New, Local, Sun-Grown Cannabis Organization Grabs Attention

Humboldt County birthed a new cannabis organization this week and it’s grabbed a lot of attention for such a young group. The International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA), a non-profit organization, formed to represent and promote sun grown marijuana, splashed right into the state capital with a story in the Sacramento Bee last Friday.

One of the main missions of the group is educating the consumer about the benefits of traditionally farmed cannabis. “The consumer isn’t asking questions that differentiate the sun grown flower from the indoor flower,” Nevedal said. “We haven’t educated the consumer on the superior ecological practices of sun grown.”

The ICFA is working with a marketing and branding firm.  “If we can’t drive consumer demand, we are going to continue to have a hard time getting our product into the marketplace,” Nevedal explained. “There is a huge portion of consumers that are concerned about what they put in their body. We can help that consumer understand why traditionally farmed cannabis is the product they want.”

NInternational Cannabis Farmers Association.evedal said that ICFA will be working with scientists to gather data. Right now, she said, facts need to be gathered to prove which practices are ecologically superior. “While we are doing advocacy work,” Kristin Nevedal the new organization’s chair said, “we want to focus a lot of our energy on research and education.”

In addition, the new organization, Nevedal said, exists to get cannabis growers the ability to market their product by appellation–so that flowers grown in Humboldt can be legally protected as having come from that specific region just as sparkling wine must be grown in the Champagne region of France to carry that designation.

“We’re looking forward to working with people throughout the world to establish cannabis appellations,” Nevedal explained. According to her, the Jamaican government filed application for appellations of origin for cannabis. So far that category while it exists internationally for wine and for other products doesn’t exist for cannabis. The Jamaicans, she said, have been gathering facts to support their claim that cannabis grown in different regions have distinctive features.

“They’re gathering the data,” she explained. “We’re hoping to piggyback on that data” to support the need for unique designations for cannabis grown in different regions.

Sun grown cannabis flower from the ICFA’s website.

“In order for [cannabis] to get international recognition, we are going to have to show it has contact with the natural world,” Nevedal said. “What that looks like we don’t know yet.” But, she said, it probably means the cannabis must have substantial interaction with native soil, native rain, and sun.

In addition, Nevedal’s farmers face another obstacle to selling their flowers. Many states do not allow sun grown cannabis to be sold to patients. “Currently, therapeutic varieties of cannabis are being required to be cultivated indoors or in greenhouses,” Nevedal pointed out. “We really need some education, some research, and some advocacy to bring cannabis back to being an agricultural crop being produced for human consumption…Regulators are pushing it indoors…from a lack of understanding.”

When asked about the low pass rate of sungrown cannabis when tested for microbials compared to indoor cannabis, Nevedal pointed out there is a lot “we don’t know.” But she said, there are two possibilities. One simply is that there are “a lot of the microbials in Mother Nature” and science doesn’t fully understand if some are useful or not. The other possibility is that farmers need to be educated on “food safety and handling.” (See information in blue below.)

One of the missions of ICFA is to provide help to farmers, too. “We will be opening a resource center in Garberville where folks come get educational materials,” Nevedal said. “Farmers need a central spot where they can get information,” she explained. “Eureka is kinda far.”

In addition, she explained, the ICFA hopes center will be “a stopping point for tourists.” Visitors from outside the industry will be encouraged to look into sungrown cannabis. Non-marijuana products from sungrown brands will be offered for sale. In addition, directions to places sungrown cannabis products can be bought will be offered. “People wanting to come to Humboldt for canna-tourism but not knowing how to engage in it” will be given help.

“When tourists come through it is not like they can come to our farms,” Nevedal explained. “So we’ll offer a map where they can purchase traditionally farmed cannabis products.”

The ICFA also will be offering newsletters. “We hope folks will sign up and get engaged and use this as a resource,” Nevedal said. Readers can learn more and on their Facebook page.

In a male dominated industry, the all female current board of the ICFA is anomaly. “It wasn’t planned that way,” Nevedal laughed. “An all female board is just how it happened.”

“Pretty much all my board right now is from Humboldt or the Bay Area,” she added. “We are going to expand our board diversity through the advisory board. We have some awesome candidates…While we might lack diversity in our own strange way, [the board members] are passionate, committed and willing to put in energy.”

Cannabis from ICFA

Screengrab of the Board page on the ICFA’s website.

The ICFA is looking to increase diversity over time, she said. “Not just diversity in ethnicity, race and gender but also in what [members] bring to the table in their background. We are looking for scientists, regulators, and more….Hopefully a representative from law enforcement, and from…research. We want to round out the conversation.”

