Northern Nights took cannabis-infused music festivals to the next level this past weekend on the Humboldt/Mendocino line. 

The festival’s 8,000 attendees had weekend-long access to great tunes, vibes, and some of the finest cannabis in the world across multiple activities in the festival. This included a stageside dispensary and a separate Tree House Lounge populated by some of the Emerald Triangle’s full-sun farmers. 

Over the course of the weekend, a number of brands had takeovers inside the dispensary. The list included CannaCraft, Jetty Extracts, Select, Heritage Mendocino, and Deep Desert. But even with all the big companies taking part, the spotlight was pushed toward the region’s small farms.

Festival organizers noted in the buildup that a major goal for them was allowing attendees to connect directly to the people that are growing their cannabis. Farmers spent their weekend manning booths, and answering the hows and whys of it all for people who traveled to Southern Humboldt to enjoy the music. There was a big focus on articulating why regenerative farming is important to the region. The hope was a bit of education, with a dash of direct-to-consumer pricing, would go a long way in helping the small farms endear themselves to the visitors.

Every place you looked at the festival, it was easy to see the influence cannabis had on the participants. From the camps of farmers that dotted the festival grounds to the fact you could see anyone smoking a joint just about anywhere, it was clear the culture of The Emerald Triangle was in the air and being celebrated, even if it is in the midst of a rough patch. 

A lot of people in attendance are particularly known for the quality of resin and terpenes in their cannabis. This leads to it being coveted material for the world’s best hash companies. Huckleberry Hill Farms was among those in attendance. Its Whitethorn Rose was the material used to create the Emerald Cups’ winning hash and the second place rosin.  

“Northern Nights took on a special meaning for the cannabis community as they displayed their year’s harvest at the Northern Nights Tree House Lounge,” Huckleberry’s founder John Casali told L.A. Weekly. “For all the farmers present, this becomes a time not only to sell their weed, but a time to bond with one another and share what’s working – and what’s not!”

Casali feels like it goes beyond cannabis though. 

“Northern nights is such a unique festival that brings together so many creatives from around the world to celebrate music, art and cannabis,” Casali said. “We are honored to have had representation at the farmers’ market alongside our peers whom we deeply respect.” 

But while it’s great to see each other, the Esensia Gardens team was thrilled to be able to explain their products to consumers in a personal way. Most of the time, small farms like theirs are at the mercy of budtenders when it comes to articulating their message to smokers. 

“Getting a chance to nerd out and connect with our customers directly is so energizing and motivating for us,” Marley Lovell of Esensia Gardens told L.A. Weekly. “Festival-goers really responded to having such a hands-on experience — from smelling the flower and learning about terpenes, viewing trichomes under the microscope, and holding tissue culture stock containers in their hands.”


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