Origins Council, a new advocacy organization, has emerged in the wake of Prop 64 to represent the legacy farmers and small independent rural businesses of California cannabis. Founded in 2019, OC builds upon the preceding work of the Mendocino Appellations Project and the California Growers Association.
Origins Council does not accept individual membership, but rather partners with professional membership-based regional trade associations representing rural legacy cannabis producing regions in California.
Today, California’s rural legacy producing regions are facing an escalating crisis related to the complexity, expense and protracted timelines associated with state and local regulations and land use requirements for legal cannabis businesses. In 2018, California launched the most environmentally protective and complex regulatory framework ever seen for an agricultural product. Rigorous environmental standards, policies and programs were established for cannabis farming. Pesticide use and product testing standards were developed that ensure consumers are purchasing clean, safe cannabis products. The legacy farming community has been a vocal, committed stakeholder group instrumental in driving this vision for sustainably produced, high quality regulated cannabis products.
Unfortunately, the rollout of legalization and regulation in California has been fraught with implementation challenges and, as a result, legacy producing regions are encountering significant barriers to entry, and in some regions, existential threats to licensing security. These issues were further compounded in 2020 with COVID and the economic impacts of the pandemic to these rural communities, paired with an unprecedented complex of devastating wildfires, impacting nearly every legacy producing region in California.
To address these issues, the Newsom Administration and state legislature is engaged in a massive proposed overhaul of the state’s cannabis regulation and licensing framework through the consolidation of the three cannabis licensing agencies developed in 2017 pursuant to the passage of Proposition 64.
In order to maximize this reform opportunity for legacy producing