Research Briefings

2024 Research Briefing

View this year’s presentations from our interdisciplinary experts.


Michael Polson, Director of the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center, presents his work with fellow researchers Margiana Peteresen-Rockney and Christy Getz.

Joanna Hossack, Amanda Reiman, Seth LaRosa and Margiana Petersen-Rockney present their findings on the status of jurisdictions that allow or don’t allow cannabis cultivation.



Researcher Phil Georgakakos shares data on how cannabis cultivation is affecting vulnerable water sources over time.



Community-based researcher Laura Herrera shares her preliminary findings on the status of Cannabis Equity Programs across the state.


Researcher Margiana Petersen-Rockney focused on Siskiyou County to examine how climate & cannabis policy has been weaponized against the growing Hmong community of cannabis farmers.


Researchers Margiana Petersen-Rockney, Chris Dillis, Michael Polson examined the licensed California cannabis industry and found a case of Geo-Social Marginalization where cultivation is widely pushed to the margins of the state.


Third year PhD candidate Seth LaRosa presents the online Tribal Resource page on our website that provides links and tools for understanding Cannabis Policy & Land Use, Mapping and free access to Geographic Information System (GIS) for tribal members and info on Tribal Consultations.


2023 Research Briefing

In May 2023 we resumed our Research Briefing on campus with in-person and virtual presentations from our researchers.



2021 Research Briefing

Due to the pandemic we hosted our second annual research briefing via zoom. In 2021 we also published a review paper on the environmental impacts of cannabis production, and continued investigations on how cannabis farming interacts with wildfire threats, water use, and wildlife. Learn more through our presentations below.

Director’s Welcome

Berkeley Cannabis Research Center Co-Director Dr. Van Butsic announces the upcoming five part speaker series on Zoom and gives an overview of the Center’s operations and research.

Environmental Impacts Review

Dr. Ariani Wartenberg presents a Review of the Environmental Impacts of Cannabis at the virtual 2nd Annual Research Briefing of the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center.

Cannabis & Fire

Dr. Chris Dillis presents Wildfire and Cannabis at the virtual 2nd Annual Research Briefing of the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center.

Water Use

Dr. Ted Grantham presents Cannabis and Water at the virtual 2nd Annual Research Briefing Berkeley Cannabis Research Center.


Phoebe Parker Shames presents her research of Cannabis and Wildlife at the virtual 2nd Annual Research Briefing of the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center.

2019 Research Briefing

Our first briefing event introduces the Cannabis Research Center. In short videos below, we present initial investigations on water, wildlife, and the experiences of cannabis farmers as they confront compliance with licenses and laws in northern California. We outline issues, news, and research on cannabis agriculture. Then we share a longer presentation on how the legacy of Cannabis prohibition impacts influences legalization and social equity today.

Director’s Welcome

Introduction to the Cannabis Research Center by Co-Director, Dr. Van Butsic.

Freshwater Ecosystems

Briefing by Ted Grantham, Ph.D., CRC Co-Director and expert in freshwater ecology, stream hydrology and how outdoor cannabis farms might affect regional water systems.


Briefing by graduate researcher Phoebe Parker Shames on her documentation of the presence of more than 20 wildlife species on outdoor cannabis cultivation sites.

outdoor grow within hillside forest

Barriers to Farmer Licensing

Briefing by Hekia Bodwitch, Ph.D. on her survey of over 300 outdoor cannabis farmers in Northern California and the barriers they face attempting to become compliant, licensed cannabis producers.

outdoor grow within hillside forest

Northern California Cannabis Communities

Briefing by Michael Polson, Ph.D. on his research tapping into communities in Northern California to understand local control, cannabis enforcement and parity.

outdoor grow within hillside forest

California Agriculture special issue

Briefing by Jim Downing the Director of Publishing at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources on the special issue of California Agriculture, a collection of peer reviewed publications and news in Agriculture, Natural and Human Resources. 

outdoor grow within hillside forest

Pests and Disease in Cannabis Agriculture

Briefing by Houston Wilson, Ph.D. from UC Riverside’s Department of Entomology who studies the pests and diseases that affect cannabis.