HPRC’s former dispensary on Sixth Street in Arcata. | File photo.

PREVIOUSLY: Local Weed Dispensary Humboldt Patient Resource Center Closes Suddenly Following Owner’s Death


When the Humboldt Patient Resource Center Inc. (HPRC) announced its unexpected closure on June 1, bringing an abrupt end to 24 years in business, the statement posted to social media explained, “The untimely and unexpected passing of the owner has presented us with unavoidable challenges concerning our state cannabis license.”

What it didn’t mention is that the corporation had been accumulating tax liens over the past year, and by the time it closed the company owed $973,064.95 in state taxes, enough to earn a place in the top half of the “Top 500 Sales & Use Tax Delinquencies in California.”

Documents on file with the California Secretary of State include 11 active notices of sales tax liens levied against HPRC since February of 2022. 

The oldest active lien on record, which covered the tax period from April 1 — June 30, 2020, was filed on Feb. 18, 2022, in the amount of $105,435.96. The most recent delinquent tax bill on file is nearly $32,000 assessed this past Valentine’s Day.

The registered agent for HPRC’s business license, which has been suspended by the Franchise Tax Board, is Connor T. Hawkins, who died on February 28, three months before the business closed, at the age of 58, according to an obituary posted online. 

Mariellen Jurkovich, the longtime director of HPRC, was, for many, the face of the operation, a staunch advocate for the medicinal value of cannabis. Reached by phone on Friday, she said she retired from the business about a year to a year and a half ago, though she was aware of its accumulating tax debt.

“There just wasn’t a lot of money to pay the taxes,” she said. “They were trying to pay it off but it got out of control. I know [Hawkins] was trying to take care of it.”

Jukovich said Hawkins had put someone else in charge of the day-to-day business operations and wasn’t working in the Arcata dispensary much in the months before his death. He had been sick for some time with liver problems, she added, though she’s not sure what his cause of death was.

Launched in 1999, HPRC operated solely as a medical cannabis dispensary for most of its years in operation. In 2019 it opened a Eureka dispensary and associated wellness center, both of which closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.