With California poised to legalize recreational marijuana through Proposition 64 in November, California’s existing marijuana cultivators in Mendocino County are looking to protect their highest quality buds by applying for wine-style appellations.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that Justin Calvino, a “onetime Haight-Ashbury dope dealer,” is attempting to organize a formal designation, “Cannabis County,” for a specific geographically-defined region known to produce the state’s best crop.
The hope is to protect Mendocino farmers through “a legally defined and protected geographical identification system similar to what’s used in the wine industry.”
The Press Democrat explains:
The idea is to call out regional influences — known in the wine world as terroir — including the amount of sun and water plants get, soils and farming innovation passed from generation to generation dating back to the 1960s.
“Just like you have Anderson Valley pinot noir, you’d have Anderson Valley pineapple,” Calvino said, referring to a whimsically named strain of pot. “The pineapple grows the way it does because it enjoys the same regional and environmental effects as the wine.”
Calvino hopes to divide Cannabis County further into small subregions, each known for the unique flavor of marijuana grown in specific climates. Official appellations will bring protection from cheap competition, and also a sense of legitimacy to what has, until very recently, been an illicit enterprise.
Proposition 64 is almost certain to pass, despite opposition from law enforcement and from consumer groups concerned that pot would be advertised on television and other media accessible to children. A recent poll by the University of California Berkely Institute of Governmental Studies found that 63.8% of California’s registered voters support the measure.
As Breitbart News’ Chriss Street has noted, California’s marijuana industry could near $7 billion in value if Proposition 64 passes, with $1 billion in new tax revenue annually for the state.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.