French wine regions.
French wine regions.

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Successful development of the local cannabis industry needs quality control mechanisms similar to the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée originally developed by the Bordeaux wine growers.

Read Part 1 on how the wine industry was founded and how it relates to cannabis.

Local growers associations like the Emerald Growers Association (EGA), the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) or the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), along with the support of a local Chamber of Commerce, need to create guidelines similar to the first wine classification system, with the same focus and visionary approach:

  • A long-standing reputation for the quality of a producing region
  • A constancy of the defining characteristics of genetics from specific farms in the region
  • A continuity of a genetic identity over time and its public recognition

Emerald Triangle Genetic Identity

There is no argument that the Emerald Triangle has a deserved reputation for quality. Determining a constancy of the defining characteristics of genetics from specific farms is more difficult for cannabis than it was for the wine industry in its infancy. A majority of growers have been following market trends for obvious financial reasons, but we nonetheless have enough preservationists and families of breeders to offer a solid evaluation of the constancy of genetics and terroir in Northern California.

As it was in Bordeaux, it is in Northern California: a few with the dedication and insight of cannabis’s true potential can establish the standard for the future.The continuity of genetic identity over time and public recognition of the Emerald Triangle is also undeniable; the local genetic pool is truly unique and worth developing and protecting.

How Small Farms Can Thrive With Large Producers in Play (Wine does this)

A classification system would protect small farmers and local enterprises with quality standards that cannot be replicated by quantity-based business models used by mega-producers, similar to the wine industry around the world today.

Such a system would brand our growing regions, so Mendocino would be recognized for its uniqueness like Bordeaux or Champagne. Any parcel of land in the region would then be a “Domain” with all the commercial implications that come with worldwide recognition.

Credit and respect must be given for such an economic opportunity to all the growers who today offer the means to emulate the success of the wine classification system and the multi-billion dollars industry it supports. The chance to create your own quality standards in any industry comes once in a lifetime; we have today the opportunity to do just that in the cannabis industry, basing our standards on the best genetics ever grown in the country.

It is imperative for all Californians to understand the significance of such an initiative and the economic repercussions it would generate for the state and country. (Editor’s Note: Not to mention improving consumer safety).

We need to protect our patrimony by working alongside associations like the EGA, CCIA or NCIA; they have the vision and need our support and input to ensure the collective success for the region.


  • 1855 A history of the Bordeaux Classification by Dewey Markham Jr.
  • Inventing Wine by Paul Lukacs
  • The Story of Wine by Hugh Johnson

Check out Frenchy Cannoli’s new website!


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