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Open Access Publications from the University of California

First known survey of cannabis production practices in California

  • Author(s): Wilson, Houston
  • Bodwitch, Hekia
  • Carah, Jennifer
  • Daane, Kent M
  • Getz, Christy M
  • Grantham, Theodore E
  • Butsic, Van
  • et al.

Legalization of cannabis production has daylighted a unique and highly valuable crop in California agriculture. State and regulatory agencies must now address the ecological, social and agricultural effects of cannabis production, but little is known about how growers produce this crop. Using an online survey, we gathered information from growers in July 2018 on their production practices. According to responses from about 100 growers, most cannabis was produced outdoors or in greenhouses, relied primarily on groundwater and used biologically based inputs for pest management. Many farms employed seasonal workers paid at fixed piece rates. Regulatory compliance varied according to farm size. Beginning to document growing practices will help scientists formulate key environmental, social and agronomic questions and develop relevant research and extension programs to promote best management practices and minimize negative environmental impacts of production.

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