The future of Oregon cannabis is sunny—literally.
Legalization means that this state's cannabis industry has newfound freedom to grow cannabis naturally, with nothing but sky and sun above, as the God of Abraham intended.
Sure, there are some drawbacks to sun-grown cannabis, especially in our northern climes. Outdoor cannabis isn't lathered up with fluffy white trichomes and the delicate flowers you get from growing with lamps and fans. The delicate flowers can rot overnight. But given the size of Oregon's burgeoning cannabis industry, and the vast array of concentrates and edibles being made from flower, it makes sense that we see a push away from the resource-intensive indoor grows of the prohibition era.
This special Harvest edition of the Potlander was created to celebrate this cleaner, greener future.
Why isn't your weed already sustainable, so you can smoke guilt-free? We asked some of the state's most knowledgeable growers that question and learned a lot about the challenges of growing cannabis in Oregon.
We learned even more about those challenges through our own experiment in growing cannabis on the roof of our office. We lost last year's crop to bud rot but fared better this year—though we mostly learned that we'd rather pay for top-shelf bud grown by experts.
Despite the challenges of growing in Oregon, we have some fantastic farms. Some envision capitalizing on that in a mature Oregon cannabis industry that labels every pre-roll you buy with its origin. Our state's cannabis could someday be shipped across the country, with our growing regions developing a following based on the characteristics of their terroir, like pinot grapes from Ribbon Ridge or Elkton.
To fulfill that promise, outdoor marijuana farmers will have to strike compromises with hemp farmers. The people who grow the country cousin of the cannabis that gets you high were an ally of legalization but have since emerged as a major threat to outdoor growers who worry cross-pollination will dilute the psychoactive effects of their crop.