California Cannabis dispensary owner Virgil Grant (Photo Credit: Robin L Marshall)
*California Cannabis dispensary owner and social equity advocate Virgil Grant has taken the first steps to cultivate California Cannabis Farms. The businessman who owns three retail shops in Los Angeles has purchased 120 acres of land in Whitehorn in Northern California’s Southern Humboldt county.
“It’s huge for me to be a Black farmer in the cannabis industry. … It’s huge for the company to have its footprint, and to be a shareholder, and have stock in the southern California market.” – Virgil Grant
Grant, the 30-year Cannabis pioneer who was instrumental in the writing and passing of Los Angeles’ cannabis regulation ordinance Measure M along with Los Angeles’ social equity program, explains the significance of operating his own cannabis farm.
“I’ve purchased this land to extend California Cannabis’ bandwidth, to be a sustainable brand within the cannabis market,” Grant says. “It’s huge for me to be a Black farmer in the cannabis industry. Now, California Cannabis owns a farm, an indoor farm, outdoor farm, and outdoor greenhouse. It’s huge for the company to have its footprint, and to be a shareholder, and have stock in the southern California market.”
Grant has a long history of purchasing cannabis in Northern and Southern Humboldt county. “Southern Humboldt is a place that I’ve been for quite some time,” he says. “Whitethorn is in Southern Humboldt. Southern Humboldt has always had a special place in my heart from traveling back and forth from Southern California to Humboldt for nearly 30 years. So, it was befitting for me to buy some property and cultivate in a place where I’ve purchased product for decades.”
Additionally, Humboldt county was an appealing location for California Cannabis Farms because it is widely considered one of the best places in the world to cultivate cannabis. “We all know that the best outdoor greenhouse cannabis is grown in Southern Humboldt,” he says. “The topography itself. Just how it sits right off the coast. The fact that it is at a high elevation. The soil is rich. There are so many factors that make that region the best place for cannabis in the world, and the history supports that.”
This acquisition brings things full circle for Grant who owned land in the area in the 2000s but lost it when he was imprisoned in 2007 after his licensed and legally operated cannabis retail shops were raided by the FBI. “I had land in Humboldt before,” he says. “I had 133 acres that was basically stolen from me, so to speak, and that happened back in 2007-2008. Now, I’m acquiring land back in this same area, and almost the same acreage.”
The California Cannabis expansion is inspiring to other cannabis business owners, says New Jersey Social Equity Advocate Muhammed Akil. “Virgil Grant’s new 120-acre cannabis farm further demonstrates people of color can have a substantive presence in the cannabis market,” Akil says.
“As a pioneer in the cannabis legalization movement, he has become the people’s champion, not only in California but also on the east coast. Many New Jersey residents are inspired by his life experience and policy insight and are grateful for the significant guidance he provided for our social equity legislation.”
Published: July 23, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News