cannabis plant

What is the Emerald Triangle?

Is there such a thing as ‘craft cannabis’? Growers in the ‘Emerald Triangle’ would argue yes.

The Emerald Triangle is a region of Northern California, comprised of Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties, that is well-known as the US’s largest cannabis-producing region.

While cannabis plants have been cultivated in the area since the 1960s, the passing of California Proposition 215 in 1996, legally permitting the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in the state, meant the industry really ramped up in the area.

But what makes the cannabis grown in the Emerald Triangle so special?

As a sparsely populated area with rich soil and beneficial environmental conditions like a marine layer contributing to a regular fog that nourishes the growing plants, The Emerald Triangle exhibits ideal growing conditions for cannabis. These factors combined with the legal nature of cultivation in the state mean that unlike many other areas elsewhere in the US, the cannabis in the Emerald Triangle can be grown outside to reap the full growth benefit of these natural conditions.

It’s these conditions that have led to many giving the area a ‘reputation akin to the Napa Valley’s reputation for fine wine’. This reputation also stems from growers here creating strains of cannabis that are unique to the area, with some describing their varieties as ‘artisanal’. And certainly, those in the area are fully behind their cannabis being regarded with this kind of status.

Indeed, since August 2016, cannabis producers in Humboldt County have been able to label their cannabis as Humboldt-grown. This measure not only gives growers a distinct selling point that distinguishes their varieties from others across the US, but it also ensures that, through a kind of track-and-trace approach, that minors are not being sold the product through the illegal market. This kind of labelling may also become more useful as the legal market expands and becomes normalised across the US, with consumers perhaps starting to seek out ‘craft cannabis’, thereby beginning to value where and how their strains are grown.

Do you think the trend of ‘craft cannabis’ will continue to grow? Or is it just a fad? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or on our social media channels on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more in depth information on medical cannabis, UK policy and the conditions medical cannabis can treat, we recommend accessing our in depth modules available on our website. Here, you can find up to date information on cannabis based medicinal products and how best to prescribe them. You can also explore our news section and evidence base for the latest information on this ever-changing area of research.

We urge anyone considering the use of medical cannabis products to consult with a trained medical professional prior to beginning use.

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