California adopts French AOC system for cannabis cultivation

Like it or not, Cannabis is now entering the mainstream in the US with nine states and Washington DC having legalised its use for adults over the age of 21 and a further 30 US states allow its use for medicinal purposes. Research published in a report by Arcview Market Research states that the legal marijuana industry was valued at US$9.7billion in 2017, a 33% growth on 2016 and is estimated to be worth US$32billion by 2022.

Why are we commenting on this? Well, interestingly this emerging industry is looking at establishing a system similar to the French AOC wine classification to guide the consumer! Given the parallels to wine in terms of the influence of growing conditions on the flavour and potency of cannabis, producers are calling for a system to provide clarity. In the process this will of course provide the means to engage the consumer, create powerful brands and ultimately make corporations huge sums of money with potentially little regard for the social consequences! Of course the same could be said about alcohol!

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been tasked by regulators to create an appellation of origin system for licensed cannabis cultivators in the state with a deadline of 1 January 2021.

Large drinks companies are already establishing themselves in the space investing extraordinary sums of money. Canadian brewer, Molson Coors, announced earlier this month a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation to create non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverage and Constellation Brands has increased its stake in Canopy Growth to 38% by investing a further US$4bn in the Canadian licensed cannabis growing company.

Suffice it to say the New World will certainly be the First Growth territory of this particular market!