The group is partnering with several local cannabis organizations including the Southern Humboldt Community Alliance, the Humboldt Sun Growers Guild and the Mendocino Appellation Project.

To Reduce Microbial Fail Rates:

Everything that the cannabis bud touches is a potential source of contamination so it is important to get the protocols in place to sanitize everything.

Things to sanitize:

  • harvest shears 
  • drying lines
  • bins
  • tables
  • trays (stainless steel are easy to clean)
  • bowls
  • trimming scissors
  • screens used to sort buds

Buy new paper sacks to hold the buds. In addition, don’t use oil. Use alcohol to clean trimming scissors.

“It really, really needs to be a very, very clean setting,” Nevedal explained.

In addition, there is some anecdotal evidence, Nevedal said, that indicates waiting too long to harvest can cause higher microbial rates. ” As soon as the trichomes start to turn milky, then they start to shrink,” she argued. “They are decomposing then.”




  • Oh great, more dope growers attracted to our county. One day most of us will come to regret what is happening to our county but it will be too late.

  • I’ve never done indoor all my medicine has always been organic with full sun to me that’s the only way to grow medicine ,so right on. I think the new hot ticket is organic outdoor full sun weed is going to become more popular than indoor nuclear cannabis .so yes to organic full sun cannabis.

    • One of the most ludicrous things I’ve read here. Medicine should be free of dust, pollen, spores, insect fecal matter, ect. Outdoor is already far more popular than indoor for recreational use, the end users just dont know it.

      • Recreational consumers usually get outdoor grown because it is cheaper. I am curious how much of your food is grown indoors? Most of mine comes from the fields and orchards where yes, nature does touch it.

        • Food is intended to be washed before being consumed. Im curious how much of your outdoor is washed before it is consumed? How much of your medicine is produced outdoors? If I made aspirin in my backyard, would you prefer that over aspirin made in a lab setting?

          • Yep. I’ll take herbs and homeopathic medicines that I know how it was produced over pharmaceuticals any time that I can!

    • I agree
      And I am having such a hard time getting a hold of some of this kind of medicine any suggestions here in the South bay much appreciated

  • Be Green and use the sun, if you can. Less of a footprint on our fragile planet..

    • As long as you ont use potting soil, divert water, grade, clear timber, use fungicides, displace native animals, ect.

  • Non-profit! JUST LIKE THE N.F.L.

  • Another generation of the ‘Put ‘Em In The Sun’ effort.
    This is EXACTLY what is needed!! (I have been talking to people privately about the need for this type effort for a decade).
    Seems like I heard about this on the radio recently….
    Kristin obviously understands the need to educate the public about the advantages of outdoor, sun bud. Tying it (via good PR) to the environment and climate change, is needed. And like ‘put ’em in the sun’, it can have positive effects, not only for the environment, local growers, and shifting the pot economy, but also for the health of consumers.
    And the org is blessed with an all female Board. (In case others in So Hum haven’t noticed, it’s women that are the true movers and shakers). Thank you, strong women, for stepping forward to help the community!!

    • Ridiculous! 99% of the cannabis produced here is already outdoor. Light dep has decimated the price per pound by flooding the market and nearly killed off indoor.

      Outdoor is not inherently better for the environment, in fact it is very often worse! THe same is true of health concerns.

  • This is evidence there are like minded people in this glorious journey! You go girls! I completely concur with Ben. Emerald Triangle needs to be capitalized on for appellation. Market it as the 21st century Napa or Bordeaux.

    • The problem with that is our outdoor market is not focused on producing high quality, boutique product. We produce at large scale, average quality and concentrate on a small number of strains.

      • You are referring to the black market. The new rec market will be about producing high quality product.

        • …or is that maximizing market share and revenues?

        • Wow, it must be nice to be able to predict the future. How about some betting tips?

          I hope you are right but in reality, the medical market has been used as a source for recreational cannabis for years now, and end users do not determine the quality of the products that are available.

  • Were any of em born here? Were any of them raised here? Go to school here?
    Does thier non profit have any plans to give back to the community? Or are they here to exploit? Not positioned one way or the other yet. But it would be nice if these business role models would also set an example of caring for our community as much or more as they do as thier flowers.

    • Nothing better than marketing and branding. Just the words make me hard. I’m with Bill Hicks on this one…

      When exactly did never leaving your hometown become a point of pride?

      I like Joe Rogan’s theory on the “Townies of the World”. You know, Jerusalem and such… Where they can’t stop throwing bombs at each other..

      • Growers did more for the community than you care to know.

