Despite the Prospect of Local Competition, California Wine Growers are Embracing Cannabis
In Northern California, weed and wine rule the land. With cannabis legalization officially on the books though, and a regulated retail market on the near horizon, worrisome reports have set vino and bud as rivals fighting over employees and intoxication-industry market share. But are California’s two favorite intoxicating cash crops really clashing?
According to a new report from the New York Times, the two industries are actually more intertwined than they are competitors.
“People are trying to say there is a threat, but I really haven’t talked to any wine industry person yet who actually sees it that way,” Tina Caputo, a freelance writer specializing in wine, told the Times.
The wine world’s love of intricacy and detail is shared by the cannabis community, and even before legalization, NorCal’s wine producers have not been shy about their love for the sticky-icky.
“Our world revolves around intoxicants, but it also revolves around flavor,” Phil Coturri, a cannabis enthusiasts who happens to be one of Sonoma and Napa Valley’s most revered wine growers, told the Times. “Just as we look at wine, we might look at a bud and dissect its aroma and characteristics.”
The jack of both trades says he expects the weed industry to eventually resemble the wine industry, with high priced luxury providers and low-level, cheaper varieties - or as Coturri puts it, “You’ll have your ‘Walmart pot,’ your ‘Yellow Tail of pot’ that will be insipid.”
But even with that inevitable expansion, Coturri still doesn’t see the cannabis industry ever directly competing with the world of wine.
“I see marijuana growing as something underground that is coming to the forefront,” he said. “It’s almost a companion piece. I don’t see competition with the wine industry at all.”