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Fair Trade Cannabis – Sun + Earth Certified

The three pillars of Sun + Earth Certification

Sun + Earth Certified farms take care of the earth, empower their workers, and engage with their community



One of the best things about cannabis legalization and the accompanying regulation is that you know exactly what you’re getting whenever you purchase cannabis in a dispensary.  Not only do you know the specific quantity of cannabinoids like THC and CBD that the bud contains, but you also know that it’s free of pesticide and fungal residues and heavy metals.  All legal cannabis must be certified through the California Department of Food and Agriculture with standards very much like those of certified organic produce.


But all certifications are not equal.  CDFA certification is the bare minimum for legal cannabis in California, but there are also other certifications that pot farms in California can get by voluntarily going above and beyond, and applying to third parties that offer certifications for farms willing to adhere to far more stringent guidelines than are required by the standard CDFA certification.


Dr. Bronner's soaps

Sun + Earth Certification was created by the folks from Dr. Bronner’s, the company that makes the ecological soaps with the interesting passages on their labels


Chief among these is Sun and Earth Certification, created by the folks at Dr. Bronner’s, the company famous for making ecological soaps since 1858.  They’re the soaps you see at health food stores with all the interesting passages written all over their labels.



Farms that are Sun and Earth Certified adhere to three basic tenets:


  1. All sun and Earth Certified farms use regenerative practices.

It’s not enough to just be organic.  All Sun and Earth Certified farms regenerate the land they grow on, leaving it better than when they started through practices like rebuilding the soil through practices like crop rotation, companion planting, cover cropping, limiting tilling, and composting.


      2. All Sun and Earth Certified farms prioritize the rights of their farm workers, making sure they’re both treated and paid fairly.


      3. All Sun and Earth Certified farms are required to focus on and engage with the community.



It gets more detailed than that, of course.  You can read the five PDFs that spell out all the specific requirements for Sun and Earth Certification here.


You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that a great deal of the farms that are Sun and Earth Certified are the legacy farms of The Emerald Triangle that have been stewards of the land for generations, going all the way back to the back to the land movement of the 1970s. 


Sun & Earth certified farms do more than just follow a certain set of guidelines.  They uphold an ethos of working in harmony with nature and with their community, creating thriving environs, including maintaining a living soil filled with microbes, beneficial insects, and companion plants that work in harmony with each other, maintaining a holistic and healthy ecosystem.


Tourists on a cannabis farm tour looking at concentrates

Our partner farm, Tall Tree Society, is a Sun + Earth Certified farm


Our partner farm, Tall Tree Society, plants brassicas to be the proverbial canary in the coal mine that the harmful bugs attack before they move on to their cannabis plants, arugula to attract the beneficial insects that prey on the pests, vetch, clover, and peas to fix nitrogen in the soil, and borage and California poppies to attract the bees.  


A perfect illustration of the difference in the  mindset of farmers that attain Sun & Earth certification and those that are simply certified as organic by the CDFA is a question that one of our tour guests asked this past weekend on one of our cannabis farm tours.  Many of the people that come on our tours are looking for growing tips for their own personal grows.  A gentleman on my last tour had problems with moles attacking his plants.  They were a huge thorn in his side.  He’d lost about two thirds of his plants to the little critters munching them.  I told him about the clever way one of our previous partner farms dealt with them.  They actually used Fruit Stripe gum of all things.  The farmer dropped sticks of gum down the mole holes, and the moles ate the sweet gum which clogged up their digestive system and killed them without introducing any poisons or toxins to the grow – a totally organic solution.  


a flowering pea plant growing among cannabis plants

Planting peas among the cannabis plants fixes nitrogen in the soil


When we got to Tall Tree Society Farm, he asked Shane, the owner and master grower, the same question he asked me.  Shane said that the moles were munching on the lower plant stems and roots  to get water.  His solution was to plant carrots or potatoes among the weed to give the moles something else to munch, or to simply leave out a bowl of water for them.  Sun & Earth certification is all about working in harmony with the entire variety of life that lives on the farm, rather than viewing some members of the natural ecosystem as enemies to be eliminated.


The farmers that go through all the extra effort to qualify for Sun and Earth certification hold themselves to a much higher standard than most weed farmers, and it shows in the quality of the cannabis they produce.  You simply can’t get the same terpene and cannabinoid profiles growing under artificial lights using chemical fertilizers that you can produce using the full spectrum of light you can only get from the sun, and growing in soil that is teeming with life from worms to microbes, fed by a network of companion plants, both living and composted.  Many of our guests have smoked weed for decades, and have never tasted cannabis of this high quality before, and they’re absolutely blown away.  They didn’t know pot could be this good.  Many said that it felt like they were smoking weed for the very first time in their lives.


Tourists taking selfie on a Northern California pot farm

If you want to taste the difference Sun + Earth Certification makes, come on one of our cannabis farm tours


If you’re ready to taste the difference on a farm that really cares to make a difference in the world, book a cannabis farm tour with us today, and get ready to be blown away!