Craft Weed: Family Farming and the Future of the Marijuana Industry (Hardcover)

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How the future of post-legalization marijuana farming can be sustainable, local, and artisanal.

What will the marijuana industry look like as legalization spreads? Will corporations sweep in and create Big Marijuana, flooding the market with mass-produced weed? Or will marijuana agriculture stay true to its roots in family farming, and reflect a sustainable, local, and artisanal ethic? In Craft Weed, Ryan Stoa argues that the future of the marijuana industry should be powered by small farms—that its model should be more craft beer than Anheuser-Busch.

To make his case for craft weed, Stoa interviews veteran and novice marijuana growers, politicians, activists, and investors. He provides a history of marijuana farming and its post-hippie resurgence in the United States. He reports on the amazing adaptability of the cannabis plant and its genetic gifts, the legalization movement, regulatory efforts, the tradeoffs of indoor versus outdoor farms, and the environmental impacts of marijuana agriculture. To protect and promote small farmers and their communities, Stoa proposes a Marijuana Appellation system, modeled after the wine industry, which would provide a certified designation of origin to local crops. A sustainable, local, and artisanal farming model is not an inevitable future for the marijuana industry, but Craft Weed makes clear that marijuana legalization has the potential to revitalize rural communities and the American family farm.

As the era of marijuana prohibition comes to an end, now is the time to think about what kind of marijuana industry and marijuana agriculture we want. Craft Weed will help us plan for a future that is almost here.

About the Author


Ryan Stoa is Associate Professor of Law at Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho.

Praise For…


...a smart and level-headed assessment of how cannabis agriculture has been shaped and the endless possibilities that lie ahead....Craft Weed is a good read for people who are interested in going beyond the surface of business and learning about some of the other pieces that impact the vulnerable cannabis market.—Cannabis Now

Stoa writes with authority, and his book appeals to those who want to armor themselves with information about the different directions the marketplace can go.

The Spokane-Review

Stoa's expertise is undeniable.... Given the obvious complexities and persistent misunderstandings of the subject, some degree of cold, hard and detailed objectivity is perhaps necessary. It is when this is mixed with the (noticeably pro-cannabis) personal stories that Stoa peppers throughout, that Craft Weed is at its most accessible and, therefore, more effective at shedding light on an otherwise murky field.

Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details
ISBN: 9780262038867
ISBN-10: 0262038862
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: November 13th, 2018
Pages: 256
Language: English