As Humboldt County maneuvers the legalization of marijuana, officials tried something they have never done before, a "Humboldt Proof of Origin Pilot Program" for medical cannabis.
Humboldt County's Agricultural Commissioner, Jeff Dolf, says the pilot program, also known as "track and trace", works as a way for county officials to get familiar with the cannabis business. He said, "With the number of permits that were coming into Humboldt County, we thought it was important for us to work with a small subset of the industry."
The program basically follows medical cannabis from farm to patient. The medical cannabis is tracked through a stamp made with the same ink as the U.S. Dollar.
"This stamp has several things on here that there are embedded security features in this stamp, it's counterfeit proof," said Dolf. He added, "It will tell us information about where this product was produced, and where it is in distribution, or where it should be."
Dolf said the pilot included: 11 cultivators, two manufacturers, and several retail dispensaries in the state. He said it's all in efforts of being a transparent industry.
He said, "Demonstrate through this program that cannabis produced under a permit in Humboldt County and is doing so in a way that is not diverting or injecting cannabis into the legal program from the black market."
Besides tracking the whereabouts of the product, Dolf said the stamp could also help businesses educate patients about their product.
He said, "The QR code will link to the farm, and there's information there about test results, there's information about who the producer is, kind of what are the things they stand for."
Through the pilot, county officials were able to identify some of the needs from the industry.
Dolf said, "Industry was very outspoken that Humboldt County name meant something, and it was an opportunity for this industry to be successful in the wider state, wider market place."
He said the name "Humboldt" on cannabis could help businesses stand out from the rest. The county is now making the pilot program a permanent project, and medical cannabis businesses in the permitting process will be required to join.