        • MCC, RRHC, SHCHD, Beginnings, Skyfish, Garberville Theater, Sohum Community Garden/ Park, Friends of the Eel, a few non-profits that no longer exist and some I’m forgetting.. anything and everything Paul and Kathy did… what am I caring to forget??
          I love THAT generation. They DID give back… as opposed to baby boomers the rest of the world over.. not such a great job…

          • Trees Foundation, Heart of the Redwoods Hospice, and others.

          • ….And, KMUD, many VFDs, community schools, Feet First, Pure Schmindt, ETC! Plus, fixing a lot of the environment that the loggers f*#ked up! (Not to say growers haven’t done some damage too). Many ‘alternative community’ settlers fixed creeks and erosion problems that was on their land when they arrived. That, my friend, is worth a lot!!
            The So Hum community would be kinda backwater if it weren’t for the ‘back to the landers’ and marijuana! Count your blessings!!

      • you must be joking

        MOGTX and you know all is how

        the new ticket is full out door sun. ya sure. you should get out more.

    • Check out to read their bios and your questions will be answered!

    • As someone who has lived in Humboldt for two decades, I recognize a number of the board members and know them to be upstanding people who have always been an asset to their particular mountain communities. The whole drive and mission of an organization like this is to protect and build our local economy in order to support ourselves and our future generations. Humboldt does not have the market edge that prohibition granted us anymore. I, for one, am glad for a group like this. Hope this helps!

    • I recognize one of the board members who was born and raised here,
      and has always been involved in the community.

  • They need to educate. My back of the envelope calculation is that 32lbs of carbon is blown into the atmosphere for every pound of indoor grown. That is for the average from a nat gas plant, coal is much higher but we don’t really draw from those.

  • @Benbow… I know one of the women went to school here and always gives back to the community, I don’t know the others

  • The attack on indoor is rediculous. If you truly believe this is medicine, pay attn to cannabinoid degradation. Thc oxidizes to cbn even when kept cool and dark. Using solar in the winter, indoor decreases global levels earth toxic CO2! Hehehe…. These idiots are just trying to eliminate competition, and decrease supply. Greenhouse, light assist, dep….. Highest efficiency, highest yield per sq ft, best esthetics. Sorry, the crappy “full term” will never compete with indoor, greenhouse, or light assist. These dummies are just lazy losers seeing their dollars go to more innovative productive producers. If we actually see full decriminalization, Humboldt will grow as much grass as hops are grown in Hopland.

    • Medicine lol.

    • You still can’t get around the carbon numbers, 32lbs of carbon to 1 lb of indoor weed. I think AGW is a scam to fleece people of their money and freedom but it still adds to the fucking over of the planet, and we are fucking over the planet, just because sicko politicians are using to make bank doesn’t mean we aren’t. Burning that much carbon that we don’t know what damage it is doing removing it from the skin of the earth is absolutely fucking stupid for growing a goddamned plant that you can just put out in the sun naturally.

      • When you are done chuckin yerself, google MIT professor Richard Lindzen. Every indoor grower knows…. More CO2= Higher yield (up to 3x ppm of atmospheric levels; roughly 1000ppm). When people label the problem “carbon” it asserts an issue with the likes of carbon12 as opposed to CO2 or hydrocarbons. Seriously… Tons of idiots don’t know whether they are fervently opposed to carbon, carbon dioxide or both. The first people to rant about carbon, CO2 etc. are usually people with BA degrees. These are the same folks that couldn’t pass a single science class with a lab in college. The same people who never took calc, physics, bio, chem, material science….. The people who never learned to critically think and have no concept of the scientific method.

      • How much carbon is released in transporting the materials required to grow, to outdoor sites? How much carbon is produced from hydro-electric generation? This is not a matter of indoor OR outdoor, each is appropriate for different goals.

    • you must be joking

      Throttlebro. liked your post . nice to see not all on here just full of hot air. just what we need another group of self appointed experts, with most info based on what? not facts. i meet these people all the time. they remind me of used car salesmen. and then i see what they grow. most grow crap weed , at best there back back yard hobbyist.

    • Local Consultant

      Looking for a job?

    • I know a lot of older folks prefer full term cannabis. It can be a much longer, level high than indoor. It just does not have that glow in the dark bright green that captures your eye. Weed has always been a “show and tell” product.


  • No one is going to give a shit once phillip morris and the central valley take over.

    • I will give tons of shits!….. when I can buy 150 acres of land for dirt cheap! Set up a motocross track and go braaaaaap all day on a two smoke.

    • HAHAHAHA, Phillip Morris is who you are worried about? Central CA is growing hundreds of thousands of pounds right now, as I type and they are lettuce farmers, not tobacco companies.

