Under a new California law, cannabis brands grown in the “sun and soil” of a city or county can be labeled with a regional designation, the Sacramento Bee reports. The law allows products to carry an “appellation of origin” label similar to those featured on the state’s wines.
California is the first state in the nation to apply a “terroir” law to cannabis and the law will likely help California‘s small, craft, cannabusiness protect their brands.
State Sen. Mike McGuire (D) said he wrote the law because smaller cannabis farms needed an edge to compete with big companies. Brands grown in the sun and soil of Humboldt County or the Emerald Triangle might be more appealing, and farmers could ask higher prices for products carrying the appellation of origin designation, not unlike in the wine industry, he said.
“World class cannabis comes from the Emerald Triangle. … You know you’re buying quality wine if you’re purchasing wine from Sonoma (County) and Napa (County). And the same thing can be said for cannabis.” – McGuire to the Bee
Drew Barber, owner of Humboldt County-based East Mill Creek Farms, explained that “terroir is ultimately the fingerprint of a product.”
“The idea is that if you can have that fingerprint of place on the product, then you can really have something that is expressing your unique farm to the world in the best way,” he said in the report.
According to the bill text, the law “prohibits the name of a California county, including any similar name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the kind of cannabis contained in the product, from being used, as specified, unless 100 percent of the cannabis contained in the product was produced in that county.”