Chris Van Hook

The Clean Green Certified program for medical marijuana has attracted some of the best cannabis growers in the western United States, and the trophy’s that are coming in attest to their skill and expertise.

 The Clean Green Certified program was started by medical cannabis compliance attorney Chris Van Hook at the request of the marijuana industry beginning 2004 in California. At the time there was no qualified third party certification program for marijuana which meant that medical marijuana patients or recreational marijuana consumers had no way of knowing what pesticides had been used in the growing of their marijuana .  They had no idea if their marijuana had been grown legally and in an environmentally sustainable manner.  Since 2004 the Clean Green Certified program has expanded through out California and Colorado.  Colorado marijuana growers have been interested in the program because the regulations in Colorado for growing marijuana do not deal with illegal pesticide use or other concerns knowledgeable growers and consumers have.

Soon the Clean Green program began attracting some of the best growers in the industry who were not using dangerous pesticides or heavy synthetic fertilizers. They wanted recognition for their extra efforts and care. Since 2010 Clean Green growers have won or placed in some of the most prestigious cannabis cups held here in the United States.  Starting in 2010 at the first ever High Times Cannabis Cup held in San Francisco, a Clean Green Grower walked off with a first place trophy in the sativa category.  The following year, in 2011 another Clean Green grower walked off with the first place trophy in the indica category at the same High Times Cup in San Francisco!!  In 2012 at the same HT cup in San Francisco another Clean Green Certified grower walked off with a third place finish, again in the sativa category.  Never in the history of this well known cannabis cup had one method of culturing cannabis walked off with so many awards in such a short time in consecutive years.  “By this time it was clear that the certified growers were establishing themselves in a way never before seen in the cannabis industry” says Chris Van Hook  “this was a clear vindication that heavy pesticide use and synthetic fertilizers were not needed to grow world class cannabis”.  The world began to take note of what these incredible growers were able to do.  But, the awards were not done coming in for 2012.

2012 produced the most wins and places for Clean Green growers so far, even outstripping another great year 2013.  In 2012 not only did a Clean Green Grower win the High Times medical cannabis cup in San Francisco, but a second grower went on to win the very prestigious “The Patients Choice” Cup in San Francisco. ” This win meant a lot to the grower and myself as the entries are judged not by a few select people, but instead the winner is selected by approximately 300 patient/judges from San Francisco, people just like you and me” continued Van Hook.

2012 was to produce even more awards for the program. The awards mentioned above were all for indoor grown cannabis, how would out door growers do without using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers?  “There were two entries in the top 5% and one entry in the top 10% of the prestigious Emerald Cup, held at Area 101 in Laytonville, California.  The Emerald Cup is the longest running outdoor cannabis cup in the United States, hosted by the well known cannabis activist Tim Blake”.  “These awards meant a lot to all of the certified outdoor growers as it showed the world that not only could certified growers win indoor cups, but they could win outdoor cups as well” said Van Hook.  The programs standing was now secure, there had been numerous wins and places  in both indoor and outdoor growing competitions.

2013 was going to be another year with a big win.  Once again, four years in a row, a Clean Green Certified grower went on to win the top award for sativas, at the High Times medical cannabis cup in San Francisco.  Every year the High Times Cup has been held in San Francisco. Three first places and one third place.  All from one certification program, all using natural fertilizers and inputs.  No synthetic fertilizers or harmful sprays used.  Each one passing a 300 pesticide screening from a licensed agricultural lab. Each grower able to hold up a winner that would pass the standards of the USDA National Organic Program if cannabis was permitted to be organically certified.  Unfortunately marijuana is not allowed to apply for USDA organic status as marijuana is not a federally recognized agricultural crop.

“The beauty of this type of cultivating is that it is less expensive then the synthetic fertilizers shipped with lots of water weight from around the world” says Van Hook “these ground breaking certified farmers are showing the world that you can reduce your carbon footprint, simplify your cultivation systems, avoid using synthetic pesticides and grow award winning marijuana all at the same time”.  The Clean Green Certified growers are showing the world how to move forward with a cleaner product and how to be kinder to the environment.  What is not to like??

For more on the Clean Green Certified Program and to see the awards on line go to:

Chris Van Hook holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California in Environmental studies, as well as he is a practicing attorney working in marijuana compliance.  His office can be reached at (707) 218 – 6979