The Higher Origins Mission

Higher Origins
7 min readJan 26, 2024

Shorter Supply Chains

Currently, cannabis travels through a long series of middlemen, manufacturers, and transporters on the way to the customer. During this journey, the product is mixed and matched, repackaged, white labeled, and stored for extended periods. By the time it makes it to a dispensary shelf, in many cases it has lost any connection to where it was actually farmed. When the consumer actually makes a purchase, there is little to no information available regarding if the bud in the jar was grown in NorCal sun, a greenhouse in Central Cal, or indoor in SoCal.

A major goal of Higher Origins is to build shorter, simpler supply chains so consumers can maintain a connection with the people who grew and processed their cannabis. We aim to create a collaborative community of industry partners who can work together to get products from farm to retail in as few steps as possible. We dream of an industry where the retailer can just pick up the phone and call the cultivator if they have a question about the product.

Level the Playing Field for Cultivators

As prices fall, smaller farms frequently find themselves outcompeted or forced to accept rock bottom prices for their product. Combine this price pressure with the ever-growing costs of cultivation, taxation, and regulation, and it’s no wonder that cultivators are struggling to stay afloat. At Higher Origins, WE are those cultivators, and we want to build any and every community oriented feature we can into our cannabis platform to help cultivators succeed. We call this our “Farm Forward” industry approach, and it forms the cornerstone of our work.

When a farm joins the Higher Origins community, they’re not just getting superior software tools, they’re getting a responsive industry partner who will work directly with them to establish a beneficial relationship. In collaboration with our partnered farms, we’ve already rolled out community-requested features to our compliance platform, established buyer-seller relationships for above-market pricing, and signed on over 100 facilities statewide.

Connect Cultivators and Consumers

Despite years of retail availability, there is still a clear disconnect between the people who grow cannabis and the people who consume it. Due to a mix of secondary marketing, white labeling, repackaging, and good old misinformation, even the most well meaning budtender usually faces a challenge when asked “who grew this?” At Higher Origins, we know that cannabis cultivation is a deeply personal process, and we want to share that personal touch with every consumer who buys cannabis grown by our partners. Furthermore, once a farmer transfers their cannabis, they often never find out where it went, or who ultimately got to enjoy it.

Through the Higher Origins community, consumers can provide feedback all the way up the supply chain, allowing cultivators to fine tune their crops to consumer taste. We want to bridge the gap between consumers and cultivators so they can understand each other’s relationship to the cannabis they have in common.

Compliance Done Right

Compliance is a universal hurdle for every business within the cannabis supply chain. Whether you’re a farmer required to painstakingly tag each plant or a distro who has to transfer test samples for every purchase, everyone has to log their activities at some point. While cannabis compliance’s original goal of ensuring safety for consumers is a noble one, the current reality is usually one of frustration, mindless repetition, and zero value added for the person filling in the online forms.

The first and foundational offering of the Higher Origins platform is a free and streamlined compliance system, built by and for the people who have to use it every day. On top of saving you time and frustration, our system is built around the idea that compliance should offer direct value to users and the industry at large, not just to regulators in Sacramento.

Straight to the Source

Demand for cannabis is as strong as ever, and with strong demand comes a need for retailers to find a competitive variety of products to sell. This sourcing process is time consuming, with retailers asking brands and distros for products, while distros and brands are trying to buy products from farmers. Couple this with inconsistent supply, poor communication, and seasonal growing cycles, and it’s a wonder that retailers can keep any given SKU on shelves for very long, especially in competitive categories like flower.

Higher Origins intends to simplify and streamline sourcing for our industry partners, enabling buyers and sellers along the supply chain to know what their customers want, where they can source it, and when it can be delivered. Cannabis has been a key part of the California economy for decades, so why does it seem like the supply chain has gotten worse instead of better?

