Humboldt Brand helps small cannabis farmers band together

Renovations of their Rio Dell facility near completion

A sample of products created by Humboldt Brand. (Humboldt Brand — contributed)
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Humboldt Brand is remodeling their processing center in the Humboldt-Rio Dell Business Park, which will allow them to expand their operations into distribution, clone production, and manufacturing products like live resin and distillates. Humboldt Brand operates under a co-op model, helping over a hundred small cannabis farms with the increasing demands of a cannabis market that is still taking shape.

Bonnie and Reuven Sherr, the owners of Humboldt Brand, said they started the company because “we realized it was going to be really difficult for one small farmer to make it in this industry.”

Reuven Sherr said if farmers want to be successful, farming alone isn’t enough. They’re forced to vertically integrate, he said, which means manufacturing, packaging and marketing their product.

“Our goal is to make it easier for farmers to spend time with their families and do their farming,” Reuven Sherr said. “We are a family of support for the farmer.”

The business, which is in its second year, expects to serve 250-300 farmers by February of next year. But, Reuven said they are currently looking for more farmers to align themselves under Humboldt Brand. The two-acre facility Humboldt Brand is remodeling is weeks away from completion, and they’ve signed distribution contracts for more than what they can currently provide.

Reuven Sherr said Humboldt Brand’s ultimate goal is to help Humboldt County cannabis farmers capture three to five percent of the cannabis market in California, what he says is a $7 billion industry. He believes that by banding small farmers together the collective power generated can stave off the threat posed by the five to 20-acre grows in Southern California.

“Their goal is to sell so cheap — because they have big pockets, they put us out of business,” he said.

Where Humboldt County farmers hold the edge, Reuven Sherr said, is that they have the county name, quality products that pass required testing at a much higher rate, and their own land.

“We’re not trying to create something,” he said. “We’re doing what we’ve been doing.”

Humboldt Brand also a sister company called Humboldt Brand Business Solutions, which helps farmers navigate the complexities of compliance. Compliance, he said, has been by far the most challenging aspect of legalization.

“It’s gotten easier because we know what’s needed … our experience makes it easier,” he said, which ultimately saves time and money.

Rio Dell City Manager Kyle Knopp said the city has been trying to position itself to take advantage of the new legal economy.

“This is a city that has a history of being attached to some of the biggest industries in Humboldt County,” he said.

Cannabis, according to Knopp, should not be an exception. Knopp said the recent business developments surrounding cannabis have led to the largest investments in the city’s history.

“This has given a new shot for the city to make a new hub of employment,” he said.

Knopp said the business park alone could employ up to 100 people. He believes Rio Dell is on its way to becoming a gateway to the cannabis industry thanks to businesses like Humboldt Brand.

“We’re really proud of Humboldt Brand and what they’re bringing to the table,” he said.

More information about Humboldt Brand and Humboldt Brand Business Solutions can be found at https://humboldtbrand.group/

Philip Santos can be reached at 707-441-0506.

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