What is Clean Green Certification for Cannabis Farmers?
The Clean Green Certification for cannabis crop producers was established in California in 2004, and has since expanded to 5 other states. The Clean Green cannabis crop producer certification is for the grower-farmer who acts in a legal and respectful manner with his or her surrounding environment. The Clean Green program allows this quality farmer to be distinguished from the rest– with a label that stands for legal compliance, consumer quality and environmental stewardship.
Medical cannabis is not yet legal under Federal Law and the Clean Green Certified Program does nothing to make it legal under Federal Law. There are still stiff Federal sentences handed out for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis– medical or otherwise. An interested party is advised to research the Federal sentencing guidelines prior to any participation in a State Sanctioned medical or recreational cannabis program.
What is the Clean Green Certification for Cannabis Crop Producers?
Clean Green Certified is a program modeled on existing national and international agricultural standards, ensuring environmentally clean and sustainable methods. Clean Green inspects all inputs, from seed or clone selection, soil, nutrients, pesticides, mold treatments, dust control, and source of electricity, to methods of harvesting and processing. The Clean Green Certified program is comprised of three parts: a legal compliance review, a review of the manner in which the cannabis is grown, and a standard agricultural crop inspection. Taken together, the program helps to ensure a grower’s legal compliance as well as distinguishing the quality of the cannabis product from others available to qualified consumers. This program reduces the environmental impact of cannabis crops, ensures legality, and regulates what chemical go into a consumable product. A certified operation is licensed to use the Clean Green Certified label on their products after an annual review requiring yearly on-site inspections and third party laboratory testing.
1st Program Requirement: Legal Compliance
This portion of the program allows a grower to openly and confidentially discuss their compliance issues or concerns with a compliance attorney, on their farm site. Each farm seems to have their own questions and concerns and this is a comfortable format to frankly discuss and ask any questions the grower has. A dollar spent in compliance is worth ten dollars spent in a defense.
2nd Program Requirement: A Review of Plant Cultivation Methods
Becoming certified requires an application be filled out detailing how the crop is being grown. Questions address topics such as the source of water and electricity, soil erosion protection, border areas (are they natural vegetation allowing for beneficial insects or are the plants next to a toxic area?), pest/weed/disease control, etc. Once the application is completed, an onsite crop inspection is scheduled. During the inspection it is confirmed that the methods the farmer stated in the application are in fact the methods being used on site. There is a thorough review of all of the inputs the grower is using: fertilizers, pest control sprays, potting soils, etc. Using clean, sustainable methods does not mean going without nutrient amplification or pest control in the garden; there are many inputs allowed under the Clean Green Certified Program, and we will assist a grower in sourcing allowed inputs if needed.
3rd Program Requirement: A Standard Agricultural Inspection
This portion of the program includes a close examination of the growing plants themselves. Here the plants are examined for excess molds, mildews, pest problems, or other agricultural problems.
Samples are collected and sent to qualified laboratories to test for pesticide residues and other contaminates. The plants are inspected to be free from excess wind borne dust, dirt, or manures. The growing area is observed for soil erosion and border areas that support beneficial insects and birds helping to keep pest populations in check. This portion of the program looks at the overall health of the plants and the growing area. The processing room or area is observed and discussion is had regarding the need for a clean processing facility for chemically clean agricultural products. Contamination of a crop is often most likely to occur in the processing areas as the entire crop is being concentrated into a smaller area. Discussion is had as to the manner in which to process the crop so it will not degrade quickly, and that it is stored in a safe, secure and healthy manner.
Who are the on-site inspectors?
All of the Clean Green on-site inspectors of cannabis farms have either a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture or a related science, or 10 years of experience as an organic cultivator. Their knowledge and integrity can be counted on for your peace of mind and for the soundness of the program.
What is the cost for crop producer certification?
The yearly cost for a cannabis crop producer certification is $2200, plus $5 per pound you produce (capped at 300lbs or $1500). These costs are all inclusive of pesticide and soil analysis tests, which are taken in a laboratory. Our $5/pound fee contributes to a national marketing and consumer outreach programs helping farmers both small and large get their product recognized in the marketplace. We ask that you make a $1000 deposit prior to the on-site inspection to cover the costs of laboratory testing and sending an inspector for the on-site inspection of your farm.
Steps to Cannabis Crop Producer Certification
1) Pre-screen your eligibility with the Clean Green program requirements; 2) Ask us any questions you may have, and address any initial concerns with us about your eligibility; 3) Request an application(s); 4) Fill out the application(s) you have received and send them back to us with a $1000 deposit; 5) An inspection date will be scheduled with you; 6) Standard agricultural inspection at your farm; 7) Lab tests are taken and reports are processed by Clean Green Certified staff; 8) You will know if you are a new Clean Green Certified farm 4-6 weeks after your inspection date!