Thoughts on the Portland Cannabis Scene…

by Sam Zartoshty

Posted on Apr/11/2017

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If you’ve ever thought about moving to Portland, and have an interest in working in the cannabis industry, we highly recommend it!! Having grown up in California, I’ve only really seen the differences between LA, OC, SD, the central valley, and SF, I thought I’d seen it all… I was wrong. The people are friendlier, and seem to really care about customer service. They really know their strains, and how to recommend products. Everywhere I went seemed to have an amazing work environment.

The major difference in Oregon is that you need an OLCC workers permit to work in the cannabis industry. Yes, OLCC stands for Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and we think it’s weird that they are regulating the industry.. but it seems to be working from a ‘tourist’ perspective.

A few weeks ago we attended TechFestNW + PitchFest in Portland, Oregon. All we knew going into the event was we’d be one of a few cannabis companies pitching (out of the 70 competing in Pitchfest), and there was a keynote speaker nicknamed “The Wizard of Weed”… At a mainstream tech event?…Yes.

First, we’ll start with our Airbnb host, Isabelle. She was so passionate about her little “cannabis cafe” and it was awesome to see her hosting legal cannabis/420 yoga events, cooking classes, and board game/poker nights. We were out and about all day/night but we met plenty of great people through her and had to give her a shoutout! She is one of the few “420 friendly” hosts in Portland.

Now back to the event.. PitchFest was awesome, and we received great feedback from the Judges and the audience! We didn’t win this time but we appreciate the opportunity and learned a lot!

As I mentioned, one of the keynote speakers was Jeremy Plumb, CEO of FarmaPDX (The Wizard of Weed). He gave a great presentation on opioid issues and how cannabis can help.

Prūf Cultivar was also one of the main event sponsors, and had constant foot traffic at their booth throughout the conference. It was awesome to see the Portland tech community embrace cannabis.

Overall, we visited a few dispensaries and networked with a few very influential people in the Oregon cannabis community. We have a few posts that we will be sharing over the next few weeks highlighting some of the people we met in Oregon.