US (CA): Mendocino’s cannabis growers are on a mission to save regenerative farms

Regenerative farming honors the natural cycle of weed. For growers situated in the lush landscape of Mendocino County, California, it’s a way of life. These farms utilize eco-conscious methods like living soil, sunlight, well water, and notably don’t rely on chemical interventions like pesticides. This nature-first production has been shown to offer benefits to the flower. A team of scientists from Columbia University found higher terpene levels in sun-grown weed in a March 2023 study published by Molecules.

Northern California’s Emerald Triangle region is a haven for outdoor cannabis. However, the region’s award-winning craft farms have faced massive challenges in the last few years since adult-use legalization. Forces outside of Mother Nature’s control are putting many sun-grown farmers in Mendocino at risk yet again.

A ballot measure called the Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative appears on its surface to seek to preserve local nature and businesses, but weed farmers say its 38 pages of restrictions will greatly harm the struggling craft industry. The measure would require all licensed weed farms to build Category 4 roads, restrict the addition of new on-farm structures, prohibit additional permits for activities, lock down the ability to further amend cannabis laws, and prevent larger grows in the future.

“Many were tricked into signing an initiative that acted like it would save the small farms of Humboldt County,” Jason Gellman says on Instagram, founder of Ridgeline Farms and second-generation weed farmer. “But truly, if this passes, it would not only take down so many family farms and destroy what we have worked so hard to create for the last 8 years, but it would be a devastating blow to our economy.” He urges residents to stand with the cannabis industry in voting down the measure.


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