      • Humboldt branding has already been on a international level. Those who truly love to grow and have been doing so for years will be able to make a living. It will never be the money it once was but that is not the point.

        • That is not the brightest comment.

          • tell that to the youth who’s minds are saturated with this nonsense. who can’t even pass a drug test to get a job. who’d rather be heathens then contribute honestly to a better society. this shit is just another way of creating lazy, dishonest, corruptable next generation shitbags. but hey,as long as you folks get paid what the hell do you care. because if you cared about our youth,you wouldn’t be doing it.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    I’d like to see marijuana eridicated and all growers deported.

    I’d also like to see dreadlocks made illegal as well.

  • I think it is a genuine attempt to rebrand “outdoor as sun grown”, in that they believe what they are saying.

    ““We haven’t educated the consumer on the superior ecological practices of sun grown.”

    I am a second gen grower and have a BS in biology with an emphasis in ecology.

    Outdoor is NOT inherently superior in any way, especially ecologically. This depends entirely on the practices of the grower and the method of electrical generation. Medicinally, a medical grade product cannot be produced outdoors. You can make aspirin in a bathtub, on your back porch, but it would not meet the standards to which we hold medicine.

    • What are talking about. Cbds do not fully develop when grown indoor. Cannabis is an herb not a drug.

      • “Cbds do not fully develop when grown indoor.”

        What is your source for this?

        “Cannabis is an herb not a drug.”

        It is an herb and a drug. You should read the definitions of the terms. Not all drugs are medicines. If a substance is sold as a medicine, it should be of medicinal quality, something essentially not possible for outdoor cannabis.

        • “it should be of medicinal quality, something essentially not possible for outdoor cannabis.”

          How do you know this? Do we just have to believe you, or do you have any evidence?

          What research on acceptable microbiological contaminant levels are you basing this on? What research shows all outdoor grown cannabis to be contaminated beyond what’s acceptable?

          Just as there are outdoor growers who don’t know how to produce quality herb, there are many indoor growers who have constant problems with pest and disease pressure.

          Talking about what’s possible and what’s inevitable in the current context seems like mere posturing. Let’s see your data, if you have them.

  • Buy the way I was born in garberville hospital in 1960 ,and have lived here my whole life does this mean I’m a native lol

    • And you lived to talk about it, You are one of the lucky ones, the Garberville hospital has a poor record when it comes to your health. That Mexican doctor who worked there almost killed me, and would have if not for another doctor stepping in.
      He told me I had hemorrhoids when in fact I had colon cancer,
      I am just ranting, that hospital will do that to you.

  • Local Consultant

    This isn’t a issue of “ecological superiority”. Consumers aren’t smoking the environment. You’re asking consumers to inhale or ingest your product so you can create a return to operate a business. How that product is cultivated to provide the least amount of Consumer risk is the important issue here.
    When comparing indoor to outdoor cultivation practices and adverse health impacts, there is no comparison. Indoor creates a far superior/clean product by having the ability to create and control the perfect environment. Giving the company the ability to have product consistsncy across the board. Like clock-work. Basic consumer standards here. Once the FDA is in control of testing, Organic Outdoor practices will compromise any “farmers” ability to bring product to market due to a slew of contamination. Resulting in rejection. Remember,
    You’re asking someone to smoke weed, not the environment.

    • I find indoor to be a poor product. I stop smoking it 6 or 7 years ago. FDA might make outdoor impossible to pass a test.

    • Good clean cannabis is very important (and personally I am more confident in the cleanliness of outdoor organic since indoor is rarely cultivated without pesticides) but you are inhaling “the environment” every single time you take a breath!

      • Outdoor is RARELY cultivated without pesticides and fungicides.

        • Indoor is RARELY cultivated without pesticides and fungicides.

          See how easy it is to make assertions without verifiable evidence?

      • Poor Crowdsourcing Effort

        Sorry Caitlian, you’re very beautiful but also very wrong.
        Real Testing proves otherwise.
        “Sun Grown” Humboldt ” Cannabis” has an expiration date and that day is when the FDA decides if your product goes to market or not.
        But hey, there’s always the black market right? Who cares if people are dying from fungal infections in the lungs.

  • “We haven’t educated the consumer on the superior ecological practices of sun grown.”

    lets call this what it is…marketing. grade school kids comprehend the eco-difference. but people are poor and will buy cheaper bud because, chemy or not (and a lot is not) is just as safe and effective for all practical purposes. will this farm glue themselves to the wine-and-cheeze snobbery of highest prices = quality? or is their mission really to get clean medicine to as many people as possible, not just the wealthy who can afford to smoke a $20/day habit? its not cynical to believe the later. the black market will thrive, as its still thriving, because of this attitude around language and semantics, stemming from government just the same.

