California Cannabis Appellations: Proposed Regulations Are Here!

On February 20, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released its proposed regulations for the Cannabis Appellations Program, something that many cultivators have been anticipating since the inception of the Medicinal and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

We’ve written about appellations and their applicability to cannabis before, but a quick refresher is warranted. For the uninitiated, an appellation is a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine. But appellations are used for more than just wine. In France, for example, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is a certification given to certain French geographical indications for wine, cheese, butter and other agricultural products.

Certifying the geographical origin of certain products stems from the concept of terroir, which is the set of environmental factors that affect a crop’s unique flavor, aroma and other characteristics. Some great examples of this are Champagne, which is produced from the Champagne region grape grown on specific parcels in the Champagne appellation, and Camembert cheese, which is protected by a designation of origin that requires production in Normandy. Tequila and Mezcal also must come from a particular region. Consumers are becoming

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