PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK.
NOW WILLAMETTE WEEK NEEDS YOU.

The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Portland Is Making An Effort to Diversify the Cannabis Industry

The future of weed is bright—and it’s no longer exclusively white and male.

If you peek through the cracks of Oregon's mountainous pot surplus, the future of weed is bright—and it's no longer exclusively white and male.

In a proud moment for the state's recreational cannabis program, two Black-owned businesses recently were awarded $30,000 apiece in grants—the first instance of tax revenue from cannabis sales going back to the communities negatively impacted by racially biased cannabis criminalization.

The pivotal moment was facilitated by NuLeaf, a nonprofit working to increase successful outcomes for cannabis entrepreneurs of color. The money went to Adrian Wayman, who helped pass city courier laws and earned the first license to deliver legal cannabis with his Green Box service, and North Portland's Green Hop dispensary, which runs a successful internship program teaching employable skills to at-risk young adults of age to consume.

Women, meanwhile, continue to make an impact on Portland's cannabis culture. The artful Broccoli magazine frequently features women of color working in and around the industry. Beth Schechter works to protect cannabis from predatory intellectual property claims as head of the Open Cannabis Project. And women-owned companies like Drip Sweets, Homegrown Apothecary and Empower BodyCare are everywhere. To build upon that foundation, a women-focused business accelerator, the Initiative, provides training and funding resources to women-run companies.

We can still do better, of course. But by actively supporting women and people of color in the cannabis industry, we're setting an example for new states going legal.

"Cannabis is a big part of Portland's future," says Jesce Horton, co-founder of NuLeaf. "We all have an important part to play in making sure Portland can be its best."

1. Because we're not afraid of public displays of affection…

2. Because women are in charge…

3. Because our local theater scene tells true, inspiring Oregon stories…

4. Because Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd make even Blazer losses fun…

5. Because we're still No. 1 in semi-factual superlatives…

6. Because we have a sixth quadrant now…

7. Because the hottest rapper in the game is obsessed with us…

8. Because Oregon is gradually getting more diverse, and in unexpected ways…

9. Because we can work it out…

10. Because we helped jump-start the movement that's changing the tech 
industry…

11. Because if you want to, you can dance to…

12. Because we're so sex positive, you can take a class on…

13. Because we're working to become a bike haven again…

14. Because after walking across Antarctica, I can still come back 
to my favorite dive bar…

15. Because the Blazers' game-day posters are the coolest collectibles in sports…

16. Because our airport is Beervana…

17. Because our fake fast food beats the real thing…

18. Because the Big Pipe is keeping poop out of the river…

19. Because we're making an effort to diversify the cannabis industry…

20. Because we finally have a virtual reality playland…

21. Because we have nicer weather than Hawaii (no, really)…

22. Because Basic Rights Oregon is fighting for LGTBQ+ rights—and winning…

23. Because Portland State's gym just underwent an awesome makeover…

24. …and the courthouse is getting one, too.

25. Because our hotel bars are some of the best bars in the city…

26. Because you'll spend less time in jail here than the national average…

27. Because we make some of the best guitar pedals in the biz…

28. Because our Curry is better than that other Curry…

29. Because we're Raptorville USA…

30. Because ICE hates us…

31. Because everything that dies someday comes back…