late and we did lose quite a bit to deer.

  • This is one if my all time favorite photos Kym, such an incredibly beautiful garden, I’d be super proud of this as well!!! So I read above that the fish and game and waterboard gave your pond a pass? I have a couple 40 year old ponds on my ranch and the “consultants” told me not to even bother with a permit because it would be entering a regulations nightmare where f and g would require me to remove them. How’d it work out for you guys?

    • Our pond is rain catchment so we weren’t in a stream which is problematic. It is very stable with no danger of collapse, according to my husband who is an engineer. I think it is extremely low impact, high giveback in terms of wildfire protection. Your consultants should be able to tell you if there are any issues on your particular ponds that will raise red flags.

  • Well, only a handful of farms would qualify because most ALL farms use bought potting soil, not native soil.

    • The required percentage of native soil is just the tip of the iceberg, just wait and see who those small handful of farms are that meet the criteria, and their connection to the board members of ICFA, and Compliant Farms consulting.

      These are their words, straight from the horses mouth..

      (Over reaching / speculative statement)
      “ALL” (existing and future cannabis license holders will benefit from this effort,) as appellations of origin have a vast potential to stimulate tourism in Humboldt County, which can provide an economic boom to the area.” -ICFA

      (Contradictory statement)
      “While this is a bitter pill for many farmers to swallow, appellations are naturally “EXCLUSIVE.” – Chrystal Ortiz
      (ICFA board member)

  • The unintended consequence of “voting” for a schedule1 drug (fed law, by the way, not mine) was a mob rule, flagrant FU to the feds, I do not think any plant should be illegal or unlawful. But the sad reality is that pot can put you in a very fucked up prison for a decade, if the fedgoons decide to make an example of you.
    That said, if I gotta pay my taxes, then so does every other swingin’ dick in the county. Watching assholes pay cash for a brand new growdozer with monies garnered from growing weed WITHOUT getting stuck by the man. while I am being stuck by the man just pisses me off! Now we throw in the envirionmental RAPE of the springs that turn into creeks, that eventually become the river I lived on, loved, and worked my ass off for 30 years, and sorry pal, you will never convince me that the greedy pot growers havent wreaked fucking havoc on the most beautiful place on this globe. Wanna get stoned? Fine, grow enough to get your pecker hard, or cure your (enter name of ailment here) and go on with life, Just don’t kill MY river because you want to have a hut in Belize, or a lift kit for your stupid truck. If you think weed is legal, take a pull off your bong and blow it in a B.A.T.F.E. agents face and tell him you just made 300.000 dollars cash, tax free, after finding some lackey to drive your harvest to Kansas…
    And the MAJORITY of pot growers I know are not stewards of the land. When you hear hoofbeats, expect horses, not zebras.

  • Justifarians, unite! I guess I must lay down and take it…

  • Well Johnie, pulling on a set of sticks for 20 years or so (driftboat oars) makes me the “expert” now. doesn’t it? I dont recall your boat at the put-in, or the take-out… My boat’s moniker was”PARAGON”… Next weak sauce argument, please…

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