The Cultivation Classic, produced by the alternative weekly newspaper Willamette Week, kicks off at 1pm tomorrow with a stacked lineup of great speakers and vendors. The Cultivation Classic is Oregon’s only event judging cannabis grown without any pesticides, only using products approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or OMRI-equivalent.
The event kicks off with a greeting and a federal update by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, arguably the top federal official working to implement sensible cannabis laws in our nation. As co-founder of the Cannabis Congressional Caucus, Representative Blumenauer is working across the aisle to improve banking and tax law, on the path to finally ending federal marijuana prohibition altogether. Blumenauer was a member of the 1973 Oregon Legislature that really kicked off the movement to improve state cannabis laws, as Oregon became the first state to decriminalize personal amounts of cannabis. Fast forward to 2014, and Rep. Blumenauer was one of the most prominent and skilled advocates helping convince over 56% of Oregon voters to legalize and regulate marijuana by passing Measure 91. Always sharp, witty and informative, Congressman Blumenauer will start the event off right.
Another big highlight for me will be the presentation on craft cannabis. Oregon’s cannabis cultivators have the unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the state’s local microbrewery and winery industries if the industry comes together around common goals and interests, and regulatory hurdles don’t price out small farmers. Adam Smith, founder and director of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, is a longtime activist, whose pioneering advocacy helped lead to the founding of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. SSDP helped train myself, as well as numerous advocates across the globe, so I’m forever grateful for those like Adam that have helped pave the way for our many successes today.
Jeremy Plumb, co-founder of Farma, is clearly one of the brightest minds in cannabis and I am excited to hear about the Open Cannabis Project. Dr. Ethan Russo and Dr. Adie Poe will also be bringing medical knowledge and scientific insight to the event. “Beyond Opioids,” the presentation by Dr. Poe, could not be more timely or important considering our nation’s current opioid addiction epidemic.
While I am not a judge for this event, like my good friend and Weed News colleague, Johnny Green, but I am excited to hear who takes home the various awards for cultivating some of the finest cannabis in the world. The awards ceremony start in the evening at 7:30pm with live music from Gold Casino leading off the festivities at 7:00pm. Some tickets are still available for the Cultivation Classic, but you should probably hurry and snag them now. Food and alcohol will be available at this event, but no cannabis consumption will be allowed. (Even though we have legalized cannabis in Oregon, we still have some more work to do.)