  • Rhbb is nothing more than a low budget drug pushing propaganda shitshow. i will never in my life revisit this biased one sided shitshow again. adios fuckers!

  • Many strong opinions, little sharing of data.

    The way some people talk, outdoor herb is bad because its roots have dirt on them.

  • does no one remember what happened the last time this lady was in charge of an “organization”??????

  • Just The Facts Mam...

    A few facts:

    1. Both indoor and outdoor are equally as often cultivated with pesticides and fungicides.

    2. Indoor and outdoor organic frequently don’t pass microbial tests. Why? Simple, there are microbials (guano, etc) in soil that easily (dust, wind, handling) transfer to flowers.

    3. Indoor hydroponic cannabis grown without pesticides and fungicides is consistently the cleanest tested cannabis.

    4. Hydroponic indoor uses far less water to grow a pound of cannabis compared to the water it takes to grow a pound of full sun outdoor.

    5. Don’t like the carbon footprint of indoor? Look for 100% Solar grown hydroponic indoor. PG&E’s “Solar Choice Program” allows indoor growers the opportunity to buy all of their power from solar power being produced in California and fed back to the grid at the same time reinvesting the additional proceeds into increasing California’s solar power grid, and solar power holding and distribution capacity.

    6. All diesel grown indoor (hydro or soil) has a non-mitigatable carbon footprint. Glad the HumCo supes didn’t allow for it. Only diesel allowed for “back-up power only” not main power to grow indoor or mixed-light.

    • Can you please provide some published data to support your assertions about relative contamination of indoor and outdoor cannabis?

      All this “just trust me. I know what I’m talking about” doesn’t inspire much confidence.

      • Just The Facts Mam...

        Any of the respected labs (below) can and would be your best resource to validate my comments about rates of microbial contamination of indoor vs. outdoor cannabis.

        SC Labs – (866) 435-0709

        Pure Analytics – ( 888) 505-7108

        Steep Hill Labs – (510) 562-7400

        Another factor to consider is whether the cannabis (regardless of indoor/outdoor or organic/hydro) was trimmed wet or dry. Trimming cannabis wet and/or picking fan leaves wet before drying greatly increases the opportunity for microbials to flourish as does the percentage of water in the sample at the time of testing.

        • So I’m supposed to call the labs and ask them to verify if there’s a lighter microbiological load on indoor buds? lol

          What I’d like to see is published data discussing acceptable bacteriological counts for human-consumed cannabis.

          Until we have that, the notion of “clean” and “dirty” cannabis is nothing more than marketing.

          Isn’t the truth that any object exposed to air will quickly gather billions of yeast and lactic acid bacteria on its surface?

          Like the rhizosphere, the phyllosphere of plants is colonized by all sorts of beasties. It’s their type and concentration that’s important, not their presence–they’re ubiquitous.

          In outdoor plants, properly balanced soil and an active, healthy phyllosphere do a lot to send a variety of pests elsewhere for their meals.

          A plant free of all microbiology is not a desirable goal, imo, whether it’s possible or not.

    • You sure you can’t have diesel, mixed light? People are doing it and going through the permitting process.

  • Plants, animals, humans, grow better with sun….not lamps!
    No product is perfectly clean, not even the before mentioned aspirin,
    oops..a hair from the lab coat or the packers.
    IMHO 🙂

  • what a complete load of HORSESHIT!!!

    • Not my Flippin neighbor

      Goodbye already. You consistently offer microbials no matter what your comment is Guest. I, for one and I believe many, will be thankful when you actually do exit the building. You consistently offer nothing productive and give a sour contaminated product with all your responses. Your aren’t a neighbor. You are some sour puss living in sourpussville.

  • I don’t know any outdoor growers who don’t grow organically nor do I know any indoor ones who do and I know a fair amount of both. I think indoor operations tend to be more strict in their insistence that trimmers wear disposable gloves. Maybe that accounts for some of the results or maybe the pesticides and fungicides that indoor growers use kill off any microbials. (What microbials are we talking about anyway? Not all are unhealthy). Most indoor is trimmed wet and most outdoor dry. This is all my opinion based on extensive observations over the last decade. So, no links. All anecdotal.
    As a matter of fact, on my farm we did rinse our outdoor crop after cutting to rinse off dust and insects etc…

  • In addition, Nevedal’s farmers face another obstacle to selling their flowers. Many states do not allow sun grown cannabis to be sold to patients.

    Having problems selling girls you don’t need marketing and branding, you need better friends
    Boxes boxes and more boxes!

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