The California Department of Food and Agriculture (“CDFA”), by January 1, 2021, is required to create a program for cultivation licensees to establish cannabis appellations of origin. The draft rules for the Cannabis Appellations Program are available here (“Draft Rules”).
Public comments are now due on May 6, 2020.
We understand many are stretched thin responding to COVID-19. Nonetheless, the development of cannabis appellations will drastically change the cannabis industry, and we encourage stakeholders to participate in the rule-making process.
What is Cannabis Appellation of Origin?
The draft regulations suggest appellation petitioners will need to meet a high evidentiary burden, submitting robust environmental, mapping, and cultural documentation.
Why Are Cannabis Appellations Important?
The CDFA Cannabis Appellation Program will create a new class of cannabis goods, arming cultivators with a powerful tool to promote their cannabis farming traditions and region-specific standards, practices, and cultivars. Much like protected wine designations (think wine from the Napa Valley AVA, or Champagne), cannabis appellations are expected to create market segmentation and signal to consumers that origin-designated cannabis is a prestige specialty craft product—and should command a higher purchase price.
Appellations of origin also create greater differentiation between products purchased on the legal and illicit market. We also expect certain appellations to become travel destinations for cannabis connoisseurs, much like Sonoma or Paso Robles have grown from sleepy farming towns to international wine destinations.
Could Indoor and/or Mixed-Light Growers Use a Cannabis Appellation of Origin?
Is the CDFA on the Right Track with These Draft Rules?
Why Should Cannabis Licensees Participate in the Rulemaking Process?
Please block off your calendar and plan join us for an open discussion on these draft rules. Details to come…
If you have any questions about how the above or would like to discuss how it could impact your business, please contact your attorney directly or call our main line at 877-257-2442.