The Guardian writes

For Kristin Nevedal, Super Silver Haze is not always the same Super Silver Haze. Like the concept of “terroir” in foods, she and many growers believe the characteristics of cannabis plants vary depending on their local environment.

“There are obvious differences between, say, a Super Silver Haze that is cultivated at a 700ft elevation and a Super Silver Haze that is cultivated at a 2,200ft elevation in Humboldt County,” said Nevedal, a marijuana activist and former grower.

There are champagne labels for wine and roquefort labels for cheese, so could there be a Humboldt Haze label for marijuana?

Cannabis appellation – one of the provisions in new California regulations that went into effect this year – could ensure that certain strains – for instance, Mendo Purps, which was first cultivated in Mendocino, California – are only grown in certain regions, not simply plants of that origin cultivated elsewhere.

Aside from being useful to the discerning consumer who might “want the specialty stuff they can bring out for special occasions or just want to treat themselves”, appellations could protect small farmers against “big marijuana”, said Dale Sky Jones, chancellor of cannabis-centric Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California.

It could ensure that growers in a specific area who built the state’s prestige by producing high-quality strains retain exclusive rights over that location in marketing, so that Santa Cruz sensimilla or Bodega-grown Blue Dream is reliably from those locations.

“This is how small business competes with big marijuana”, Jones said. “And this is why this is so unbelievably important … Appellation is going to wind up being the first line of defense.”