The food movement has been working hard for decades to rebuild a food system that, in some ways, used to exist and was dismantled by consolidation and industrialization. With the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in nine states and medical use in 30 states, the pressures of consolidation and industrialization are already being felt. There is an opportunity to put sustainability and justice values into policy and practice now and to shape the development of an inclusive and equitable agricultural industry, but the window of opportunity is short and so far not many funders have been allocating attention and resources to this area.
Spokane County has more cannabis growers than
any other county in Washington state, nearly 13% of all producers in the state. On this tour we’ll attempt to at least scratch the surface of this complicated and huge agricultural industry that is currently developing on a state-by-state and often county- by-county level. The day’s discussions will include explorations of environmental sustainability, social justice, philanthropy, and economic, gender, and racial equity in the cannabis industry. We’ll have the chance to meet with growers in the region and speak with advocates from other parts of the country. We’ll discuss the organizing power of farmers at the local level in Spokane County, burgeoning efforts to create regenerative organic agriculture standards for the industry, and how folks are trying to address equity and justice with new policy (don’t forget who the war on drugs, especially marijuana, has most affected).
Washington’s Finest Cannabis, Deer Park, WA
● Crystal Oliver, president and co-founder, Washington’s Finest Cannabis; executive board member, Cannabis Farmers Council
● Kevin Oliver, co-founder and chief strategic officer, Washington’s Finest Cannabis; board member, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML); executive director, Washington NORML
Andrew Black, founder and CEO, Certified Kind, CO
Frederick Briones, principal, IBH Labs, CA
David Bronner, cosmic engagement officer (CEO), Dr. Bronner’s, CA
Jesce Horton, board chair, Resource Innovation Institute; co-founder and former chairman, Minority Cannabis Business Association; president, Saints, Inc.; owner, Panacea Valley Gardens, OR
Amanda Reiman, vice president of community relations, Flow Kana; secretary, International Cannabis Farmers Association; board member, Open Cannabis Project; board member, California Cannabis Tourism Association, CA
A-dae Romero-Briones, director of programs, First Nations Development Institute, CA