Industry Voices

DTC could save Calif. craft Cannabis

By WeedWeek
Aug 2, 2023
Jeff Nordahl, Founder and president Jade Nectar

By Jeff Nordahl

Just as small wineries and craft distillers are allowed to ship alcohol direct to customers’ homes within California, small craft cannabis farms should be allowed this same opportunity.

As corporate cannabis and industrial mega-farms begin to monopolize the California supply chains, small family cannabis farms are being squeezed out to the point of extinction.  An effective way to preserve and honor our small cannabis farms is to allow direct-to-consumer shipping of craft cannabis, before it’s too late. 



Here it is in FAQ form:

How would this work?
There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  The laws and logistics of the small wine and craft distiller direct-to-consumer alcohol shipping already exist.  Applying this legislation to cannabis could be nearly as simple as cutting and pasting the words ‘craft cannabis’ in place of ‘craft distiller’ in the recently passed California Senate Bill SB 620.

Who would do the shipping?
There are a number of California based shipping companies such as Golden State Overnight (GSO) which do not cross state lines. They already facilitate the age verification services for wine and spirits direct-to-consumer shipping.   This same service could easily be applied to the shipping of small quantities of cannabis to customers’ homes.

Would this require a new cannabis license type?
Not necessarily.  Perhaps the simplest solution is to add direct-to-consumer shipping as a new license activity for the current MicroBusiness cannabis license type.

The MicroBusiness Cannabis license is designed for small craft cannabis operations with a cultivation canopy limit of 10,000 sq ft or less (less than a quarter acre).  The MicroBusiness license also allows for in-house manufacturing/processing/packaging as well as distribution – meaning the MicroBusiness license holder is able to wholesale and deliver their craft cannabis products directly to licensed retailers or other distributors.

Adding direct-to-consumer shipping to the menu of MicroBusiness activities would provide the ability for these small farms to ‘distribute’ small quantities of their cannabis products direct to a shipper such as GSO for age verified shipping.  Again, the same procedure that wineries and craft distillers use to ship their alcohol products directly to customers.

Would large mega-farms be allowed to ship direct as well?
No!  Following the same logic and model as the craft wine and distiller shipping laws which define ‘craft’ package limits and annual production limits, only small cannabis farms would be allowed this option.  The purpose of a craft direct-to-consumer shipping program is to provide consumer options beyond what’s available in large scale retail operations and enable craft growers to reach consumers more easily.  If large corporate cannabis operators cry foul, let’s be honest, large scale alcohol retailers and producers are not going out of business due to a few craft wineries and distilleries shipping their craft products to customers.  The same will be true for the cannabis industry.  

Other benefits?
California First!  If California is the first state to develop a successful direct-to-consumer shipping framework, it would position the state to be ahead of the pack when federal legalization finally is approved.  California would be in a leadership position for shipping California craft cannabis across state lines.

A better cannabis experience for customers and farmers:
Many cannabis enthusiasts appreciate knowing where their cannabis is grown, and many craft cannabis farmers enjoy connecting with their customers.  It’s a win-win!

The time to act is now!
California’s long legacy of craft cannabis production and vibrant cannabis culture needs to be honored and preserved.  The next vital step in the evolution of our fledgling cannabis industry is to allow small cannabis farmers to continue their craft by providing direct-to-consumer shipping.  And that is California cool!


Jeff Nordahl is the owner of Jade Nectar, a licensed California cannabis Microbusiness located in the Santa Cruz Mountains that specializes in cultivating landrace & heirloom cannabis varieties.  The Jade Nectar brand specializes in craft cannabis olive oil tinctures created with ancient infusion techniques.  Before recreational cannabis was passed in California, he ran a cannabis medical collective that was inspired by his own recovery from chronic Lyme disease with the use of medicinal cannabis. Instagram: @JadeNectar


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