First known survey of cannabis production practices
California Agriculture
Wilson, H., Bodwitch, H., Carah, J., Daane, K., Getz C., Grantham, T. E., & Butsic, V.
Macro-scale photograph of cannabis plant with webs of spider mites, a common pest.
Cannabis legalization opens opportunities to study and share best practices. Our survey of growers reveals starting points.
With legalization of cannabis in California, regulatory agencies must address the ecological, social and agricultural effects of cannabis production. We can tackle this problem by first asking existing growers, how do you 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. Farms relied primarily on groundwater, used biologically based inputs for pest management, and employed seasonal workers paid at fixed piece rates. Regulatory compliance varied according to farm size. Documenting 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.