Key Issues

Environmental Protection

The Emerald Growers Association (EGA) works to protect and sustain a healthy environment in the Emerald Triangle Region. This includes working to reduce the many detrimental environmental impacts of illegal cannabis cultivation such as water diversion and fertilizer/pesticide runoff, which can negatively impact local watersheds and the delicate ecosystems that they sustain.

For example, rather than diverting water away from creeks and streams, the EGA advocates for water collection ponds where rainwater can be stored and used throughout the dry season.

To control toxic runoff, the EGA supports the implementation of Integrated Fertilizer and Irrigation Management (IFIM) systems including the construction of containment ponds to keep runoff from entering and contaminating the environment.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and organic fertilizers and pesticides can also reduce or eliminate toxic runoff.

When environmentally responsible decisions are made with respect to water usage and runoff, medical cannabis production can be an environmentally responsible undertaking.

Job Creation/Revenue Creation

By getting involved in the process of regulating the medical cannabis industry in California, the EGA is proactively working to create legal, tax generating jobs in our region and across the state. These jobs include: cultivation, processing, research and development, breeding, dispensary operations, education, healthcare, tourism, and more. Many of these jobs currently exist but are not taxed. In a fully legal and regulated industry not only will people more easily find jobs but they will also be generating much needed revenue for the state and local municipalities.

Public Safety

Much of the crime related to the medical cannabis industry is a result of prohibition–not the plant. The EGA works diligently to help legitimize and support medical cannabis growers who wish to operate in accordance with state and local laws. As more and more growers make the transition from illicit operations to legal businesses public safety will increase.

When something like medical cannabis is made illegal its value increases tremendously, making it attractive to anyone wanting to make a quick buck, including criminal gangs and cartels. Driven by huge profits, criminals control the market and commit crimes that are a direct threat to public safety and even if they are caught and put in jail another willing participant will quickly fill in the gaps, thus, continuing the cycle.

The alternative to this chaos is to tax and regulate, which puts control back into the hands of responsible, licensed, business people and regulators who have the best interests of the community in mind.

When we treat medical cannabis as a health issue and not a law enforcement issue the outcomes are safer medicine, and safer streets.

Patient Wellness

Patient wellness is paramount to the EGA and we encourage the full disclosure of any product, additive, or fertilizer used in the production or processing of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. It is also vital to ensure that the product maintains its quality and integrity during processing, transportation, and storage so that, like any other medicinal product, its freshness and beneficial properties can be maximized. To this end, the EGA is committed to educating both producers and patients alike about industry best practices relating to proper production, processing, and packaging.

Medical Cannabis Standards

Why are medical cannabis standards so important?

There are a myriad of reasons to embrace higher standards of medical cannabis but at its core, it’s a question of quality and purity. Currently, without growing standards in place, patients simply don’t know what they are consuming. Potency, purity (synthetic/chemical vs. all-natural nutrients), and provenance all come into question.

Sustainably grown medicinal cannabis is about working in harmony with the environment to produce a high-quality product that patients can have complete confidence in. With input from our diverse membership we will continue to develop and refine sustainable growing standards for the medicinal cannabis industry and continue to raise the bar even higher.