Topic: Business

Bud and booze sales setting records

Booze and pot sales are hitting a high note during the pandemic, with sales of cannabis up about 25% in both March and April in Jackson County, and retail alcohol sales rising 48% last month. “A population that sedates itself is less likely to revolt,” quipped Medford City Councilor Clay Bearnson, paraphrasing a comic strip. According to figures from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Jackson County had $4,259,465 in cannabis sales in April compared to $3,062,381 last year. In March, the county saw $3,868,949 in cannabis sales compared to 3,049,153 in the same month last year. Josephine County also posted

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Pot tax money gives struggling businesses some relief

A new $125,000 grant program to help struggling businesses in Medford was so popular that it was effectively used up as fast as it became available Monday morning. “The $125,000 was gone in 15 minutes,” said Medford City Councilor Tim D’Alessandro. “We’re really happy we could inject this little bit into the economy.” He said the city hasn’t processed all of the applications yet to determine whether the businesses that applied were qualified, but the city received enough applications to exceed the dollar value of the grant program. The money for the Small Business Assistance Grant Program came from cannabis

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Pot tax revenue in helpers’ hands

Local organizations helping people who are struggling through the pandemic received $100,000 in marijuana tax money Wednesday from the city of Medford. The city will distribute the relief funds, derived from a portion of its marijuana tax revenue, to ACCESS, Center for NonProfit Legal Services, Community Works, Consumer Credit Counseling of Southern Oregon, Hearts with a Mission, Greenway Food Distribution Program, La Clinica, Maslow Project, Mercy’s Gate, Salvation Army, Senior Food Assistance Program, Set Free Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul, and Youth 71Five. “We have seen such a huge increase in demand for our services,” said Bill Ihle, executive director

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Bud-trimming machines may trim jobs

Those long chatty hours of well-paying bud-trimming work may be slipping away, thanks to (surprise!) machines. On the upside, these machines seem to do wonders for growers, with a device called the Buckmaster Pro able buck and trim many pounds an hour. At a big launch party demonstration in November at their White City shop, OM Extracts showed off their Oregon Education Center for automated bucking and trimming, promoting the Triminator XL Dry Bud Trimmer, which they call the fastest in the world. Triminator, which has been manufacturing the machines in Grass Valley, California, starting a decade ago, says the

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Ethics of hemp

Ethics are a big part of what hempsters talk about when they get together. Ethics of using plastic sheeting in hemp fields. Ethics of GMOs and synthetic chemicals. Ethics in business dealings. And many of those discussions were front and center in Ashland last September when 300 hemp growers, business people and others attended the third-annual Hemp University at Southern Oregon University’s Stevenson Union. There’s a lot of work to be done and money to be made in cannabis and hemp, but Misty Burris of the Grange and Oregon Institute for a Better Way emphasized that we mustn’t forget to

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Learn as you grow

Despite growing pains in 2019 that saw harvesting and production setbacks for many hemp growers, the industry in Oregon continues to soar in the number of operations registered for 2020 with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the amount of farm acreage set aside for hemp crops. Meanwhile, hemp growers in Southern Oregon say they are applying lessons they learned last year to the upcoming growing season. As of early March, ODA had already processed more than four times the number of growers who had registered by the same time in 2019. “We’ve got about 1,200 people in the queue

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Boutique buds

Tetra Organics, a two-acre, organic, family hemp farm across the freeway from Ashland, won first place for Top CBD entry in the 2020 Golden Grow competition in January for its Lifter strain. Winning that honor in the contest — put on by Hemp Inc. and Hemp University’s New Leaf Symposium — will help Tetra gain consumer credibility, as will the “organically grown in Oregon” cachet, say Spencer and Morgan Pierce, a duo of late-20s brothers who grew up on the scenic family farm where they started some years ago by growing hops, using two vertical wind generators. Spencer describes their

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Cannabis tech

Drying cannabis can be tricky. Dampness can trigger mold. Too much heat can wipe out terpenes. It needs good air circulation. It’s a relatively new science, and lots of new farmers are trying to master it — or find where to farm the job out. Showing off her new drying room last fall, Mitra Sticklen, chief operating officer at OM Extracts in White City, reports they’ve developed software that allows them (and the farmer using their drying room) to set the drying temp and humidity, then an app flags the team (OM workers and the farmers) on their phone or

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How green is your bud?

Organic certification can differentiate an agricultural commodity, bringing higher market prices and increased margins to the producer. When the 2018 Farm Bill designated hemp as a federally regulated commodity crop, savvy Oregon growers jumped at the opportunity to certify organic. The label means a lot in today’s consumer-driven, health-conscious market. Organic certification is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture and cannot be applied to an agricultural product without registration and a lengthy, standards-based inspection. In fact, the word “organic” cannot be used with reference to an agricultural product without USDA organic certification. In Oregon, the Oregon Department of

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Virus boosts pot, alcohol sales

Booze and pot are being enjoyed in record amounts during the pandemic shutdown. “It’s not that we’ve had a big uptick in customers, it’s that the customers are buying more at a time,” said Phil Carvalho, owner and operator of C&C Farms Rec Shop on West Main Street. Carvalho opened the first legal cannabis store in Medford in 2015. Statewide marijuana sales surged to $84.5 million in March compared to $61.2 million last March, about a 30% increase. According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, alcohol sales in March hit $66 million, a 20% increase over last March. That’s less

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Summer 2020 TOC:

  • Cannabis Entrepreneurs: The women behind ‘Ladies of Paradise’
  • Terroir: Inside the science of tasty bud
  • Cannabis Cooking: Canna-balls styled after Alice’s ‘Brownies’
  • Retail: Home delivery gets a boost
  • Profile: River City Retail has a winning formula
  • Retail: Pandemic fuels pot-buying explosion
  • Religion: Cannabis for churchgoers
  • Growing: Hardy Seeds in Ashland shares why hemp loves company
  • COVID-19: Hemp farming – ‘It’s a lot safer than working at McDonalds’
  • Retail: Drive-thru bud at La Mota

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Murphy Hemp and Wellness in Grants Pass is serving up an alternative form of medicine. Here they break down some variants in CBD – isolates, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum (also know as whole plant extract).