At the Oaksterdam University Christmas dinner Dec. 22, Chris Van Hook brought a box of gifts for everyone —refrigerator magnets made out of small abalone shells. Van Hook runs the Clean Green certification program, which has encouraged and trained countless cannabis cultivators to adopt organic practices.  Nobody in the industry has played a more righteous role than Chris Van Hook. But how he came to be involved with the herb is a very sad story, which he told us as he gave out the beautiful iridescent shells.

After extensive study and work, Van Hook had launched an abalone farm in Crescent City, California. It was thriving. “All of our market was domestic, but we would occasionally have to ship them to Japan and Hong Kong so the ‘master chefs’ there could taste them and approve them before they could be served in their branch restaurants here in the United States,” Van Hook told a reporter for the Crescent City Triplicate. But government bureaucrats failed to keep a commitment to dredge in the area where his abalone were growing, causing a massive die-off of the beautiful and delicious shellfish.  Read the whole story here.