– Sun+Earth Certified, a leading non-profit certification for regenerative organic cannabis and hemp, has expanded into the State of Michigan with its first urban farm located in the Palmer Park area of Detroit, ROI Urban Farms. In just over a year since its founding, the Sun+Earth Certified roster has more than doubled in size, with 38 cannabis farms in six states—California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin—demonstrating the consumer demand for regenerative organic cannabis grown under the sun by small-scale family farmers.
ROI Urban Farms uses biodynamic farming practices, backed by years of scientific research. With a mission centered on health and vitality, and a goal of providing the best possible “living food” for people in their community, ROI Urban Farms produces nutritive dense fruits, vegetables and herbs, in addition to cannabis and hemp for therapeutic use. ROI cultivation methods, including recycling spent carbon created by the farm, rotating and integrating crops, and use of compost, eliminate the need for petrochemical inputs.
“We chose to become Sun+Earth Certified because our studies of Permaculture convinced us that ethical and regenerative-based businesses will be at the forefront of the cannabis space in the not-too-distant future,” said Jamie Meyers, founder of ROI Urban Farms. “Not only do we grow elementally enhanced foods and cannabis for the people of Detroit, but we also help to educate youth and others in our local community about regenerative organic farming practices. We hope to inspire a new generation of progressive farmers to embrace our model of Modern Day Homesteading.”
A first-of-its-kind certification, Sun+Earth was founded on Earth Day 2019 by cannabis industry leaders, experts, and advocates with a common commitment to regenerative organic agriculture, farmer and farm-worker protections, and community engagement. Sun+Earth has since made great strides toward its goal of shifting the cannabis cultivation industry in a cleaner, healthier, and more ethical direction. For more on Sun+Earth Certified, go to: www.sunandearth.org.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed the progress of Sun+Earth Certified as we continue to approve new farms and expand into new states,” said Andrew Black, Executive Director of Sun+Earth Certified. “We’re also breaking new ground with the certification of our first urban farm, which uses innovative farming practices that we can all learn from.”
The vast majority of cannabis products currently sold in the United States present no on-package labeling that explains how it is grown or specifically what pesticides or chemical fertilizers were used in its production. Sun+Earth provides consumers confidence in the knowledge that their cannabis products are grown organically. According to the market research group TrendSource and its 2019 Cannabis Industry Report, over 53 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for organic cannabis products.
No chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides are used to grow cannabis certified by Sun+Earth, whose standards go beyond USDA Organic by focusing on regenerative cultivation, farmer and farm-worker protections, and community engagement. Industrial indoor cannabis production consumes high volumes of energy and uses chemical inputs, whereas Sun+Earth Certified cannabis is cultivated on outdoor farms that strengthen habitats and build living soil. Guidelines for Sun+Earth Certified cultivation encourage the planting of cannabis alongside other beneficial rotation crops such as potatoes, lettuce and marigolds, and strategic use of cover crops, composting, and reduced soil tillage.
Industrial indoor cannabis production consumes high volumes of electricity and puts the indoor cannabis industry at odds with efforts to mitigate the current climate crisis. According to a 2012 academic report, all cannabis grown in the US uses the same amount of energy it takes to power 1.7 million US homes, and generates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3 million cars. More recently, the 2018 Cannabis Energy Report from New Frontier Data found that growing indoors uses 18 times more electricity and has a carbon footprint nearly 25 times larger than outdoor farms.