Telling a Humboldt Story: From Humble Roots to an American Industry


When Pacific Expeditors came to Wick & Mortar to create a short documentary about the history of Humboldt County, we knew how important this piece was to get right. Not just because Humboldt County is home to the world’s best weed, which it is. But because Humboldt’s story is the foundation of the entire modern day cannabis industry and its legacy deserves to be treated with care.

This grand story begins with humble roots. Those who are now known as Humboldt Legacy Farmers began as disenchanted young adults in the throes of one of the most chaotic eras in American history. Amongst anti-war protests, the still smoldering ashes of the Civil Rights movement, and the beginning of Nixon’s War on Drugs, these city kids left it all behind for the woods.

Their goal: to build a utopia better than the world they were leaving behind. And, while you may not get this impression watching Netflix’s documentary ‘Murder Mountain’, in many ways this group succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

These Humboldt farmers didn’t just grow cannabis, they revitalized a dying American town. These legacy farmers built pot farms, sure, but they also built hospitals, libraries, newspapers, community centers, and local businesses. In the process, they sparked a modern-day American cannabis trade, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since George Washington tended his hemp farm. And they did it all while being demonized by local, state, and federal law enforcement and the media.

These days, it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come and those who fought for us before we ever even got here. In 2019, the legal cannabis industry is thought to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy. Some estimates say the industry could create more jobs than manufacturing over the next decade. California’s market alone could bring in more than $15 billion by 2022. None of this would have been possible without the sacrifice, curiosity, and craftsmanship of Humboldt County.

It is with this legacy in mind that we came to this project, and we hope you will enjoy it. This isn’t just a cannabis story, but a story that speaks to the heart of American ingenuity and resilience. Humboldt’s ethos of community and camaraderie is something we should all embrace as we continue to build on the backs of giants.

Thank you, Humboldt.


You can watch ‘A Humboldt Story’, a 20-minute documentary presented by Pacific Expeditors and produced by Wick & Mortar, here.