Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP)


On February 20, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released proposed regulations for establishing appellations of origin for cannabis. The release of these regulations marked the official start of the public comment period provided under California law. All interested parties were encouraged to submit comments about the proposed regulations by May 6, 2020. CDFA also received public comments during a virtual hearing on May 6, 2020.

CDFA announced modifications to the proposed appellations regulations and the first additional public comment period was October 2 to 19, 2020. The proposed regulations were modified again, prompting a second 15-day comment period from March 5 to April 12, 2021. CDFA released additional modifications to the proposed appellations regulations and a third additional public comment period was provided from June 3 to 18, 2021.

The public comment periods are now closed.

An appellation of origin is a protected designation that identifies the geographical origin of a product and, often, includes production requirements. CDFA’s Cannabis Appellations Program will help prevent the misrepresentation of a cannabis good’s origin and promote regional collaboration around cannabis production.

Per Business and Professions Code Section 26063(b), CDFA is required to develop a process by which state-licensed cannabis cultivators may establish appellations of origin. CDFA proposes amendments to Chapter 1, and adoption of Chapter 2, within Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations, to meet that mandate.

Cannabis Appellations Program Regulatory Materials

Initial Notice Documents (45-Day Comment Period)

First Additional Comment Period Documents (15-Day Comment Period)

Second Additional Comment Period Documents (15-Day Comment Period)

Third Additional Comment Period Documents (15-Day Comment Period)

September 2018 Statewide Public Workshop Materials

To gain stakeholder feedback and input, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hosted six public outreach sessions across the state in the fall of 2018, and CDFA has continued to collaborate with experts and industry associations as the Cannabis Appellations Program has developed.