"Everybody must get stoned," a young singer famously suggested in 1966.
It wasn't until 2020 that everybody started taking that directive literally.
Before this year, Oregon's cannabis industry dealt with one disaster after another, from the cultivation glut that put many farms out of business to the vaping crisis that threatened to incinerate consumer confidence for good.
Then the pandemic happened. Buyers mobbed dispensaries across the state, leading to record-breaking sales.
It makes sense that, in one of the most stressful years in modern times, people would clamor for new ways to cope. But studies suggest those habits will stick beyond the current global health emergency. And it seems to be converting the last remaining skeptics: Even Joe Biden—who was spewing "gateway drug" rhetoric not that long ago—is talking about federal decriminalization should he win the White House in a couple of weeks.
If there's anything to feel hopeful about in this country right now, it's weed. So with harvest season arriving, we've decided to celebrate.
In our annual fall cannabis issue, we've looked at the ways the business is shifting for the better, from the booming boomer demographic that's making the industry more accessible for everyone to the rise of smokable hemp that's moving weed out of its "bathtub gin" phase toward gentler, more subtle highs.
Are you looking to become a more conscientious consumer? We've put together a primer on how to use your nose to literally sniff out the strain that's right for you. Or do you simply want to see the city through newer, redder eyes? We've got 25 suggestions for what to do in Portland when you're high, from roller skating around the waterfront to taking a blissful nap under the St. Johns Bridge.
And that's just what we could fit into print.
It's such a big year for cannabis, we've launched a website featuring infused recipes, interviews with rising industry game-changers, a live 420 smoke session, and a virtual award ceremony for the winners of Cultivation Classic, Oregon's biggest organic cannabis competition. See it all at weed.wweek.com.
It's still rough out there. But there is joy to be found. It's time to spark it up.
—Matthew Singer, WW Arts & Culture Editor