Data by Everyone, for Everyone

There’s a lot going on in the industry, and often everyone is so focused on getting their plants harvested, product processed, and deliveries completed that important trends get missed. Being able to take a step back and look at the overall performance and direction of the industry is rarely possible in cannabis, and many important decisions are made with 4/20 hindsight.

At Higher Origins, we believe that everyone should have the information they need to make the best informed decisions for their cannabis business and consumers. To aid these decisions, we are making data analytics, reporting, and trend recognition integral parts of our cannabis community platform. Higher Origins community members will both contribute to and benefit from our data analytics. Strong industries work together towards a common goal, and that is only possible if everyone involved can see where they are going, and where they have been.

Respecting the Origins

Everything starts with the seed. Every bustling distribution warehouse, friendly local dispensary, and compelling brand identity is a direct result of someone somewhere growing a plant. We grew up in the heartland of California cannabis culture, and personally know many of the people who work hard to grow those plants. And it’s more than a plant, it’s the origin of entire communities, jobs, and cultural movements. We owe it to our farming friends and neighbors in this industry to tell their stories, represent their interests, and preserve cannabis cultural values as the industry evolves.

The most important goal of Higher Origins is to respect and promote the craft cultivation origins of our industry. Every farm partnered with Higher Origins will have a chance to tell their stories and grow their brand through our community driven services and industry partnerships. The success of the legal cannabis industry depends on farmers, and we aim to give them a voice.

Advocating For Regulatory Change

California’s rollout of cannabis regulations has been flawed, inconsistent, and discriminatory. We’ve seen some of the best growers we know lose crops over paperwork technicalities, local governments destroy their entire local industries, and regulators fail upward while shaking hands with those who benefit most from their policies. The idea of legal cannabis in California is worth fighting for, and the biggest fight is getting the State to get out of the way and let the cannabis industry forge its own structure, just as it did for decades before Prop 64.

Higher Origins supports reduction or removal of nearly all cannabis regulation in the State of California. We have and will continue to advocate publicly and directly for the abolition of obstacles such as track and trace, license fees, cannabis taxes, and obstructive permitting requirements. We understand that it may seem contradictory for a track and trace integrator to openly support the end of track and trace, however we view track and trace as a requirement, not a necessity, and our ability to help our community and function as a business would not be negatively impacted if it was abolished.

Advocating for Small Farm Economics

The Higher Origins team grew up in the small farm cannabis culture of the Emerald Triangle, and we’ve seen how effective and enriching an economy built on small farms can be. As legalization progressed, we realized that these advantages were being shut out of the market in favor of larger and more speculative investment backed farms. While we realize and appreciate the idea that the California cannabis economy will always feature farms of different sizes, values, and quality tiers, we would be betraying our roots if we didn’t enable small farms to reach their true economic potential.

At Higher Origins, we firmly believe that smaller farms are better farms, and that they have an unrealized economic potential. We believe that small farms offer a greater variety of high quality strains, offer a more equitable way to support the roots of the cannabis industry, and have greater value in their marketability to consumers. The current model of large investment-backed brand-driven farming only represents half of the potential of the industry, and does not offer the same benefits as the small farm sector. Our efforts are focused on streamlining the small farms path to market, and allowing them to compete against larger and more wealthy brands.

Our Software Ethos

We make software that works, and if it doesn’t work, let us know, and we’ll make it work. Our core focus is efficiency, simplicity, and stability. This platform is built directly based on the needs of our users and we always accept input and suggestions from our community.

A Human Approach

At Higher Origins we pride ourselves on our practical knowledge and informed perspective on the cannabis industry. However, just because we are running a high quality professional service, doesn’t mean that we are corporate robots. We like to have fun, connect with people on a personal level, and include humor in our business. Cannabis is about community, and being part of a community means being human.

Originally published at https://www.higherorigins.com.

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Higher Origins

California legal Cannabis platform working to ease small farmers path to market and connect cultivators and consumers through the cannabis they have in common