“Legacy” is a hot word in cannabis these days. What do we mean when we say it? Some say you have to be in the industry for a certain amount of time. Some say you have to be an “OG’. Some say you had to have worked in the “traditional” market.
Oxford Dictionary Definition:
Noun: legacy; plural noun: legacies
⦁ An amount of money or property left to someone in a will.
“my grandmother died and unexpectedly left me a small legacy”
⦁ a thing handed down by a predecessor.
“the legacy of centuries of neglect”
As the founder of Humboldt Grace, a Dream Maker Project of The Ink People, a non-profit in Humboldt County, I am walking in the light of my mother’s legacy and working hard to leave one just as strong and beautiful for my son. My mother was a back to the lander, a midwife, an activist, and a woman who loved her community. I rebelled against much of what she taught me until my spinal cord injury in 1999. It was through that journey of healing that I was awakened to the value of what she had left me. It is her legacy that inspired me to not give up through legalization and keep creating through love and grace, building Humboldt Grace.
The Humboldt Grace Legacy Project came from all the resiliency, strength, and beauty she saw in the community she loved; The Emerald Triangle. With our regional communities in Northern California struggling under exceptionally difficult market conditions, The Humboldt Grace Legacy Project was formed as a strategy to seek out creative, collaborative solutions. It is an all-volunteer group working with the tools of science, technology, and art to empower our communities’ unique attributes around the cannabis plant. We saw a need for a pathway to protect, authenticate, and value the experiences that have been passed down to us through our families, our friends, through our communities…for generations.
The group operates under a set of mutually agreed on value statements to guide the development of the work:
We act in love and grace.
We create with integrity.
We empower innovative solutions.
We value quality over quantity.
We support regenerative practices.
We act in service.
We are conscious.
We are cooperative.
We are collaborative.
In early 2021, the group started holding open, weekly online meetings—bringing together industry experts on cannabis genetics; cannabinoids; cannabis cultivation; cannabis science; blockchain technologies; cannabis compliance, cannabis law, and marketing. The group’s first goal was to build a pathway forward to preserve and value the genetic diversity these regions hold.
The group has developed the framework for a METRC-compliant Auction. The word “auction” is derived from the Latin augeō, which means “I increase” or “I augment”. The auction and associated technologies which were collaboratively developed to support it, give California compliant breeders, nurseries, and cultivators a chance to protect and value their intellectual property, while also creating unique and secure sales opportunities through blockchain with our foundational technology, Canopyright.
Link to the whitepaper on the auction is here: https://docs.google.com/document
By collaborating with science and technologies, The Humboldt Grace Legacy Project is seeing that our plants have unique DNA mutations and phenotypical expressions that can add value to not only our plants market value, but to our knowledge. This opens up a new marketplace around licensing agreements for the regions deep in cannabis experience.
We want our brothers and sisters to know that science is catching up to our intuitive knowledge. That technology can be used to preserve our culture. That our old hippie values, love and grace still are the way to build strong communities.
The back to land movement was about giving reciprocity to the land and now we are giving reciprocity back to the creators.
The Humboldt Grace Legacy Project.
Feature photo of Jeff Hamilton Dake Hunt Kevin Jodry by Kelly O’Rouke
Canopyright was founded on the principle that cannabis cultivars should be protected like works of art, and cannabis breeders should be compensated like artists. Traditionally the only way to protect cannabis cultivars has been through the patent system. This process, however, takes too long, costs too much, and the likelihood of success is too uncertain to be workable for the cannabis industry. As a result, most cannabis breeders do not have any meaningful IP protections for their work. Even though it takes years, if not decades, to bring a new cultivar to market, breeders typically only get paid at the first point of sale. Anyone can take a single seed and grow one plant or one million plants, all without paying the original breeder another dime. This leads to breeders feeling like they’re constantly getting ripped off, or simply leaving new genetics out of the market altogether.
Canopyright creates a simpler, better alternative to the patent system where breeders can protect their work through an automated, time-stamped ledger that tracks cultivars and grower permissions. It only takes a few minutes to do, and cultivar registration is provided free of charge. To establish a cultivar, Canopyright uses a simple workflow for breeders to time stamp physical plant samples – using cheaply available tamper-evident packages and QR codes – and upload relevant documents. The plant samples always stay with the breeder. The cultivar registration can be kept completely confidential (using blockchain, so even Canopyright cannot see the information the breeder uploads). Alternatively, the cultivar registration can be published in a marketplace where buyers can negotiate cultivation permissions.
The cannabis industry is unique in commercial agriculture in that every flowering cannabis plant in most states needs to have a unique plant tag identifier associated with it, which gets entered into the track and trace system. If we treat cannabis breeders like “artists” and strains like “songs,” the cannabis industry could utilize these plant tags as the equivalent of the “play” of a song and operate similarly to music streaming services. Unlike music streaming services, though, Canopyright utilizes blockchain technology so that invoicing can be automated without compromising users’ privacy.
Lelehnia Dubois, is a daughter of the back to land movement. Her mother started homesteading deep in heart the Emerald Triangle in 1977. She has experienced raids, family homelessness, death, kidnapping, and rape, all results of the drug war, making her not want anything to do with cannabis as a adult. In 1999, she sustained a life changing spinal cord injury and began to implement the alternative healing tools her mother taught her after seeing western medicines were not working. Nature, cannabis, and community were two of those tools. Lelehnia, now believes the plant is a large part of her ability to thrive and sees it as vehicle to help create positive change. Lelehnia was trimming by the age of 9 but didn’t start growing until 2005 when she became a provider for a local dispensary, The Hummingbird Healing Center. After 9 years in the medical market, she became the first Chair and President of a political organization, California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH), leading the local cannabis farmers, business owners, and politicians to the same table in Humboldt County. In 2015 she became concerned for where she saw legalization going and started to look for ways to educate and empower around the community values that she was taught growing up with the plant, love and grace. By 2021: Lelehnia had sponsored a cannabis education spot that aired on national networks; developed a 4-permit manufacturing project in Humboldt County; launched Sensi Magazine in the Emerald Triangle; hosted 3 ground breaking cannabis events in Humboldt County in the streets of Eureka, and at the Humboldt County Fair; helped build the largest women’s network in the industry, Women Empowered In Cannabis ; developed and lead Women Empowered in Cannabis: Supply Chain ; hosted a weekly podcast series for two years called “Business Our Way”; served on the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission for 5 years, authored the county human trafficking fund, and was the Chair for her last year in 2020; created the online community The Humboldt Grace: A Cannabis Community Gathering Place; Founded Humboldt Grace , a Dream Maker of The Ink Peoples. Working as a non-profit creating projects like The Humboldt Grace Fire Recovery Project. An online art, collectables and gifts auction to help the communities impacted by 2021 fires in the Emerald Triangle rebuild; Founded the Humboldt Grace Legacy Project a collaborative group of breeders, cultivators, scientist, and technologist creating pathways to protect, authenticate, and validate genetics through an auction event. In 2022, Lelehnia was asked to join Canopyright, a team building a unique blockchain ledger technology that protects cultivars while making licensing agreements accessible for cannabis breeders.