Can Cannabis Be Organic? See our informational presentation from the 2023 California State Fair with Certification Services Manager Caitlin Slay.
Cannabis products are only intended for adults ages 21 and older, or 18 and older with a physician's recommendation. This video details the certification and compliance process behind the product.
CCOF supports California licensed commercial cannabis operations with a comparable-to-organic program. OCal certification ensures cannabis operations meet standards that are consistent with the National Organic Program (NOP). Operations that gain OCal certification will be able to use both the CCOF Cannabis Logo and the OCal Seal on their products.
We are accepting applications from licensed cannabis cultivator and handler (distributors and manufacturers) operations in the state of California
First of its Kind
While there are private standards for “clean cannabis,” the OCal program is the first unified standard to be government regulated. Administered by the state of California, this program is the only one of its kind in the nation and directly compares to regulations for certified organic producers. Certified OCal producers can reach new markets with proof of transparent and conscientious production methods, and consumers can trust OCal products to meet the same environmental, health, and public safety benefits they find in organic products. Currently certified OCal operations will likely be the first to enter the national organic cannabis market once cannabis is federally recognized.
Better for the Environment
Conventional cannabis production may use any input (i.e., pesticides, fertilizers, etc.) allowed by the Department of Pesticide Regulation in California. Many of these inputs are synthetic toxic chemicals that can degrade soil, water, and air quality. In contrast, OCal regulations have the same input restrictions as the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations for organic farmers. This prohibits the use of most synthetic substances commonly used in conventional agriculture.
Just like in the NOP regulations, the OCal regulations also require cannabis farmers to implement practices that maintain or improve the natural resources of their operation, including the soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife on a cannabis farm. Peer reviewed science shows that organic farming practices sequester carbon, protect pollinators, keep water sources clean, and provide a multitude of other ecosystem services. These practices build healthy soils that store carbon, reduce levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and mitigate climate change.
Better for Farmworkers and Processors
Due to the prohibition of toxic chemicals in OCal production, OCal operations foster workplaces that protect workers from the adverse health effects of routine synthetic pesticide exposure, including higher risks of numerous cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and respiratory disorders.
Better for Consumers
The OCal prohibition of toxic chemicals means that these chemical residues are not present on OCal-certified flower. Cannabis laboratories test all California cannabis for the presence of 66 pesticide residues. However, when laboratories test OCal cannabis for pesticide residue, they are testing for the presence of an additional 122 pesticides. Chemical pesticides and herbicides have been linked to birth defects, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, and other health problems.
In addition, the OCal regulations dictate which added ingredients and processing methods can be use when creating manufactured cannabis products like edibles or concentrates. This means that OCal edibles only contain OCal certified cannabis extracted with approved methods, and certified organic added ingredients, such as organic fruit, sugars, and butter.
Ready to get OCal certified?
The Certification Process:
Request our OCal Certification Application here!
Complete the CCOF OCal Certification Contract and all supporting OCal System Plan documents. You can submit to CCOF via email (email@example.com) or mail (2155 Delaware Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060).
Owners of currently CCOF-certified organic operations may use code “NOPCLIENT” on the discount code line of the OCal Certification Contract to waive the $350 New OCal Applicant fee.
CCOF reviews the forms for completeness and ability to comply. If additional information is needed, CCOF will request that information.
Once the application is approved, an inspector will be sent to the operation. If applicable, CCOF will attempt to combine NOP annual Organic and OCal inspections when possible.
CCOF will review the inspection report and, if no issues arise, grant certification.
Once certification is granted, annual inspections will review practices for compliance to the OCal standards.
For guidance on drafting your OCal Labels, please review our OCal Labeling Guide.
For more information, read our OCal Certification FAQs and visit the OCal Websites:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (831) 423-2263 ext. 1 with any additional questions.