Everyone in the Oregon industry knows that we are facing an oversupply problem. Too many growers for too small a market. The result is that tons of world class flower, less expensively and more sustainably grown than most legal cannabis sold anywhere, is sitting in bins, virtually un-sellable. People argue for fewer licenses, and that would help. But Oregon is a natural exporter of cannabis, and the answer lies in allowing us to share this bounty with the world (or at least with other legal states.)
In Oregon, craft is more than a buzzword. Whether it’s craft beer, or artisan wine, or craft distilling, or cannabis, Oregonians place a premium on world-class products made by people who care. Now, a group of leading Oregon cannabis companies are coming together to help cannabis lovers find and support authentic craft products, made by Oregon-owned companies dedicated to clean product, sustainable methods, ethical employment practices, community engagement, and ending the failed drug war.
This week, the Craft Cannabis Alliance announced its founding board of directors, a group that includes the leaders of some of Oregon’s most well-known brands, as this mission-driven industry association prepares to move from start-up to action.
Had a great time talking with host Wayne Schwind, CEO of Periodic Edibles, on this week's Periodic Effects podcast. We covered a lot of ground, including the future of craft cannabis and the Oregon industry, the rescinding of the Cole Memo, and the path to federal legalization by 2021. Thanks so much to Wayne and his crew. Check it out!
Marijuana Today is a national podcast, but this week we focus a lot on Oregon, where we discuss the OLCC's Go-Legal campaign and the future of the Oregon cannabis industry. Also, a special segment with Adam and Kris Lotlikar on the occasion of the 1,000th weekly issue of the "Drug War Chronicle" (formerly The Week Online) the nation's first and longest-running drug policy reform publication, that Adam launched way back in 1997.
This week, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates cannabis, launches its "Go Legal" campaign with a series of videos featuring some of the industry's leading companies and entrepreneurs.
Twenty years ago, I wrote this piece as my Thanksgiving editorial for The Week Online, a publication that I launched, wrote, edited and published for its first 137 issues. It was the nation's first online news magazine covering domestic and international drug policy from a reform perspective. That publication, which was later re-named "The Drug War Chronicles" will soon publish it's 1,000th issue.
A lot has changed in drug policy since Thanksgiving 1997, but far too much has not. And today, under the current administration, we are threatening to reverse the important progress that has been made towards a more rational and humane approach toward drugs of all kinds. And so I leave this Thanksgiving editorial here as a reminder that while things have gotten better, the drug war, and the movement to end it, is far from over.
Giving Thanks in a Time of Drug War
- Adam J Smith, November 23, 1997
If neither you nor someone you love has had to decide between the relief of pain, the suppression of life-threatening nausea, or the loss of sight, and the prospect of risking arrest and conviction under state or federal marijuana laws, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has had the experience of armed agents of the state kicking in your door, terrorizing your home's occupants and damaging your personal property, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has contracted injection-related AIDS, or Hepatitis, because there was no legal source of clean needles for themselves or a present or past sexual partner or a parent, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has been the victim of Prohibition-related violence or crime, give thanks.
If neither your child nor another child that you love has been lured by the siren song of the black market, or by gangs, or been shot at by a law enforcement agent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and for being the wrong color), or been saddled with a life-long criminal record for youthful experimentation, or been banished from school for possession of an aspirin, or been tried in court as an adult, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has had property taken by the state without so much as being charged with an offense, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has had to suffer the indignity of urinating in a cup, on demand, for theprivilege of maintaining menial employment, give thanks.
If neither you nor someone you love has sought drug treatment and found that it was unavailable to those ofmodest means save through the processes of the criminal justice system, give thanks.
If you and everyone that you love can go through this list and be thankful for each and every entry, know that you are among a shrinking group of Americans who have managed to avoid some of the most common consequences of the War on Drugs.
But know too, that your tax dollars, in ever-increasing amounts, are helping to make the number of citizens like you smaller each year.
So give thanks. But remember too that there is work to be done. Happy Thanksgiving.
One of the things that gives me the most confidence in the success of the Oregon craft cannabis movement, and the Alliance, is the participation of so many brilliant and talented women. Kate Guptill of Eco Firma Farms is all of that and more.
"The plants don’t care I’m female, and neither do the people who enjoy Eco Firma's products. Yes, by the numbers, it is a male dominated industry, but it’s not male dominated in Oregon. Some of the most influential people in the Oregon industry are women. On the whole, we are a new industry—there’s opportunity for women to have a dominating presence."
This week, the Canna Law Blog reports that Craft Cannabis Alliance members East Fork Cultivars and Medicinal Roots played leading roles over the past several weeks in a successful effort to halt proposed regulations that would have shut down fully licensed and compliant producers operating on land zoned Rural Residential.
The Craft Cannabis Alliance is a values-driven industry association whose mission is to define, promote, and celebrate authentic Oregon craft cannabis. Though it has only recently launched, it already counts many of Oregon’s most important local brands among its members, and looks poised to help lead a craft cannabis movement both within the industry and among consumers.