Rolling into Arcata, located in the heart of Humboldt County, the region’s legacy for world-class cannabis isn’t easily seen by the naked eye. Unlike rolling vineyards in Napa or the fluorescent lights of Amsterdam, locals and city leaders are striving to retain Arcata’s famous diversity and stay authentic to a rich history that includes the Wild West of the cannabis industry. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2017 and today, a new industry has emerged as many legacy cannabis farmers transition into entrepreneurial leadership, helping put Arcata on the map as an exciting cultural destination for cannabis.
Whether visitors are already devotees to the plant or simply curious about Arcata’s emerald-green heritage, there are several ways to add legal cannabis into your next Arcata experience.
“We were one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries and today, we are the longest operating dispensary in the United States,” explains Humboldt Patient Resource Center (HPRC) General Manager Bryan Willkomm, who also serves as President of the Arcata Chamber of Commerce. Since opening in 1999, HPRC has served the Arcata community as a leader in wellness and health education.
“We are the only dispensary in California that has a 100% pesticide-free policy,” explains Willkomm. Adopting standards even more stringent than the state, HPRC believes it has a responsibility to keep unsafe cannabis away from the community. It goes hand in hand with the culture of Arcata, which cares about organic food, clean water, preserving forests, and healthy oceans.
And the pairing is no coincidence: With the ability to purchase edibles, pre-rolls, and tinctures from one of Arcata’s three licensed dispensaries, it’s never been easier to “infuse” your hike through the Arcata Community Forest or take sunset stroll at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary with the THC or CBD product of your choice.
In addition to HPRC, The Heart of Humboldt and Pacific Paradise are licensed dispensaries conveniently located just off the Arcata Plaza. Pacific Paradise first opened as a headshop and disc golf supply shop in 1971. Humboldt State University alumni might remember the legendary shop, which now sells a wide array of premium cannabis products.
As the industry continues to evolve, many forward-thinking entrepreneurs are creating new ways to marry cannabis with an unforgettable trip to Aracta. At HPRC, Willkomm explains that the dispensary is planning to open a juice bar and is looking to organize a cannabis-friendly walking concert experience in the Community Forest.
Whether to shop or learn, consider stopping by one of Arcata’s licensed dispensaries on your next visit.