IN THE CIZ: Distilling innovation at Bear Extraction House

IN THE SUNNY CIZ The staff of Bear Extraction House. Submitted photo

Steve Robles
Mad River Union

CANNABIS INNOVATION ZONE – While some cannabis businesses are dipping their toes into the pool of vertical integration, Bear Extraction House is giving the concept a singular twist.

Bear is a kind of flagship in zone 1 of Arcata’s Cannabis Innovation Zone. In addition to its own extraction operation, Bear also has erected an entire cannabis industrial park, with partnerships forged with other local companies to whom Bear leases out space. It also provides extraction services for those companies for whom the process is prohibitively expensive.

“We provide crude, live resin, high-terpene extract, and distillate to manufacturing customers up and down the state and they use it in every type of product you can think of—edibles, skin-care lines, pet care products and more,” Bear’s Taylor Lefevre said in a statement. “Our customers, and their customers, rely on that Humboldt raw product and expertise that Bear provides. We visit lots of farms and talk with farmers daily and know they want to give back to the community.”

Founded by Casey Eliason and Taylor Lefevre, the company’s mission statement is direct. “To create and deliver amazing cannabis products in a planet-friendly way. To offer cannabis farmers solutions that make their life easier. To protect cannabis-dense regions from harmful changes. To innovate consciously. To be reliable and transparent. To be present and impactful in the legal landscape.”

Bear Extraction House CEO Per Jacobsen says the company is focused on creating a community within the local cannabis industry, which he says is unique in its Humboldt character.

“We’re different than the big operations in southern California,” said Jacobsen. “We want to be part of promoting Humboldt as an appellation, the same way as the wine appellations have successfully done with local, organic wine farmers having banded and branded together to protect local interests and project their unique qualities to the outside world and tourists.” 

Bear is also working to strengthen ties within the community, having just announced a partnership program with two important nonprofits: the Eel River Restoration Project (ERRP) and the Mateel Community Center (Mateel). Cannabis farmers can bring their licensed trim to Bear for processing at a 75/25 split in the farmer’s favor, which Bear calls “unprecedented,” and designate a percentage of their profit to donate to ERRP and/or the Mateel, and Bear will match their donation up to five percent. 

“Cannabis corporations need to consider their purpose beyond making money and demonstrate corporate social responsibility,” said Lefevre. “Bear is committed to dedicating resources to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits to all of our stakeholders.”

With its state-of-the-art trimming and extraction services, Jacobsen said Bear Extraction House hopes to help establish farm-to-consumer quality levels and standards within the industry.

“I think consumers would be surprised if they saw the day-by-day operational conditions behind the scenes of some manufacturing operations,” he said. “When it comes to innovation, we strive to be innovative with our standards as well, and want to lead by example.”

Bear itself is constantly evolving, Jacobsen said. “If you had told me we would be where we are now with our consumer products, I would have been surprised.”

Bear itself is constantly evolving, Jacobsen said. “If you had told me we would be where we are now with our consumer products, I would have been surprised.”

He said Bear Extraction House will continue to push the vanguard of cannabis innovation and technology, while helping to promote Humboldt County as the world-class cannabis producer it is.

“This region is very unique, much like Napa Valley,” said Jacobsen. “We should be branding our region and be promoting it to the world.”

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