Cannabis farms could soon be legalised in Napa

A measure to legalise commercial cannabis farming in California’s Napa Valley will be put to a vote next March, and if agreed to, would allow businesses to grow an acre of marijuana apiece.

Could grapes and grass soon be grown side by side in California’s Napa Valley?

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Napa County Board of Supervisors decided to put the proposal – the Napa County Cannabis Regulation Initiative – to a vote rather than adopting it as an ordinance.

If given the green light, it would allow for the cultivation of cannabis for commercial use on land considered best suited to agriculture, though pot won’t be able to be grown on the same lot of land as a vineyard.

It would allow businesses to grow just one acre of marijuana apiece, a far smaller area than many vineyards in the region, which can stretch to hundreds of acres, such as Stagecoach, which has nearly 600 acres under vine.

Marijuana was legalised in California in 2016, but the Napa Valley, renowned for its vineyards, has yet to permit cannabis farming, as a number of local grape growers fear the odour from the farms may contaminate grapes grown nearby.

The move to legalise commercial cannabis farming in Napa is being backed by the Napa Valley Cannabis Association, made up of entrepreneurs in both the wine and weed industries, who believe grapes and grass can happily coexist.

The group gathered thousands of signatures in favour of the initiative, leading to the vote, which will take place on 3 March.

Eric Sklar, co-founder of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association, believes the commercial cultivation of cannabis in Napa would help boost the local economy.

“For two-and-a-half years all we’ve been asking is for the supervisors to have a discussion about what’s best for Napa Valley in terms of a cannabis ordinance, and that’s what they did at the last minute,” Sklar told the SFC.

The Napa Valley Cannabis Associationis willing to remove the measure from consideration if local officials draft a similar ordinance by December.

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