Eureka, California got its start in the gold rush and now the community is looking at the Green Rush for its latest return to prosperity. The little town in northern California got its start when gold mining was in its heyday and the protection of Humboldt Bay allowed for a safe place for boats to dock. After the gold rush died down, timber became the next path to riches. But then timber demand began to fall as well.
The remote mountains of Humboldt County proved to be a great place to grow cannabis and many residents found this to be a great way to earn a living. In the process, the country has earned a reputation for growing premium cannabis.
With legalization, the former black market cannabis farms that are tucked in the hills of Humboldt County near Eureka are coming out into the open and bringing new money and manufacturing to the area. It is estimated that there are 6,000 to 10,000 farms spread throughout the county. Some have been growing cannabis for decades and are trying to make the transition to legal status.
Papa & Barkley is one company that has brought jobs to the sleepy town. It is a company known for its healing balms and patches, which were originated by founder Adam Grossman. Grossman developed the first balm to help his father’s tremendous back pain and continued to give samples to friends. Then it became a passion project.
It has quickly grown from a handful of employees to over 100 jobs. The company keeps expanding its footprint in downtown Eureka to the delight of a youthful city council.
Due to Papa & Barkley’s commitment to a “clean” formula, the company was already stringently testing its products. This meant that it was able to meet the new stricter cannabis guidelines that went into effect in California on July 1. The California dispensaries have fewer products on the shelves than before July 1 because many companies’ weren’t able to pass the tests.
Papa & Barkley didn’t have that issue and is now enjoying a lack of competition as the company educates the consumers about its products. It doesn’t use solvents or add distillates. It doesn’t re-add terpenes and uses a whole plant infusion process. The company only buys its cannabis from the sun-grown farms in the Humboldt County region.
It even specifically sources its beeswax from beekeepers who don’t use pesticides that could keep the product from passing its tests. Chief Products Officer Guy Rocourt said that procuring clean beeswax has been one of the hardest parts to the production process.
While the company specializes in medical cannabis that comes in patches, balms, tinctures, and capsules, it is planning on expanding into other states with a hemp product called Essentials. These CBD products will be derived from hemp and will be available for sale in states without legalization.