Why stand with us?
OUR CONSERVATION ETHIC
Cannabis for Conservation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was born in response to the environmental impacts of wide-scale, unsustainable cannabis cultivation. California legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, solidifying its place in California’s economy. For decades prior, illicit cannabis production sustained the communities of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties, constituting the “Emerald Triangle”. Decades of unsustainable production has led to extensive environmental degradation, which is now being recognized and researched. Our motto is if cannabis is to be here, then it needs to be for conservation— not against it.
While not all cannabis production has been environmentally deleterious, much of historical cultivation has negatively impacted ecosystems, causing significant harm to the wildlife, land, and water of Northern California. Research has shown the presence of anticoagulant rodenticides in the wild food web, low water levels from diversion, and contamination of watersheds from fertilizer and pesticides. Much of this degradation occurs from “trespass grows”, or cannabis grows on public lands. These grows severely impact the ecosystems in which they persist, and are one of the leading threats to their stability. The word “conservation” means something very specific in ecology— it implies use, but sustainable use. In doing so, our invaluable wild resources can be maintained in both health and integrity.
Our conservation standard consists of two aspects:
1) instituting an ecological monitoring program for cultivator properties— the basic pillar of the industry— that will further scientific understanding of the cannabis-wildlife dynamic, and
2) reclaiming trespass cannabis grows on public lands in Northern California to reduce deadly toxicants and trash on the landscape.
What does the logo mean on products?
We see a great opportunity to implement a conservation standard within the burgeoning cannabis industry. This is different than a sustainability standard, as our focus is on ecosystems interfacing with cannabis— not the cannabis itself. We do not certify cannabis as sustainable, organic, or otherwise “green”, and our logo on products does not either. Host farms— farms that host scientific research on their property as part of our Ecological Monitoring Program— are allowed to use our logo on their products to make consumers aware of their participation in our program.
We believe that every industry, but particularly natural resource and agricultural industries, need to have an environmental ethic that goes beyond compliance. We wish to collaborate with those that will help set this conservation precedent.
What else should I know about CFC?
Parallel to our conservation standard, we seek to be the neutral ground between the outlaw culture coming into compliance and regulatory bodies, facilitating an open discourse that will ultimately bolster ecological and community prosperity. We value transparency within the nonprofit, and want our collaborators and supporters to know exactly where our proceeds are being channeled.
We at Cannabis for Conservation are more than just faces for the nonprofit— we personally live in accordance with our environmental mission. We actively seek ways to reduce our carbon footprint in our daily lives, from the food we eat to our modes of transportation. Interacting with nature is central to us, and strive to keep natural areas as such.
We acknowledge cannabis cultivation as a cultural legacy of Northern California, and understand its historical role in building infrastructure and community here. We believe in empowering local communities with stewardship practices and ecological education, and see their involvement as key aspects of our mission. Furthermore, natural resource economies dependent on healthy ecosystems can only benefit from rigorous conservation and environmental work.