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The Unity Story

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

It was not quite Thanksgiving time in 2018 when my phone rang. Dehran, a friend of a friend’s friend called me to see if I might be interested in teaming up with him to start a medical cannabis farm. We’d been introduced earlier that year and had been talking for several months about the burgeoning legal cannabis business and about Humboldt County, the Champagne of Cannabis. I’d been exploring ways to break in to the market. I’d always wanted to be part of something revolutionary, and this seemed like my best chance.

I love the cannabis plant, mostly because it sparks creativity in me and reduces anxiety and distractedness. The herbs have long been a ceremonial offering for my friends and me and a symbol of shared experience and fun... yes, just plain fun. Working to promote an opening of the mind about this most misunderstood and villainized plant felt like a mission and the chance to acquire and cultivate in Humboldt County seemed like a perfect opportunity so I drove up eagerly to see it first hand.

The property just across from Dehran’s house, with 8 acres of old growth redwoods, and Sonoma Creek flowing through gorges and ravines offered a 7 acre cleared farm. Left unworked for at least a decade, as it stood, the farm was populated by poison oak and charred, 1st generation redwood stumps, brooding, blackened ghosts from the original victory farm the seller’s grandfather had cleared over 100 years ago. Strangely, these burnt martyrs seemed to offer a possibility of rebirth, for the caked soil, the rusted Farmall tractor and the abandoned tillers littering the property... and for me.

It was foggy and overcast that morning, not exactly raining, but drizzling as we loaded into Dehran’s pickup to ride across to the farm. At breakfast earlier we’d surveyed the property from his deck, offering a bird’s eye view through the branches of three large redwoods that stood like sentinels between his property and the farm. Moments later, as we pulled into the driveway I looked to my left and I could see the farm benefited from protection and privacy offered by a wall of blackberry and wild plumb bramble up to 100 feet wide in areas. From the dirt road outside, curious passers-by couldn’t see in at all, much less navigate the aggressive thorns and tightly woven trees and bushes. It was perfect. To the right as we entered was a steep hillside and more brooding, giant redwoods and firs.

The driveway was long and as we advanced, suddenly, as if to greet us, up from the hillside below, jumped a black bear, turning to his right to stare at us in the truck for a long moment. We had interrupted his late fall blackberry and plum feast. He looked as surprised as we were to see people on his old abandoned farm and turning away from us to his left he began loping up the driveway as if to lead us in, before darting into the redwoods on the hillside. I knew at that moment the farm would be ours.

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