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‘Sustainability is not enough’: Why cannabis farmers should look to regenerative agriculture

Sustainability is a hot-button topic that’s become increasingly important as commercial cannabis farms scale up with expanding legalization. To be “sustainable” means you’re able to maintain a level of output continuously. With farming, this means providing the correct inputs for a healthy and thriving ecosystem as you take outputs from the land. Amending soil, introducing crop diversity, and sourcing water efficiently are all part of sustainable agriculture.

What Is Regenerative Farming?

Regenerative agriculture, defined by the regenerative design consultancy Terra Genesis International, is “a system of farming principles and practices that increase biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services.” While regenerative agricultural practices have been around for centuries, many of these approaches have been replaced by those that favor commercial farms with large yields.

Cannabis offers an opportunity to re-address how we can support small farms with diverse, high-quality strains while meeting consumer needs. Regenerative farming provides a holistic approach to producing biodiverse cannabis that is grown consciously with the plant and the planet as top priorities. Like with wine vineyards, compassion for the plant is celebrated as farmers grow top-tier cannabis that holds unique characteristics specific to the earth it was raised in.

Regenerative Farming in Practice

To learn more about regenerative farming in cannabis, we met with Kelly Dunn and Josh Sarvis of Dragonfly Earth Medicine in BC, Canada. Dragonfly Earth Medicine is pushing a regenerative program called DEM Pure Certification among cannabis farmers, extractors, and vendors who all work towards the common goal of generating life in their communities.

“To us, regenerative farming goes beyond sustainable because we see our agriculture system as a failing system,” Sarvis said. “Sustaining something that is failing is just not good enough for us as a community. Regenerating life on…

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