The Humboldt County track-and-trace system incorporates stickers with codes to track cannabis products. (Humboldt County — Contributed)
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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors today extended its contract for a track-and-trace program, which will allow the county to follow every step of legal cannabis’ distribution path.

While the state of California prepares its own track-and-trace program — which is six months behind schedule — the county will renew its contract with SICPA, Inc., to continually track where legal cannabis goes after it’s grown.

To the board, tracking and tracing will, in part, allow the county to ensure marijuana from Humboldt County carries its own label. In other areas, Humboldt County cannabis inspires a certain soft effect, multiple supervisors agreed, which makes it uniquely profitable.

“It’s clear having that tag say ‘Humboldt’ is the key to the value of the product,” said 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell. “The Humboldt name does carry significant weight,” she later added.

First District Supervisor Rex Bohn agreed and praised farmers for going through the regulatory process.

“Branding is so important,” Bohn said, “for (farmers’) well-being and the county’s well-being.”

The state’s system was originally slated to be ready by January 2019, but now it appears track and trace won’t be available statewide until May.

“It was something that was held over our head very regularly by the state,” said Jeff Dolf, the county agricultural commissioner. “And we were being closely encouraged to develop and get ready for (the state’s program).”

One speaker, identifying himself as a permitted grower, said the county’s track-and-trace program was feasible to navigate while the state’s system might not be.

Various cities in the county, including Rio Dell, employ track-and-trace programs through SICPA, and will likely follow the county’s lead and re-up for another six months.

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504.

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