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Growing Business: A Whirlwind Week Of Portland Cannabis Conferences [Recap]

A peek inside RAD Expo, Oregon Cannabis Association’s Data and Compliance Event, and the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in Portland, Oregon.

It should come as no surprise that Portland is a hub for cannabis events. January has been particularly busy. I was able to swing by The RAD Expo, Oregon Cannabis Association’s Data and Compliance Event, and the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in the past week to take a few photos in order to give you a peek inside this budding industry. Here’s what I saw!

The RAD Expo held on January 17th and 18th at the Oregon Convention Center was a B2B conference targeting cannabis dispensary owners. 

The RAD Expo

Craft cannabis growers lined up to entice dispensaries to carry their wares. Even though this conference was geared for dispensary owners throughout the United States, I observed that most of the growers were from Oregon. Having said that, there were a number of those featuring hemp-CBD products which can be purchased at non-cannabis outlets and ordered online. 

The RAD Expo Marijuana Venture

Marijuana Venture displays the more business side of the biz. Featured at this conference were a range of offerings from financing to floor displays geared for those looking to open up dispensary shops. This was accompanied by a number of presentations designed for those newly entering the industry. 

The RAD Expo Bob Marley

My favorite pieces was this tribute to Bob Marley, a poignant reminder of the positive vibes behind this plant. 

At Oregon Cannabis Association’s Data and Compliance Event on January 19th, Amy Margolis highlights the OCA’s next big event “The Future of Cannabis is Now” (March 16th). 

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At this event New Frontiers and Headset offered a deep dive into the retail statistics for the cannabis market. While the focus was on Oregon, statistics were offered up for the national and international markets. Also, representatives from the OLCC offered the latest updates to the regulations, adding that the latest updates are available at the OR Secretary of State’s website. 

The Cannabis Collaborative Conference held January 24-25 at the Portland Expo Center, locals gathered for a grassroots gathering featuring keynote speakers, networking opportunities, educational seminars, and vendor displays. 


Rep. Ed Blumenauer offered the latest Federal updates pertaining to cannabis. He viewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent repeal of the Cole memo as a positive sign noting this move will force an inactive Congress to take action. 


Jesse Peters, CEO of Eco Firma Farms, explains how he intends to achieve his goal of becoming a carbon neutral farm thanks to a collaboration with Energy Trust of Oregon. “In the current, continually changing, tumultuous time we face as an industry, it’s paramount we lead from the front as good players at all levels, from compliance to best practices,” says Jesse Peters. “In creating the kind of responsible relationships we have with partners like the Energy Trust, and with so many obstacles to overcome, it’s important not to lose sight of our responsibilities as good stewards of new industry and the environment we live in.” 


Those exhibiting their wares included mostly local growers, processors, and dispensaries, as well those offering ancillary services to the cannabis industry. Here on display is cannabis packaging that has a distinctive Portlandia vibe ... 


While most of the displays had more of a Pacific NW vibe, there were a view displays that featured a look at the latest technology entering the exploding cannabis industry.

For more insight inside the life of a cannabis reporter in Portland, OR, follow Becky on Instagram.

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