May 2020

The Importance of Terroir-Based Cannabis Appellations (VIDEO!)

California Cannabis Folks,

We’re happy that CDFA’s comment period for the cannabis appellation program is drawing to a close next Wednesday, May 6th. In honor of the impending deadline, I thought a quick refresher on the importance of a terroir-based program might be helpful to close out these last few days of the comment period.

A terroir-based program is simply a program that requires there be an essential link between the quality or characteristic of the cannabis and its source. No causation (or essential link) is required for California’s “County of Origin” cannabis marketing program, for example, which allows cannabis to be marketed as produced within a County if the product was produced within the County boundaries.  A terroir-based appellations of origin program, on the other hand, requires cannabis farmers to substantiate that the quality of the cannabis is essentially due to the unique biophysical or cultural factors applied during production. The heightened controls result in a increased consumer trust, and thus fetch a higher value in the market, returning that value to the farm and supporting a vibrant cannabis agricultural ecosystem.  

To be sure, terrior-based appellations are a complicated concept, but they are CRITICAL to the future of California cannabis farming. We’re fighting for our life here. So if you want to know more about what a terroir-based program can do for the cannabis farmers, check out the video or the slides below.

Finally, if you are just gaining interest in the program, yay! Please get in touch with your local trade or policy organization who have been working on this program for years. Considering the historic nature of this program, it is imperative folks do not submit comments to CDFA that have not been vetted by stakeholders in legacy producing regions, so please reach out to the following organizations ASAP and get involved:

Please stay safe and healthy out there. With the utmost respect,

~Heather Burke