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County Administrative Office

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Feedback needed for newly completed Humboldt County Cannabis Marketing Assessment

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Working with a group of cannabis professionals and advocates, county staff recently completed a Cannabis Marketing Assessment that will ultimately be used to inform the coming county-funded marketing strategy for the industry. The report is not finalized yet, however, and staff need the community to review the report and provide their perspective on the conclusions.

Please take a few moments to read the report, which was developed in partnership with the Humboldt County Growers Alliance and other stakeholders, on the county website and submit your comments online to staff in the County Administrative Office – Economic Development Team. The information gathered will be presented to the Board of Supervisors, who will determine the next step on how to proceed with creating a cannabis marketing program, which will be funded through Project Trellis.

Specifically, the draft report shows that leaders in the local cannabis industry see value in looking at a regional approach to marketing cannabis, similar in ways that regional wine makers and coffee growers have done. The assessment is broken into 11 parts and studies several regions that have successfully organized collective regional branding strategies to promote long-term sustainable rural economic development.

The regional institutions in the assessment have been developed over many generations and the decisions have played a critical role in shaping the long-term social, economic, and environmental character of the communities they are in. A common theme that emerged was those industries that successfully incorporated a regional identity and added value to their products had industry partners work together to promote the region as a whole, even ahead of their own products.

“Our goal in this assessment was to draw lessons from origin-based industries, like Napa wine and Colombian coffee, which have successfully established a regional brand for high-quality craft products through the lens of a geographical indications strategy,” said Ross Gordon, Policy Director HCGA. “We found that a key commonality among these regions is the ability of the region’s stakeholders to work together to achieve a long-term vision for a sustainable, equitable craft industry that integrates strategies for differentiation, intellectual property protection, and promotion. We think the recommendations in this assessment will go a long way towards informing a Humboldt cannabis marketing program that bring long-term benefit to Humboldt’s cannabis community and the county as a whole.”

Project Trellis is a three-tiered program designed to support and strengthen Humboldt’s economic position (during post COVID-19 recovery) and to increase its market share in the cannabis industry. Once the marketing assessment is finalized, staff will use the report as the basis for a request for proposals for a marketing firm to develop an effective plan of action to reach the goals of the assessment. It is important to note that the assessment itself will not direct the work of the marketing firm that eventually is chosen to promote the cannabis industry, but it is intended to serve as a basis or guiding document for those efforts.

The survey is open now and staff will accept comments until September 21. The final assessment is expected to go before the Board of Supervisors for adoption in the fall.


For more information.  please contact the County of Humboldt Economic Development team at gohumco@co.humboldt.ca.us or at 707-445-7745.


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