Reimagining Cooperative Cannabis

This study is the second part of a research on cooperative questions related to cannabis cultivation in the Emerald Triangle of California. The first phase, carried out in August-October 2021, consisted of a survey of 81 cannabis farmers on the
North Coast of California. The survey revealed that 85.7% of respondents were interested in getting support for cooperative development.

This second research dives deeper into the needs and ideas of cultivators by presenting the findings of interviews conducted with 28 of the survey respondents.

As we write this, cannabis cultivators on the North Coast are facing unprecedented turmoil related to oversupply, over taxation, and limited retail access, leading to grassroots demands for the suspension of the cultivation tax and reforms of the regulatory system. In this context, giving voice to the feelings, concerns and visions of the producers themselves has never been more important.

What the analysis found is that cooperatives are envisioned on the basis of the legacy experience of cultivators. And second, that cooperatives are seen to be of the highest need to support the craft of family farmers in the face of hostile regulations. This prompted further questions about the decision-making process between policy makers and those impacted by the policies.