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Casey O'Neill

Casey is a CSA farmer who runs a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises approximately two acres of Clean Green Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. He is a self-described “weed geek” and is passionate about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers as a Board Chair of the California Growers Association and as a voice in the legalization and functional regulation movement. http://www.happydayfarmscsa.com

How Ag Co-ops Can Preserve California’s Small Cannabis Farms

Happy Days Farms Crew working the land

Small farms need cannabis; patients need access to quality food and medicine. Building cooperative systems that focus on transporting quality farm products from rural areas into urban markets will create opportunity for partnerships with nonprofit organizations to increase access to underserved communities.   We stand at a powerful nexus, in which something new and beautiful may emerge. Or we may...

New Pathways to Legality = New Opportunities to Help Low-Income Patients

Who'd want this bouquet from Sunboldt Grown? Photo by Allison Edrington.

Interfacing directly with patients is a challenge currently facing the cannabis marketplace. Producer counties have higher production and fewer patients locally, making it difficult to directly help many of the state’s patients who need medicine but can’t afford it. Without an openness and an ability to self-represent, it is difficult to encourage systems that gather and distribute medicine to low-income...

Cannabis Farms Need the Agricultural Cooperative Model

Cannabis and veggie farming as we age

What is a Co-op? “A cooperative (coop) or co-operative (co-op) is an autonomous association of people who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual social, economic and cultural benefit.”  (Source: Wikipedia) There are 5 types of Co-ops Consumer: owned by consumers who buy goods or services from their cooperative. Producer: owned by producers of commodities or crafts who have joined forces to process and market...

How Centralized Processing Could Help Small Cannabis Farmers

707 Cannabis College led a workshop on water dip for trimmers. Photo by Jose Quezada.

My next proposition may seem outlandish, and I offer it for discussion: Centralized Processing. I have come to believe that it could provide the balance between a hyper-regulated California business environment and the small farms of rural California. Cannabis flowers are delicate; drying and curing should be maintained on-farm. I envision a box-truck that pulls up at the farm. The...

New Name, Renewed Direction: Why EGA is Now California Growers Association

Formerly known as Emerald Growers Association, the new name California Growers Association is meant to be more inclusive of the state cannabis industry.

Cannabis industry participants must be aware and active in four realms of public policy: Legislative Regulatory Electoral Local But cannabis isn't alone in its need for engaging these areas. Industries and groups of farmers have used Trade Associations as a traditional vehicle for raising a common voice in political processes. As Acting Board Chair for California Growers Association, it is my duty to shepherd our...

Transitioning More Than Farm Practices: Power in the Ballot Box & Building the House of Cannabis

Vote sign in the U.S. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Voting_United_States.jpg

Daylighting the conversation as we move out of Prohibition will have profound impacts on the future of our industry. Small farms engaged in qualitative production through a system of dialogue and practical support will provide excellent medicine. One of the side effects of the Prohibition-based, plant-count policy was that farmers tended towards larger plants (if you can only have some,...

Drying Your Cannabis Harvest and What to Do About Mold

Drying room for cannabis. Photo by HappyDay Farms

October is the universal cannabis harvest month. Farmers who grow earlier, Afghanica-based strains often start in September, but their harvest window always continues into October. Farmers who grow later strains that go into November may not start early but are always underway by now. Farmers are bringing in the crop; it is a tedious process made joyful by an ethos...

Growing Your Own Food is a Rebellious Act — A Cyclical Perspective

Green Bell Pepper grown on the HappyDay Farm CSA. Photo by HappyDay Farm.

The calendar now reads September, but it has already felt like fall. I keep thinking about the way we box ourselves in with matrices. If we didn’t have a Matrix that divided reality into months, we would already know that the fall season has begun. The acorns are large and dropping; winter squash and pumpkin harvests have begun; cannabis...