Episode 24 - Ushering In The Era of the Cannoaisseur

Dr. Amanda Reiman is helping small, "sun grown, heritage strain" farmers in California create an exciting new market.


Dr. Amanda Reiman has been a powerful voice of change in California’s cannabis industry and culture for over a decade. Until last year she led the California office of the Drug Policy Alliance, where she focused on nitty gritty issues such as legalization of adult use, crafting regulations that support small farmers as well as consumers, and ensuring that state’s new laws allow formerly convicted drug felons to expunge their records and work in the new industry.

Today, Reiman is still focused on the issues, but from another vantage point: she is Vice President Community Relations at Flow Kana, an organization that supports small, organic farmers in the Emerald Triangle (Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties) brand their “sun grown, heritage strains” and get them to market. (The company recently bought the 18-acre Fetzer wine estate in Mendocino which it is turning into a canna-tourist destination). As you can imagine, farmers have never been adept at marketing and Reiman is assisting them to educate people about the virtues of their cannasseur offerings.

In California and other liberated states, there’s plenty of debate about the pros and cons of sun grown cannabis. Here’s a quick summary for all curious imbibers.


  • Sustainable; sun grown is low carbon footprint (one report estimated that a kilo of indoor grown cannabis with the requisite lighting and ventilation releases over 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere)

  • Terpene production higher in natural light

  • More resilient to pests and mold.


  • Seasonal, which means less yield, which means higher prices for customers

  • Changing environment makes crops difficult to standardize, which could be an issue for MMJ

  • Less “bag appeal.” Outdoor buds are rangier. It’s harder for growers to shape and cultivate them into those forearm-length buds that customers love to ogle.

 All of this is a sign of a maturing industry and another interesting talking point for the post-prohibitionist conversation. I look forward to the day when other sunny and poorer states like Alabama or Texas get into the sun grown sphere and give the Emerald Triangle a run for its money.

In the meantime, Flow Kana capitalized on its early-market advantage with a marketing coup at this year’s Academy Awards (UNBOXING VIDEO HERE): The company supplied this very groovy gift box of its heritage sun-grown strains to certain canna-friendly celebrities backstage (as if we need another reason to love Francis McDormand). Listen in to a fascinating conversation about cannasoisseurship.

Joe Dolce