Appellations and Labs
Author: Luke Khoury, Senior Scientist
We know you’ve heard the word appellation, most likely in regard to wine. At last year’s Emerald Cup, the Mendocino Appellations Project shared their research and work. While the California Department of Food and Agriculture has been authorized to create appellations for cannabis, the criteria still needs to be defined. One of these criteria is terroir, which simply means ‘of the land and of the place’ and refers to the regional soil makeup, water composition, and an area’s naturally-occurring flora. Interestingly, farmers’ cultivation methods are equally important; legacy traditions for pruning and grafting play a role, so do family recipes for natural compost amendments, and cultivation practices passed down over generations. Together, these help identify and define ‘of the land and place’ and create a unique geographical fingerprint – one that will help protect cultivators. The cannabis from the Emerald Triangle is legendary, with a reputation not limited to California. As the identifying factors that form fingerprints for appellations come together, labs will be able to differentiate between cannabis grown in Humboldt, versus Santa Barbara – and counterfeit origin claims could be debunked.