“The Wine Advocate” is the bible of wine, and it’s also an authority in the world of cannabis. Wine Spectator, a leading magazine that is distributed to more than 100,000 subscribers, recently released an issue about marijuana. The special issue, which is available online for free, is titled “Cannabis: The Wines of the Time.”

Wine Spectator magazine has released their special issue on (hash)cannabis titled “Sippin’ With the Winners” and it features a gallery of ultra-high-end pot products from the likes of Jonathan Adler, Jerome Bettis, Jared Leto, and Vincent Gallo.

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June’s front page looks at the cannabis situation in California’s wine regions.

New York, NY (May 26, 2021) – Since the passage of California’s Proposition 64 in 2016, many farmers have been flocking to the Golden State’s best wine regions to grow cash crops. While some growers are unconcerned about the increase in cannabis production, many others are concerned that they will have to compete with the cannabis industry for water, tourism, harvest labor and market share. In an unprecedented editorial move, Wine Spectator magazine devotes its June issue to the topic of cannabis, examining the different sentiments and approaches to regulation in various wine-producing countries.

Cannabis cultivation in California is expected to soar in the coming years, accounting for 20 percent of the country’s total growth by 2025. The state leads the rest of the country with $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2020, or 27 percent of all legal sales in the United States.

Cannabis is already here, and its spread to California’s wine regions could lead to the biggest change in the state since the rise of the high-end wine industry, said Marvin R. Shenken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator. While the potential benefits are significant, the reality is that districts in California are largely free to determine how and to what extent they accept or reject cannabis. From our office in Napa, we have done extensive research on this topic and discovered what the future holds.

There are profiles on the cover:

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY:

  • New Frontier Culture
    : Consent; cultivation licence : 1,379
  • Production: License. Retail: PermittedSanta Barbara County has embraced cannabis by introducing flexible regulations. This led to the growth of many plantations in the vicinity of vineyards and wineries, resulting in political conflicts between neighbors. Because the permits were issued in locations adjacent to well-known wine-growing areas, winemakers are concerned that the smell will interfere with customers smelling and tasting the wine when they visit. Other wineries welcome cannabis, debunk the idea that the crops are incompatible and hope that educating people about the positive aspects of the cannabis industry will help break down barriers and hostility.
NAPA DISTRICT:

  • Not in my backyard,
    Grow: Prohibited; cultivation permit : Zero
  • Production: Forbidden. Retail: Medical dispensaries onlyCommercial cannabis cultivation is currently not allowed in Napa County. While some see cannabis as an excellent opportunity to generate additional income on land unsuitable for grape growing, the transfer of cannabis terpenes and pesticides from vineyards raises concerns that they are bad neighbors in agriculture. Some still believe the two industries can complement each other, while others attribute the resistance to philosophical and generational ideals. The debate continues over whether the addition of cannabis will hurt or help the Napa name.
SONOMA AND MONTEREY COUNTY:

  • Recipes for Success
    Cultivation : Authorized;
  • Cultivation permit: 126 (Sonoma); 477 (Monterey)
  • Production: License. Retail: AssignedMore than twice the size of Napa, Sonoma has much more room for responsible cannabis cultivation. This created a harmonious relationship with minimal friction. Establishments like Sonoma Hills Farm, whose owner comes from the French Laundry, have created a model for responsible and sustainable cannabis cultivation in wine country. Farm works to educate users, normalise cannabis and remove stigma. Outdoor pilot projects in Monterey are gathering data showing that the two cultures can coexist peacefully.
MENDOCINO COUNTY:

  • Deep roots, new look
  • Culture: Consent; cultivation licence : 819
  • Production: License. Retail: Competent

Mendocino has been one of the state’s premier cannabis producing areas since before legalization. The county is home to a third of the famous Emerald Triangle. As part of the counterculture of the 1960s, young people from the Bay Area flocked here to enjoy the pastoral life. Today, the region produces more cannabis than any other place in the United States. Cannabis growers and grape growers are very close to each other, but don’t seem to have much animosity. Despite the illegal market, which many hope will be legalized across the country, there is hope for more wine and cannabis tourism.

You can read the full cover story in the June issue of Wine Spectator magazine.

About Wine Spectator Magazine

The Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. At the heart of the brand is Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches nearly 3 million readers worldwide, as well as the most comprehensive wine website online (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of branded events. Wine Spectator explores the world of wine from vineyard to table, examines the role of wine in contemporary culture, and provides expert commentary on more than 15,000 wines each year. The parent company of Mr. Shanken Communications, Inc. also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

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