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Brett McFarland’s 4/20 Album Release: “Humboldt”

Brett McFarland’s 4/20 Album Release: “Humboldt”

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Brett McFarland is a talented musician known for his heartfelt blend of blues, outlaw country, and social consciousness. His upcoming album, Humboldt, is set to release on April 20th, bringing a fresh collection of songs inspired by McFarland’s life experiences, including his time spent in Humboldt County, California, as well as his journey as a farmer who went to prison for cannabis and from those life experiences became independent artist.

Watch Brett’s I Grew Weed video here: BMc I GREW WEED v7 (

McFarland’s background is deeply intertwined with Humboldt County, where he has lived for the past 19 years after moving around frequently due to his father’s military career. Settling in Humboldt at the age of 20, McFarland started a 3-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm and sold his produce at the Arcata Farmers Market. His connection to the local community and his farming background greatly influenced his musical and personal identities.

cannabis world news Brent playing guitar and singing into mic in studio
Brett recording his album.

During his time farming, McFarland began noticing that the farmers growing cannabis were doing much better financially. Being of the mindset that cannabis was just another one of God’s plants he began growing it alongside his vegetable crops, which introduced him to the complexities of the cannabis industry in Humboldt County. This experience ultimately led to his arrest and conviction in 2013. McFarland was sentenced to five years in prison for growing cannabis and refusing to implicate others. He spent nearly four years behind bars before being released.

The circumstances of McFarland’s conviction were unusual, as there was no physical evidence—no plants, money, or wiretaps—tying him to the charges. The case was built solely on the testimony of informants, leading to his conviction on conspiracy to distribute 100 kilos, a charge that carried a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

cannabis world news Brett with baby
Brett and his daughter Amele.

Upon returning home, McFarland found himself in a changed world, with cannabis legalized in many states. While he embraces the progress made in cannabis reform, he remains haunted by the thought of those still imprisoned for cannabis-related charges.

Throughout his time in prison, McFarland wrote songs about his experiences and played them for fellow inmates. This helped him cope with the challenges of incarceration and fueled his passion for music. After his release, he focused on using music to tell his story and advocate for change in the correctional system.

cannabis world news Brett's wife Julia and their daughter Amele.
Brett’s wife Julia and their daughter Amele.

Today, McFarland lives on Crazy River Ranch with his wife Julia and their young daughter, Amelia. The family runs the ranch, where they raise grass-fed beef and heirloom apples, which they use to make hard cider. (He states he will never again grow more than two cannabis plants, that his sweet wife waited all of those years for him and he can not think of putting her through that twice.)

They also renovated a motel in Arcata, transforming it into The Front Porch Inn, which provides unique accommodations for visitors to the area.
McFarland’s upcoming album, Humboldt, features some of the best music he has ever written. Many of the songs were born out of his experiences in the last six months, and the album was recorded at the historic Sound Emporium in Nashville with producer Dean Miller. Humboldt is a rich and raw portrayal of McFarland’s life, experiences, and his journey through the challenges of life, music, and cannabis.

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Cannabis world news Brett's wedding photo.
Wedding picture of Brett and his wife Julia.

With the release of Humboldt on 4/20, Brett McFarland invites listeners to join him on his journey, offering a powerful and moving musical experience that draws on his unique perspective and deep connection to Humboldt County.

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Photos courtesy of McFarland Music

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