Washington state signs off on an organic marijuana certification program,
With Washington state becoming what is believed to be the first state in the nation to offer an organic certification for cannabis, marijuana joins many other agricultural products with the same designation.
The certification could help marijuana business owners in a few ways:
- It can provide an opportunity to add another product to their portfolio, one that can command a premium.
- It can normalize the plant among consumers familiar with the certification.
- It can provide consumers with an opportunity to choose between conventionally grown cannabis and MJ cultivated free of chemicals.
“It shows that there is a need – and even regulatory bodies are starting to accept that,” said Ben Gelt, a board member of the Denver-based Organic Cannabis Association.
As for the business opportunities for a cannabis firm, Gelt pointed to raspberry farmers. He said Driscoll’s receives a 15%-20% premium for its organic raspberries.
“(There are) any number of products where you have certified organic products that derive a premium,” he added.
A producer may also consider cultivating both organic and conventionally grown cannabis.
“If I’m a producer in Washington state I would go after it,” Gelt said. “If you’re the first one to get certified, you can run around and say, ‘I’m the first certified organic cannabis operation in the world.’”
But temper your expectations. Even if you’re receiving a premium for organic, the customer base remains limited.
“There’s a growing segment of consumers who want organic,” Gelt said. “But at the end of the day it’s still a niche. There’s a reason why there are more Burger King commercials than Whole Foods commercials. People want ‘taste good, cheap.’”
Special thanks to Bart Schaneman @ MJ Biz Daily