California Association of Resource Conservation Districts Supports RCDs in developing their GRASS-C certification program
Organizations Behind GRASS-C
Resource Conservation Districts are the only established, publicly accountable technical assistance providers able to work with newly legalized cannabis farmers in California.
With generous support from the Land-Sea Connection program of Resources Legacy Fund, made possible by the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, CARCD, Mendocino County RCD, Trinity County RCD, Upper Salinas-Las Tablas RCD, Coastal San Luis RCD, and Cachuma RCD have been working with licensed outdoor cannabis farmers for the last few years to understand their stewardship successes and challenges.
Our Advisory Panel
The initiative has established a grower-based Advisory Panel which will help shape the certification. The Advisory Panel is made up of 11 leaders in licensed cannabis cultivation around the state—from San Luis Obispo County to Humboldt County, and east to Nevada County. Quarterly meetings are open to the public, and the GRASS-C team strongly encourages all licensed cannabis cultivators to participate.
Learn More About the Benefits of a GRASS-C Certification
Providing Tools For Growers
With the passage of Proposition 64, Upper Salinas Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (USLTRCD) recognized a unique opportunity to take a proactive approach to working with legal cannabis growers in our area. Given many cannabis operations had been operating outside of regulatory statutes and were possibly unaware of many resource issues, USLTRCD felt a need to provide technical expertise and work at the ground-level with local growers.
The RCD’s role in the community is not to tell growers what they should and shouldn’t do to conserve resources; we envisioned our role as giving growers a set of tools to evaluate their successes and areas needing improvement and to give them a resource to use to market themselves as good stewards. With this vision, USLTRCD created the Growing Responsible And Socially Sustainable – Cannabis program which is a self-assessment/third party verification program.
The program has caught the interest of local cannabis growers and stakeholders across the state. Recently, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) was approached by a funding agency to help RCDs work with cannabis growers in their districts to utilize GRASS-C as a tool for collaboration.
USLTRCD, along with several other participating RCDs, are moving forward with the GRASS-C program, updating it, and involving a wider array of stakeholders who see the benefit of having sustainably, locally-sourced cannabis. With funding now available, our RCD can work directly with landowners to provide technical assistance regarding their land use practices, cannabis operation, and certifying workforce equity.
“One of the most exciting aspects about the GRASS-C certification is a new opportunity to integrate it into the regulatory process, streamlining the permitting and licensing process to make it easier for growers to comply.
– Hezekiah Allen, Emerald Grown’s Chairperson
“This year, CARCD will focus on raising awareness about the benefits of the GRASS-C certification. We will also continue to engage relevant state agencies in dialog about how so many growers are excellent stewards of our precious natural resources and can help meet the state’s resource management goals.“
-Sara Letton, Project Coordinator
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD)