On Wednesday, California regulators and cannabis growers came together to flesh out the state’s “comparable-to-organic” cannabis program, slated to start in January 2021. Because cannabis remains federally illegal, it can’t be certified as organic at the federal level, so California aims to create a parallel—and comparable—standard.
To help decide what to include in California’s framework, participants of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s fourth working group meeting in Sacramento looked at a blueprint that already exists: the USDA’s National Organic Program, which sets and enforces standards for organically produced agricultural products.
During the meeting, state regulators said that the goal is to align the California program, to be known as “O Cal,” with USDA standards. Regulators want cannabis growers to be able to easily transition to the national program in the event that cannabis is legalized at the federal level.