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What You Missed at the Oregon Hemp Convention

Two days of speakers, business and celebration of the industry.

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The first fully legal month in the state of Oregon was quickly celebrated with the annual Oregon Hemp Convention in Portland, a week into the month. This convention brings together a wide variety of cannabis business people, legislators, activists, and enthusiasts to discuss what has been happening in the cannabis industry.

The convention consisted of two days of speakers discussing different aspects of cannabis and hemp. One of the most interesting topics of the event was the discussion of the current Oregon laws about cannabis and hemp, including some of the perks and some of its flaws.

Vendors at the event were advertising a wide variety of goods and services with a range that included non-hemp related items as well. The most interesting vendor was Chad Biasi, of Oregon Fair Trade Cannabis, who is one of the leading voices in promoting fair trade cannabis. He compares measure 91, the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, to the flourishing wine and beer industry in the state and believes that the people who have been working with cannabis already should be the voices for the future of the plant. By keeping cannabis fair trade, he believes that the plant and people in the industry will be better protected and regulated properly.

The Northwest Farmers Union was there to discuss their hopes of incorporating cannabis and hemp growers to their numbers. This grassroots organization aims to make sure that workers in all forms of farming and animal husbandry have their voices heard in county councils, state legislatures, and the US Congress.

These ideas were further explored in a panel discussing Oregon cannabis legislation which dove into the issues that still face cannabis in the future. Many will agree that Oregon has the best cannabis laws to date, but activists in the state still believe there is a lot of work ahead.

Their main concerns include protecting patients who are waiting for their medical cards, access to banking for cannabis companies, and the fear of government regulation based on cannabinoid profiles. On the positive side, they are hoping Oregon will become the Napa Valley of cannabis and are proud that about 45% of businesses are owned or have the decisions made by women.

Another important subject that was discussed was the future of banking in the cannabis industry. Currently, because of federal obstacles and cannabis’ current status as a schedule I narcotic, the entire industry is forced to operate on a cash only basis. This is dangerous and difficult to manage. Cannabis businesses are unable to claim any write offs for their companies and therefore are heavily taxed by the government because of a 1982 law.

The event ended with a bang and a cannabis cup. There were seven categories and some fabulous winners, check them out.

Category Champions:

Indica Flower

Hybrid Flower

CBD Flower

Edible

Concentrate

Non Solvent Concentrate

CBD Concentrate