Encouraging Local Values Across California’s Cannabis Community

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At The Farmacy Santa Barbara, we collaborate with local farmers, cannabis experts, and community members to provide great products that are created responsibly and then help send resources back into the city and county we love so much. But Santa Barbara isn’t the only place where local values are alive and well.

This week, Northern Californians celebrated their third annual Hall of Flowers cannabis trade show in Sonoma County. The event brings together the most innovative brands, retailers, and industry experts to help grow the future of cannabis in a powerful and meaningful way.

Inspired by Hall of Flowers week, we traveled north to Humboldt Apothecary, a women-owned and women-run business in Arcata’s cannabis hub. Founded by two herbalists with a passion for the benefits of botanical products, Humboldt Apothecary embodies everything that the Farmacy SB believes in when it comes to local-based and ethical cannabis practices. They’re also inspiring innovators, developing products that combine cannabis with other botanicals to create something wholly original. The Farmacy SB carries their select line; Deep Sleep, Brain Tonic, Inflammation Soother and Love Potion #7.

We had the chance to tour Humboldt Apothecary and interview Gillian Levy, one of the brand’s two co-founders. We discussed local supply chains and the benefits of alcohol-based tinctures, and we even got the chance to create a custom mocktail using one of their products.

ell us a little bit more about Humboldt Apothecary.

Gillian: Sure! We’ve been in operation since 2014, and we’re really devoted to craft cannabis. All of our batches are small, and all of our cannabis is from small farms in Humboldt County. All of our products contain cannabis oil that contains pure cannabis terpenes as opposed to other plant-based terpenes.

Essentially, we studied a lot of medical texts and found that one of the ways cannabis was once used by doctors was that it was combined with other botanicals. There’s a synergy between cannabis and plants that have similar effects. When we founded our business, we wanted to create a more functional product for folks who wanted to get all the benefits of cannabis without experiencing an incapacitating couch-lock feeling. So we created products supported by other botanicals that would support the intended use while maximizing the benefits of the cannabis.

Currently we have a line of botanicals that the Farmacy carries that is the only alcohol-based tincture that we know of in California. The reason we like to work with alcohol is that we’re herbalists, and we love to work with a wide range of botanical medicines including cannabis. We really feel that the synergy between different plants and cannabis work to optimize the benefits of the cannabis.

What we think is really cool about the alcohol-based tincture is that if you’re into making mocktails, like we are, it dissolves right into the water and doesn’t float on top of your drink.

Gillian: It’s true! The other great benefit of using alcohol-based tinctures in general is that the onset of effects is much more rapid than in an oil-based tincture or edible. The effects go into place about 15-20 minutes after consumption.

It seems like everyone here is very local and you are very devoted to working with local people in whatever capacity you can. Tell us a little bit more about that.

Gillian: We are located in the marijuana innovation zone of Arcata, which is a part of town that was historically occupied by a lot of different logging companies. It’s all become repopulated by cannabis companies, and many of us collaborate and work together— which has been an incredible opportunity to act as a think tank with smart and talented people bouncing ideas off each other and working together to create great products. It’s a hub here as far as manufacturing and networking, and I’m really glad to be a part of that. Farmers who come out of the hills bring their biomass right here, so we have an opportunity to have personal relationships with everyone in the chain.

That’s really wonderful, and it’s a lot like how it is now in Santa Barbara with all of the farms in Carpinteria. It’s a hyper-efficient supply chain that also allows you to work with people you actually know.

Gillian: Yes! We love that your team in Santa Barbara seems to have a real commitment to local and regional operations within the state of California that have the same commitment and ethos as you. It seems like the people in Santa Barbara and the people in Humboldt are aligned in their ethos. We all care about where the product comes from, how it’s grown, and whether it’s an ethical product in general.

We can and should continue to hold each other to standards and recognize other cannabis companies that share similar values as us and support those practices.

After our chat with Gillian, we were able to get our hands on one of their most popular products— Brain Tonic, a one-to-one CBD and THC alcohol-based tincture. We combined it with other local ingredients including ‘holy basil’ purchased from Terra Farms at the Mckinleyville farmer’s market as well as local honey harvested from Blue Lake by beekeeper Missy Bee, who is famous for using cannabis smoke instead of tobacco during the honey harvesting process. What we got was a delicious, simple mocktail that was refreshing and filled with amazing botanical benefits. The best part? It was made with ingredients that are ethically produced, locally grown, and in line with the Farmacy SB’s mission to support great people and brands doing great things for the communities they love.

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Mocktail Ingredients:

  • Sturdy sprig of your favorite herb (we used Tulsi)
  • Lemon (or plain) seltzer
  • Humboldt Apothecary’s Brain Tonic
  • Teaspoon of Local Honey
  • Ice

Fill glass with ice and seltzer. Top with tincture. Drizzle honey. Stir with herb sprig. Simple and delicious.

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