On Friday, June 30th, more than 100 people, including craft cannabis producers and processors, allied businesses and aficionados, gathered for our Craft Cannabis Alliance event at the Wild River Pub, todiscuss craft cannabis and its future in Oregon.
Oregon is not only the birthplace of the modern craft movement, with our world-class craft beer, artisan wine and craft distilling industries; it is also home to perhaps the greatest cannabis biodiversity anywhere, and a cannabis growing culture that goes back generations. Southern Oregon, in particular, is a pretty damn good place to grow the stuff, you may have noticed.
The evening featured multiple speakers, including Grants Pass' own Jodi Haines of award-winning Alter Farms, a founding CCA member. Jodi discussed county-industry relations, a topic very much on the minds of Southern Oregon producers these days. Building relationships with local officials is crucial, said Haines, who told a disturbing story about the lack of differentiation in many minds between the responsible legal industry, and barely regulated medical or entirely unregulated illegal grows. Jodi and Alter Farms are doing their part by assertively inviting those officials out to see and learn about their operation, among other outreach efforts.
Jeremy Sackett of Cascadia Labs discussed the value to craft farmers of extended terpene and cannabanoid testing and labeling as a key differentiator for craft producers and their products. The days of straight THC/CBD percentages as the be all and end all will soon come to an end, and we all know that cool names aside, a strain is not a strain is not a strain. Jeremy highlighted the "donut", a very useful visual representation schema that he and others have developed to make it easy for consumers to visualize and compare those profiles, and to better understand what kinds of products work best for them. CCA hopes to work with Jeremy in the coming weeks and months to make the "donut" available to members who would like to use it in their labeling.
Derek Smith of the Resource Innovation Institute (RII) talked about the economic benefits to growers of adopting more sustainable methods. RII is currently developing sustainability standards for the industry that CCA hopes to adopt as part of our definition of craft cannabis.
The Oregon Cannabis Law Group (OCLG), represented by Andrew DeWeese and Kevin Jacoby, presented a very useful legal and legislative update, and highlighted five often-overlooked compliance issues in the Oregon rules. CCA founding member OLCG was also a generous co-sponsor of the event, and we certainly appreciate their support. And the beer!
And I got a chance to talk about our efforts to define and organize the Oregon craft industry through the Craft Cannabis Alliance. We'll post some video of the presentations, as well as some of the media coverage soon!
The evening was a huge success. Lots of folks have told us how appreciative they were of the networking opportunity, and in fact, though the event officially ended at 9pm, Wild River Pub and their terrific staff allowed us to hang out in the room (and past their closing time) until nearly 11pm, and there were still folks standing outside and talking past midnight. We made some new friends, reconnected with others, and generated terrific momentum for future CCA work both in Southern Oregon and around the state.