Today we get to finish up the coverage of the Bend THC Fair with part two.
This THC Fair was held last weekend at the Riverhouse in Bend, Oregon. With 72 vendor booths, ~2500 attendees and only two days to look around, I had my work cut out for me to cover the event. I put out Part One of the coverage a few days ago and today I am going to finish up my coverage by highlighting a few more attendees.
Even with two articles, I can’t get close to describing every booth that was there. I will share some of the interesting stories and booths that stood out to me. I fully suggest everybody over 21 attend the next THC Fair in Salem on November 5-6 to see everything they have to offer. Let’s pick up where I left off…
The next booth I stopped by was 2 Dye 4 Creations where I talked to Tori Wright.
Tori is the owner and production manager of ,2 Dye 4, a THC-based wellness consultant. She was motivated to start her company because she “Can’t lose anyone else.” Tori prides herself on giving people a “safe, natural alternative” to the medications pushed by Big Pharma.
2 Dye 4 uses FECO (food grade) alcohol base for their RSO. Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy any of her products because of the OLCC ban. As one of the companies that relies on being able to sell products at the THC Fair to keep the doors open, Tori was one of the hardest hit by the ban.
I asked her how she felt about the whole situation and if she blamed the Fair. Tori was quick to reassure me that she held no ill will towards the THC Fair. She was sad that the OLCC had prevented her from being able to help people at her booth. She wasn’t about to let that stop her from showing up and spreading knowledge or set up appointments.
I was inspired by the passion and energy that Tori displayed in the face of a pretty heavy financial blow from the state of Oregon. She shared personal stories about the healing power of THC including how she treated a serious injury sustained in mid-April. After putting a drill bit through her hand, Tori used her own products to treat the wound.
Tori showed me pictures over the course of her treatment, showing the improvement as time went on. After only a few weeks, the skin, muscle and tendons had mostly repaired. The only evidence left of her injury to my eye at the fair was a fading white scar. Her grip and the mild scarring were a testament to the healing power of THC.
After leaving 2 Dye 4 Creations, I moseyed on over to the Cannafo.com booth.
Based in Bend, Oregon, Cannafo is a rapidly growing company that has garnered a bit of positive press already. I was able to talk with Cannafo founders Josh Purdee and Kelly Martin on the record about their online platform and what it provides.
Josh is the Lead Programmer and Kelly is the Director of Operations. They laid out the framework of what they are trying to accomplish with Cannafo.com. The concept for the site is simple; offer a place where people and businesses can find “all things cannabis”.
I learned that Cannafo provides a whole suite of business services and customer resources. Services like pre-ordering, business directory listings, marketing and more are all designed by the team to maximize returns while minimizing complexity. Josh told me that the team is constantly working to streamline processes and add new tools that the Cannafo community finds useful.
One new tool that Cannafo just implemented was the ‘Get Seeds’ function. If a person finds a strain they want to cultivate, with the click of a button they can connect directly to a list of breeders who sell that seed. All of the companies listed are vetted so customers can be confident in the quality and integrity of the companies they find. With thousands of strains in their free database, business services available, and the seed finder tool, Cannafo.com is an amazing resource for consumers and businesses alike.
Once I got done playing with the Cannafo.com site, I talked to their neighbor Dakine 420.
The crazy tie-dyed picture of Albert Einstein drew me in like a moth to the flame. I got to talk to Joey about the company. As another business owned by Kelly Martin, Dakine 420 is a sister company of Cannafo.com but with a focus of being a cannabis nutrient producer.
Joey walked me through what makes Dakine nutrients different from other products on the market. He started off by showing me two empty fish tanks filled with water. As he explained that Dakine 420 is based out of Redmond, Oregon; he showed me the powdered Base, Grow and Bloom products.
The Base is a ballanced NPK formulation complete with a trace mineral package for the initial growth phase. The Grow is created with nitrate nitrogen which is the most efficient nitrogen source for plant growth. The Bloom supplies a perfectly balanced NPK package. With 3 times more potassium than nitrogen, the Bloom brings the fire.
