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Behind Our Brand: The History of Hollister, CA

Not to be confused with the beachy clothing store, Hollister is the “leading lady” of San Benito County; and one of the Central Coast’s largest communities.

On the road, you know you’re in Hollister when you’ve just passed through Gilroy’s sweet garlic aroma; with Monterey at your back, and the rolling hills of agricultural land in front of you. On a map, Hollister is about 8 miles east of San Juan Bautista.

Hollister was historically inhabited by Ohlone Native Americans, but the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista forced the Ohlone into the mission system. Founded on November 19, 1868, the town was named after William Welles Hollister – a successful entrepreneur from Ohio who journeyed across the country with 6,000 sheep to manifest his American dream of starting a ranch to feed California miners. William’s “San Justo” Ranch became what we now know as Hollister, after the name “San Justo” was nixed at a town meeting.

A mid-sized neighborhood rich in history, Hollister’s downtown proves our spot’s still steeped deep in Americana. The city’s streets are known as the “Birthplace of the American Biker”, with an (intermittent) annual motorcycle rally held every year in honor of its culture.

The Hollister Riot occurred at the American Motorcycle Association’s 4th of July motorcycle rally in 1947. Thousands of bikers poured into town, overwhelming police with their drunken behavior. The event was nationally sensationalized by the press, with reports of bikers “taking over the town” and causing “havoc in Hollister”. Thanks to mass media, the Hollister Riot helped give rise to the outlaw biker image. The event became the basis for 1953’s The Wild One – which is the film that now serves as continued inspiration for Hollister Cannabis Co’s brand and vision.

We’re not the only business in Hollister to ever take inspiration from The Wild One. Indian Motorcycle Hollister Powersports, Easy Rider, and South County Chrysler have all sponsored The Wild One pop-up saloon at past local rallies and events. However, we’re definitely the only cannabis business to pay homage through our branding and partnerships.

Hollister’s cannabis landscape is prime for growth, in agriculture and economy. There aren’t too many companies in the game yet, with Genesis Marketplace being the other “big” player. (Note: You can buy Hollister’s pre-rolls, bubble hash, and HashBones at Genesis!) 

Change has been coming fast to cannabis, taking it from small-scale operations to an industry saturated with mass producers. Quality is being left behind, and consumers can tell. With control of the entire process, Hollister delivers large-scale quantities at quality consumers can expect from small-scale operations. We work directly with our growers to make our vision of being your source for pure, high-quality, California-grown cannabis and hemp products a reality.

We choose to stay true to the agriculture of our region, only sourcing greenhouse flowers from California’s Central Coast (from Monterey Bay down through Santa Barbara). We filter out a lot of what other cannabis companies use in their pre-rolls and products, and do things by our standards. (Which, by the way, are even higher than our HashBones will get you…)

In this way, we’re a “wild one” within the industry. We’re a rebel entity, though not without a cause. We’re building product lines for cannabis and hemp, because we want to help people and challenge public perception. Both cannabis and Hollister may not have always had the best reputation, but we hope to change any negative associations to positive ones.

Established in 2017, we’ve barely started writing Hollister Cannabis Co’s story. With high-profile partnerships and expansion on our horizon, we’re excited to keep developing our book of business; and for the many new chapters to come. Cultivation is at the core of what we do – whether we’re talking about “seed to shelf”, or cultivating deeper relationships with our consumers. The future of cannabis and hemp is an open road, and we invite you to come along for the ride and help us write the rest of our legacy.