Wine Fields

Karsten Wurth

Treating Cannabis Like Wine, California Plans Region of Origin Regulation

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is planning an “appellation of origin” system to regulate the naming of craft cannabis strains from specific regions like it does for wine, Forbes reports. In the same way that wine is named for the region — such as Napa or Bordeaux wines — small cannabis growers in the golden triangle of Northern California want Mendocino or Humboldt cannabis and regulation to ensure that it means something.

The search for novel strains, interesting experiences, and a way to stand out to consumers is of constant concern for cannabis growers. The market for growers is one of the tightest, with a race-to-the-bottom structure for prices in most legal states. Growers who take the time and money to carefully grow the highest quality products in the best environments want to be sure that customers are aware of why their products may cost more.

The CDFA wants to follow in the footsteps of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée and the American Viticultural Area regulatory bodies, which offer prestige to luxury manufacturers in their regions. Craft growers hope that the government-assisted marketing for their products via appellations of origin will help to fight the megafarms that are beginning to take over most legal markets.

Regulators in California are on board and have set the deadline for CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing — the subset of the CDFA that controls cannabis growers — to regulate regional titles at no later than January 1, 2021.

CalCannabis said they will have the schedule for the initial workshops regarding the appellations of origin up on their website by next week.

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