A plan to roll out a novel organic marijuana certification in California could generate extra enterprise alternatives for manufacturers trying to differentiate themselves by charging health-conscious customers a premium for his or her merchandise.

With cannabis unlawful beneath federal regulation, marijuana companies can not name merchandise organic beneath the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s certification program.

So California has proposed its personal “comparable-to-organic cannabis standards.”

State regulators are accepting public comment till July 7 on the proposed rules, which had been first reported by Cannabis Wire.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is required to ascertain by Jan. 1, 2021, a certification program for cannabis that’s similar to the National Organic Program and the California Organic Food and Farming Act.

The statewide certification, dubbed the OCal Program, can be applied by the CDFA.

The program could spur different states to take related motion.

Under the proposed California rules, growers can’t deem their cannabis as explicitly organic however can apply the OCal seal in the event that they adhere to the principles, together with correct use of authorized pesticides and fertilizers.

California would be part of Washington state as two of the state-legal cannabis markets to contemplate an organic certification for marijuana merchandise.

“A state-based program will probably instill more confidence,” stated Kristin Nevedal, chair and founding father of the International Cannabis Farmers Association, based mostly in California.

The time period “organic” carries a number of weight with customers who’re keen to spend a premium for these merchandise. It’s recognizable, Nevedal added, and the branding alternatives are readily obvious.

“‘Organic’: The term is so translatable to the consumer they’re already well-trained in what to expect,” she stated.

While California’s cannabis is strictly regulated as is – for instance, at present allowed pesticides would cross organic requirements, Nevedal stated – cultivators could forgo the usage of artificial vitamins and nonorganic fertilizers as a result of they’re already rising clear cannabis.

Some cannabis corporations have already been utilizing the patron urge for food for marijuana grown in a sustainable style and labeled their merchandise as clear and inexperienced to their benefit, in keeping with Nevedal.

She additionally identified that so long as this system isn’t cost-prohibitive to the business, it must be well-received.

Nevedal want to see state regulators provide incentives to individuals to help decrease prices for testing.

For instance, growers who join this system won’t be required to have their merchandise examined as ceaselessly in the event that they had been keen to offer soil samples.

She additionally expects to see different extra particular requirements develop sooner or later which can be already current in mainstream agriculture, corresponding to regenerative organic certification.

Hezekiah Allen, board chair of California cannabis farmer cooperative Emerald Grown, defined that about 6% of meals within the United States is organically licensed, so organic cannabis could conceivably account for 4%-6% of the market share.

The OCal program could be a very good possibility for cannabis growers trying to faucet into that, he added.

“Having the strength and the expertise of the (food and agriculture department) driving that program is going to be a huge breakthrough,” Allen stated.

Bart Schaneman may be reached at [email protected]

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