Mom And Pop Cultivators Clash With Department Of Cannabis Control At The Emerald Cup

Many small farmers cannot afford a retail license

On Saturday, December 11, mom and pop farmers collided with a large bureaucracy, the newly formed but powerful, Department of Cannabis Control, at the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa.

This fall, the Emerald Cup, arguably the premier cannabis awards event in the U.S., offered a lottery allowing 27 small farm cannabis growers the opportunity, “[w]ith the vision of lifting up and amplifying these small farms in the global marketplace”, to present their product at the Cup for a nominal fee.

The small farmers couldn’t directly sell to the consumer, instead they showcased their products (an ounce of personal use per cultivator were displayed on their tables) and directed the buyer to the Sovereign dispensary booth (which was across the hall and carried flowers from the Small Farmers Initiative recipients) for sales.  The person at the small farmer booth even had to be credentialed with photo id showing. Many small farmers cannot afford a retail license which is upwards of 100,000 annually.

The small farmers were extremely limited on what they could provide the consumer in the way of experiencing the cannabis they grew. “We can show you a jar,” explained Tina Colafranceschi of Bella Farms in Humboldt County. “You can look at it. You can not touch. You can smell it. That is it.” Later, she showed what she displayed some of her product in. She described it as a “locked sniffer jar that you need an allen wrench to open.”

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