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US (CA): UC cooperative extension survey results on cannabis cultivation

A UC Cooperative Extension survey of California registered and unregistered marijuana growers will help researchers, policy makers and the public better understand growing practices since cannabis sales, possession and cultivation first became legal for recreational use.

“This survey is a starting point from which UC scientists could build research and extension programs, if possible in the future,” said lead author Houston Wilson, UC Cooperative Extension specialist with UC Riverside. A report on the survey results was published in the July-December 2019 issue of California Agriculture journal, the research publication of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Wilson's work in North Coast vineyards as a UC Berkeley graduate student introduced him to cannabis cropping in the same area. Over time, he began to encounter some farmers and pest control advisers who were engaged in both traditional agriculture operations as well as cannabis grows.“I'm there, I'm seeing it. I wanted to know more about this,” Wilson said. “To me, it's a new crop. We've never studied it.”

In 2016, when legalization was in the works, Wilson decided to conduct a survey to better understand the scope of cannabis production in California. A year later, Wilson took a position with the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside as an orchard/vineyard IPM Cooperative Extension Specialist based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. He maintained his interest in cannabis and continued to lead the survey project and analyze the data.


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