Joey dropped a ppm meter into one of the tanks. The meter shot into the 900-1000 range and stabilized. He explained that the dry powder base is more stable than liquids, can be up to ten times more concentrated than liquids, and is cheaper to ship than liquids. Joey moved the ppm meter to the other tank clear fish tank and the gauge shot into the 1100-1200 range.
As someone who has grown in the past, I know that nutrient enriched water takes on a thick and often chunky consistency. In many commercial product lines, there is undissolved residue that builds up over time and can lead to many problems. The Dakine 420 nutrient line dissolves completely into water meaning that lines don’t get clogged. I was thoroughly impressed by Dakine 420 and look forward to trying out their nutrient line on my next recreational grow.
After Dakine 420, I headed over to the Central Organics Dispensary booth.
The crew was chipper and was handing out flyers about upcoming ballot measures, answering questions and selling a variety of paraphernalia. I was once again reminded of the OLCC ban on sales and samples by the conspicuous lack of cannabis.
Central Organics was especially concerned about the November 8 vote. In Jefferson County and the city of Madras, there are measures on the ballot to ban medical and recreational cannabis. Of the 15 measures on the ballot, literally all of the county and city measures are attempts to ban or tax cannabis.
The ban both at the Fair and on the ballot has been especially hard on the kinds of businesses that Central Oregon is known for supporting. Namely family owned small business that are locally based. As a business that had to travel to and was prepared for THC Fair sales, the OLCC decision to ban THC sales finalizing three days before the event was a bitter pill to swallow.
I love going into Central Organics and picking up hard to find strains like Boxcar Harley and Gasoline Purps. The fact that I know every penny I spend there goes to support local families and patients instead of to corporations like Monsanto makes me love it even more. I feel strongly that supporting small, local companies like Central Organics is investing in my community and I encourage others to support local when possible.
One place in the cannabis industry that supporting local is almost impossible is in the area of testing. As of October 22, there were only 4 labs in the whole state of Oregon fully accredited with the OLCC. Only one of the four fully accredited facilities was at the THC Fair: Green Leaf Labs.
I talked to Elaine about how Green Leaf Labs is coping with the October rules change.
As one of only four ORELAP certified labs in the state, Green Leaf has a reputation of having their ducks in a row. They also have a reputation for excellent customer service and value.
I was warned that turnaround times have almost doubled in the last month from 3-5 to 7-10 days. Not only that, costs are increasing with new OLCC testing guidelines coming into effect. Instead of doing a single sample test per batch, the lab has to pull multiple samples. This doubles, triples or even quadruples testing prices paid by the grower as well as reduces efficiency in the lab.
October is also the harvest month for Oregon so the reduction in legal labs couldn’t have come at a worse time for many outdoor farmers. The extra restrictions, mountains of paperwork, and extra fees the OLCC continue to heap on the industry is backbreaking for many. Green Leaf Labs offer exceptional services tailored to the needs of each client.
The extra costs have to be absorbed somewhere and often it is by the end consumer. Due to unrealistic expectations set by state regulators, growers are having trouble getting their product tested. This has caused an artificial scarcity in the whole market, not just the THC Fair. While the labs are not to blame, they are the tool the state has used to bottleneck the industry.
Labs like Green Leaf are going to bear the brunt of disdain from the community. They are the engineered source of stress on the market and many people are frustrated. Even with the stress and tension that the current situation presents, Green Leaf has made concerted efforts to support and educate the community.
After leaving the Green Leaf booth, I perused the rest of the THC Fair.
I met amazing people and learned a whole lot about cannabis. I totally suggest checking out the THC Fair if you haven’t yet. It’s a great place to learn about the industry while getting exposed to new and interesting ideas.
The next chance to check out the THC Fair is going to be in Salem on November 5-6. It is also going to be the last of the season. Next year looks to be even better for the THC Fair as they build on the community and networks they have cultivated over the last couple of years. I hope to see you at the next THC Fair. Thanks for reading.