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Sensi Magazine

The Magic of Southern Humboldt

Mar 31, 2019 05:14PM
A few hours north of San Francisco, the cars start to thin, and the forest grows thick with redwood trees stretching toward the stars. Pushing further, travelers cross the Humboldt County line at the Eel River, entering the fabled cannabis paradise of Southern Humboldt. Bookended by groves of ancient redwoods and the sandy beaches of the Lost Coast, Southern Humboldt is the birthplace of American cannabis. A heritage first planted by utopian back-to-the-landers in the 1960’s, Southern Humboldt is also beloved for its world-famous reggae festival, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and the historic Avenue of the Giants. Rich in natural beauty like nowhere else in the world, Southern Humboldt is also home to award-winning wineries, world-class music, creative artisans and makers, and beautiful organic farms. While decades of prohibition have kept the eclectic diversity and resilience of Southern Humboldt a secret, today the region’s legacy has been brought to life. In America’s Cannabis Heartland, all are welcome to share in the magic of Southern Humboldt.

“Our story is about beautiful lands, protecting our watershed, and sustainable practices of all kinds,” explains Laura Lasseter, the Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau (SHBVB) director of operations. As the gateway to Humboldt County, Lasseter explains that the SHBVB’s top priority is protecting the region’s ecosystem and sharing the legacy of Southern Humboldt’s famous cannabis farmers. “Holding onto our culture and beliefs by doing what’s right. That’s the story we want to share,” says Lasseter.

In conjunction with the Humboldt Lodging Alliance-South, the SHBVB has launched the ‘Elevate the Magic’ campaign, the first of its kind for Humboldt County. ‘Elevate the Magic’ is also the first destination marketing organization inclusive of the cannabis industry in California. Initial projects have been producing artistic and high-quality videos that showcase the lives and legacy of Southern Humboldt cannabis farmers. Through the ‘Elevate the Magic’ initiative, the SHBVB is working to restore and retain the natural environment, art, culture and history of Southern Humboldt.

“What we have here is so unique and magical that people want to see it,” explains Crystal Ortis of High Water Farms. Like other Southern Humboldt farmers, Ortis is passionate about sustainable growing practices and regenerative farming. “Due to our remote location and back to the land culture, Southern Humboldt residents are intimately connected to the land and its influences,” writes Ortis.

In today’s legal cannabis industry, Southern Humboldt farmers are setting the highest standards in California for sustainable agriculture and regenerative farming. In order to educate visitors about real life in Southern Humboldt, the SHBVB facilitates educational farm tours to teach guests about sustainability, closed-loop farming, and cannabis. At the SHBVB’s ‘Meet the Farmer’ series this spring, guests will have the opportunity to hear firsthand outlaw stories while immersing themselves in the food, wine, and hospitality of Southern Humboldt.

Once in Southern Humboldt, it’s easy to feel the magic in the towering redwoods, pristine beaches, sustainable farms, and strong community. “This is America’s cannabis heartland,” says Lasseter. “You just have to experience it for yourself.”