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  • Writer's pictureJamie Evans

The Clean Cannabis Movement

A new age of purity standards is here. Utopia is helping redefine what it means to be “clean” in the current state of cannabis.

(photo credit: Jeremy Pavia)

If you live in California, you’ve most likely heard the term “clean cannabis” being used since new regulations dropped on July 1st of this year. What exactly does it mean to be clean and how does it impact the grower and the consumer?

Over the past several months, cannabis companies have been working diligently to pass California’s new state testing standards where only the purest products will make their way to dispensaries. From a grower’s standpoint, this means that dangerous pesticides and chemicals should not be used during the growing and extraction process, and products must be 100% “clean” to be sold in licensed retail locations. From a consumer’s standpoint, if you purchase a product from a dispensary or a delivery service, the item should have gone through multiple safety checks to ensure what your buying is, in fact, authentic, pure cannabis with zero contaminants.

A new era of purity is upon us, which has escalated the organic and sustainable farming movement. Is every grower following these standards? No, there is still a prevalent “free market,” but the best growers and companies in California have been supporters of the clean cannabis movement for years, paving the way for the next generation of cannabis farming. Among those leaders is Utopia based in Santa Cruz, California.

Since its inception, Utopia has been a proponent of organic indoor farming practices and clean pest management techniques to ensure their products meet the highest of testing standards. Originating as a boutique cultivation company and later evolving into a manufacturer, Utopia’s philosophy is shaped around creating contaminant-free products while maintaining 100% transparency with the consumer. Utopia was also one of the first companies to work with a testing lab, partnering with Santa Cruz-based SC Laboratories to test every batch and ensure purity, safety, and consistency. When the July 1st regulations hit this year, Utopia was already far ahead of the game, helping redefine the clean cannabis category.

“When we launched Utopia, we wanted to create health-conscious, best-in-class products,” says Emily Bercow, Utopia’s Co-Founder and CMO. “We pay so much attention to what we put in our body; why should it be any different with cannabis? Our commitment to clean, simple-ingredient products allows us to set a bar that holds us accountable to our consumers, the industry, and the community. We are creating a brand that consumers can trust.”

Growing up in New York, Bercow remembers visiting local grocery stores and supporting local farms with her family. She always enjoyed meeting the farmer and wanted to know where her produce came from. This passion later transferred over to her own business when she launched Utopia with her partners in 2014.

“It’s key for consumers to have access to traceability,” she says. “It’s important to know your farmer and to have the ability to pick up the phone and give them a call if you have questions about the product or the company.”

(photo credit: Jeremy Pavia)

As an award-winning brand, Utopia’s tactics to maintain clean and unadulterated cannabis products has paid off. They have paired their exquisite flower with refined extracts and nutritious edibles. Utopia’s extract line consists of terpene and cannabinoid-rich concentrates that have been created to honor each strain’s specific profile. Their edible line is also made with organic and non-GMO ingredients, staying true to their founding principles of creating healthy, pure products.

“Clean cannabis is more than just the ingredients that you use,” remarks Bercow. “It’s all about the process of how you create and work with the product. There is a big difference between being “pesticide-free” and “pesticide-pass.” Some companies are still using pesticides in their products, but at low levels, so they are below the state threshold to pass testing.”

If you are new to cannabis, familiarize yourself with lab reports. Reports should include detailed information regarding cannabinoid potencies and terpene analysis, plus pesticide, fungicide and PGR residue results. Any reputable brand should be happy to share their findings, which goes back to the critical topic of transparency in the cannabis industry.

(photo credit: Jeremy Pavia)

So what are some clean cannabis products to look for? Below is a list of a few Utopia favorites.

Utopia Clementine, Gold Label Flower

A gorgeous hybrid of Tangie and Lemon Skunk, Utopia’s Clementine begins with aromas of sweet and sour tangerine followed by hints of tangy citrus. Because this strain contains Lemon Skunk, there is a soft skunk-like aroma that is present in the upper nostrils. This strain is a perfect match for daytime use because it imparts uplifting and energizing effects. Because of Utopia’s organic farming techniques, this strain tastes pure, the terpene profile is accentuated, and consuming the flower makes you feel great. Be sure to also look for Utopia’s signature strain, C. Banana - it is incredibly impressive!

Utopia Cannabis-Infused Raspberry Macaroons

Made from fresh, organic ingredients, Utopia’s Cannabis-Infused Raspberry Macaroons are to die for. Following Utopia’s clean cannabis philosophy, these delicious treats are a healthy alternative for those that love sweets, leaving you zero guilt after indulging. Made with their cannabis-infused coconut oil, Utopia’s Macaroons are a multiple High Times Cannabis Cup award-winning edible.

Utopia Golden Lemons, Diamond Line Concentrate As one of the most impressive strains Utopia has worked with, Golden Lemons is one of the best oil-producing hybrids on this planet. Bursting with aromas and flavors of sweet lemon, citrus, and earth, this concentrate is a must try for those that love dabbing. Be sure to look for Utopia’s other signature Diamond Line concentrates available in Eaze delivery zones.

(photo credit: Jeremy Pavia)

To learn more about Utopia and their exemplary clean cannabis initiatives, please visit

Peace, Love & Cannabis,

Jamie Evans Founder, The Herb Somm

About The Author

Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm. She is an educator, host, and writer specializing in cannabis, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world. In addition to her work in the cannabis industry, Jamie has over ten years of wine industry experience. Having represented a wide array of organizations and wineries, she is best known for producing high-end events and developing top-notch public relations, marketing, and hospitality programs. She was also recently named as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2018.

Photo Credit: Scott McDermott for Wine Enthusiast



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