The Hemp Connection – Sustainability and Regeneration – Garberville, CA
Statement of Purpose
May this Cannabis Trail Cultural Landmark serve to remind us that hemp is one of the most powerful renewable resources on earth. May it honor the lifes work of hemp pioneers Marie Mills and her daughter Teresa Mills.
Marie’s life and The Hemp Connection represents a story of self-reliance, bravery, vision and earth stewardship. May this Cultural Landmark serve to educate others about hemp sustainability and regeneration, and the bravery needed to bring about positive change.
May it be so.
412 Maple Ln, Garberville, CA 95542
Marie Mills’ life represents a story of bravery, vision, sustainability, and earth stewardship. Marie Mills first came to Southern Humboldt County in 1980. Influenced by the Back-to-the-Land movement of the late-1970’s she camped out deep in the woods, embraced a lifestyle of self-reliance and learned to cultivate cannabis by simply doing it. Her passion for earth stewardship and hemp sustainability inspired her pioneering work.
In 1990, Marie established the very first hemp retail store in the United States since 1937 Prohibition – The Hemp Connection, located in Redway, California. Her first ten years in business were dedicated to learning how to craft handmade hemp paper from her homegrown cannabis stalks.
She continued to educate herself by trial and error, and enjoyed sharing her knowledge of designing, dying, sewing, and perfecting her line of hemp clothing products that she created. In 1998, with the help and support of her daughter Teresa, Marie expanded her retail operations to nearby Garberville.
Shortly after opening a second hemp shop – The Hemp Connection – in the town of Garberville, a group of local citizens took issue with the fact that The Hemp Connection signage prominently displayed a large cannabis leaf image. Their efforts to have her sign removed or modified motivated the Southern Humboldt cannabis community to come to Marie’s defense. It was a cultural moment for southern Humboldt.
With the support of a small group of local community activists Marie and Teresa fought back and their right to free speech and freedom of expression were eventually upheld. Today the Hemp Connection’s cannabis leaf sign stands tall and proud in downtown Garberville and has become one the most photographed images in Humboldt County.
Blowin' Smoke Teaser
Location: The Hemp Connection
We are a mother (Marie) and daughter (Teresa) team who created the first hemp store in the U.S. since prohibition. Marie began the business in 1990 with the purpose of educating people about the many uses of the hemp plant ( sister to the marijuana plant), and in the process worked toward the legalization of both hemp and marijuana growing in the U.S. At the time the only products available were hemp rope and twine, so she began making and demonstrating the process of making paper from marijuana stalks grown in the area.