This prime area in Northern California has been pumping out premium cannabis for generations, and the culture remains strong with legalization. With the industry changing, the International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA) has been working diligently with the Mendocino Appellations Project to protect our land, history, and farmers.
This project is similar to the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) certification, which protects the designation of origin for French agricultural products like wines, cheeses, and butter from certain regions. Think of the Champagne wine region where the European law reserves the term “Champagne” exclusively for wines that come from this region located east of Paris.
Likewise, the Mendocino Appellations Project establishes county branding in the cannabis industry. As the massive commercial enterprise emerges and becomes mainstream, it’s important now, more than ever, to preserve geographical brands in the industry. Under new California state laws, only cannabis products being produced in a specific county can be labeled with that county’s name, thus preventing other counties from benefitting off regional branding.
As we push into regulated systems, traditional farmers who have long cultivated the plant and culture in their communities should be honored and revered as forefathers. The Appellations Project could serve as a rich vehicle for promotion, protection, and rural development!