Insights
Publications

SB 67 Moves California’s Cannabis Appellations Program Forward

November 16, 2020 Articles

In February of 2020, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) issued its first iteration of the Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP), which set forth proposed regulations for licensed cannabis cultivators to establish appellations of origin. As the relevant market expands, such designations are likely to allow cannabis grown in well-known regions – like Humboldt County – to command a higher price than that grown elsewhere (much like wine grown in the Napa Valley). The CAP allows licensed cannabis cultivators in California to promote their product by designating the region from which they originated – using a protected designation similar to a geography-based trademark. 

Governor Newsom recently signed California Senate Bill 67, which went into effect on September 30, 2020 and updated the CAP in three key ways. 

  • First, it expanded the definition of a geographic region to allow for more nuanced geographic designations. While the statute previously allowed the designation of a “county of origin,” the new bill allows the cultivators to designate a “county, city, or city and county of origin.” As with the prior versions of the statute, it only allows a cultivator to use a particular designation if 100 percent of the cannabis is produced within the designated region.
  • Second, it prohibits a cannabis cultivator from falsely promoting a cannabis product as having been produced in a particular region, or from using any marketing or advertising that is likely to mislead consumers about the type of cannabis it contains.
  • Finally, it expressly excludes from the appellation program those cannabis products that are grown indoors (such as in a greenhouse) or use certain practices such as the application of artificial light. 

SB 67 required that the CDFA finish developing this process by no later than January 21, 2021. After that date, groups of cultivators seeking to establish an Appellation of Origin may submit a petition to the CDFA which contains a “general description and location of the proposed geographical area” that would be subject to the appellation. The description must contain a number of specific items, including:

(1) a description and evidence of distinctive geographical features that affect regional cannabis cultivation,

(2) an identification of the proposed appellation’s standard, practice, and cultivar requirements, and

(3) a description of cannabis cultivation in the region, including its “legacy, history, and economic importance.”  

While implementation is still a few months out, cultivators interested in a regional appellation would be wise to begin planning now, along with other cultivators and stakeholders within their region, to define and prepare their petitions.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Maximizing Business Insurance Coverage Benefits After a Fire

Unfortunately, we again write while wildfire is devouring homes and businesses in Napa and Sonoma, and threatening many more. We’ve previously posted tips about first steps that you should take in the event your...

Read More
Publication

Overview of the New Privacy Litigation Frontier, Including California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Litigation

Farella's Cannabis Industry Education Series features Sushila Chanana discussing "Overview of the New Privacy Litigation Frontier, Including California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Litigation." Cannabis businesses that are collecting consumer data need to be in...

Read More
News

Election Brings Questions for Cannabis SPACs

Drew Goodwin commented in The Deal article "Election Brings Questions for Cannabis SPACs."

Read More
Publication

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is a proud underwriter of the North Bay Business Journal's 2020 North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference. The live webinar explores new opportunities and challenges to the medical, recreational, and related cannabis...

Read More
Publication

Maximizing Insurance Coverage: What Cannabis Businesses Need to Know

Farella's Cannabis Industry Education Series features Tyler Gerking discussing "Maximizing Insurance Coverage: What Cannabis Businesses Need to Know." The cannabis industry has flourished, along with it the cannabis insurance market has grown. As more carriers...

Read More
Publication

SEC Expands Definition of “Accredited Investor” – Here Are 5 Key Takeaways

The SEC recently adopted amendments to Rule 501(a) of Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 that expand the definition of “accredited investor” by adding new categories of eligibility based on professional knowledge...

Read More
Publication

Cannabis Disputes: How to Minimize Your Litigation Risks

Farella's Cannabis Industry Education Series features Tony Schoenberg and Cynthia Castillo discussing "Cannabis Disputes: How to Minimize Your Litigation Risks." The laws regulating the cannabis industry are quickly changing and evolving. Many disputes are a...

Read More
Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is a proud underwriter of the North Bay Business Journal's 2020 North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference series. This live virtual event will explore new opportunities and challenges to the medical...

Read More
Publication

Employment Laws: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations as a Cannabis Employer

Farella's Cannabis Industry Education Series features Rebecca Stephens discussing "Employment Laws: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations as a Cannabis Employer." Cannabis businesses are subject to both state and federal employment laws and regulations. The past few...

Read More
Publication

Coronavirus and Federal Payroll Tax Credits: Relief Available for Cannabis Companies

The cannabis industry rarely looks to the federal government for support. Yet the raft of fiscal relief addressing COVID-19 has caused some in the industry to wonder what options, if any, might be available...

Read More