It all begins with morning fog and a bit of California sunshine.
It's no secret California produces some of the best cannabis in the world. Specifically, weed farmed in the northern region's Emerald Triangle—where Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties converge—is revered as having some of the dankest of the dank. But why do people think this county carries weed magic? The answer lies in a few different places.
In the Emerald Triangle, cannabis is cultivated in abundance. Here, weed plants have been rumored to grow into actual trees (sometimes reaching more than 15 feet tall) thanks to some of the most ideal natural conditions on the planet. The area's rich soil and Mediterranean climate are to weed what the geology of the Napa Valley is to wine. The morning marine layer covers the hills in a dense, plant-nourishing fog while the "terroir" adds a unique flavor to the finished herb.
"In terms of indoor, hydroponically grown cannabis, there may not be much difference between a plant grown in Eureka and one grown in Los Angeles," reads a Leafly report on the particularly high quality of Humboldt County weed. "But the same isn’t true for cannabis grown outdoors. Just as wine connoisseurs sing the praises of Napa Valley or France’s Burgundy region, some in cannabis say the Emerald Triangle’s soil itself is special."
“Humboldt-grown weed even carries 'proof of origin' labeling.”
Toward the end of the 1960s when the counterculture movement was reaching its peak, many of the free spirits and flower children who once smoked grass in San Francisco’s Dolores Park suddenly migrated en masse to the Emerald Triangle. Soon enough, they'd learn how to grow the good stuff, starting several makeshift marijuana farms throughout the region’s dense hills and forests.
Today, weed grown in the Emerald Triangle fetches higher prices than much of the other product currently being cultivated and sold at commercial scale. Cannabis growers in Mendocino County alone already generate an estimated $1 billion a year, and marijuana represents nearly two-thirds of the local economy according to a county-commissioned study. The cannabis in Humboldt County (California’s first municipality to adopt a commercial land use ordinance for marijuana) is so renowned that it's causing spikes in the price of land and real estate in the area. Weed farmers in the county take considerable pride in their product—so much so that Humboldt-grown weed even carries "proof of origin" labeling.