Can California Become the “Champagne” of Cannabis?

It all comes down to intellectual property.

With protection, there’s a premium. That’s exactly what the French did to secure the name and cultivation process of their bubbly in the Champagne region. With rules of planting, processing and packaging in place, no other sparking wine in the world can legally call itself Champagne. If it wasn’t made there, then it’s just not Champagne. Period.

With the rising costs of regulations for cannabis growers post legalization, there are new efforts to create similar protections for NorCal farmers who follow environmental and safety practices. The hope is this distinction will command a higher price for cannabis cultivated in the region.

According to Wired, “Swami Chaitanya, a grower in Mendocino, is working with the Mendocino Appellations Project, or MAP, to do for California cannabis what the champagne appellation has done for French bubbly. ‘The whole idea is to create this way of protecting the intellectual property of the farmers up in Mendocino County and Humboldt and the other parts of the Emerald Triangle,” Chaitanya says. The state’s growers have created unique cultivation methods and strains that tend to thrive in the various microclimates. One strain might grow better near the coast or further inland, or on a hillside that receives more or less sun, for example.”

You can read more about the effort here.