Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Tag: Oregon

Mission Farms Rest CBD Promotes Sleep With Chamomile & Essential Oils

Mission Farms Rest CBD put us to sleep fast and gave us deeper, restful sleep. This unique CBD tincture includes organic chamomile oil and other restful organic essential oils.

Mission Farms Rest CBD put us to sleep fast and gave us deeper, restful sleep.

Imagine combining the power of a cup of chamomile tea with the balancing effects of CBD oil. Mission Farms takes a novel approach to their CBD blends, by combining them with essential oils designed to enhance their effects. Mission Farms Rest CBD adds organic chamomile essential oil, bringing these two herbal relaxers together, along with organic bergamot, orange, and lavender as well.

The power of these combined ingredients had us drifting off to sleep in no time after we dropped it under our tongue. Before we dozed off, we enjoyed the tasty combination of citrus and lavender with the added organic vanilla flavoring. This CBD oil has a strong flavor, but you won’t taste the hemp. We were also impressed by the care and transparency that Mission Farms brings to their whole product line.

Photo: Mission Farms Rest CBD and a dropper sit on the edge of a bathtub, with a bowl of Mission Farms CBD Bath soak.

With essential oils like chamomile and lavender added, Mission Farms Rest CBD helped us fall asleep fast. We also loved sampling their CBD bath soak!

Mission Farms paid us a fee and offered us free products in return for our honest opinion. If you purchase a product from one of these links, we’ll receive a percentage of sales. Read more about sponsored content on Ministry of Hemp.

Read on to learn more about Mission Farms and their delicious, effective CBD oil.

UNIQUE ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS & A ‘FARM-TO-FAMILY’ APPROACH

In addition to Rest CBD, Mission Farms also offers CBD oil blends designed for stress-relief and to ease the symptoms of pain. While other CBD brands are adding ingredients like melatonin to their sleep CBD blends, we appreciated the unique approach of focusing on essential oils and the terpenes they contain. There’s a growing body of research to suggest that terpenes can have beneficial effects, especially when combined with cannabinoids like CBD.

But Mission Farms are doing more than just creating unique CBD blends. They take a “farm-to-family” approach to CBD products, where they own and manage the farms where their hemp is grown in Bend, Oregon. They’re involved in every stage of the process, from hemp growing to the final supplement. This care is evident in their CBD, from the clear labelling to the high-quality, easy-to-measure dropper in each bottle.

Ministry of Hemp commissioned our own independent lab tests of this CBD oil. See lab results for Rest CBD from April 05, 2019.

Mission Farms Rest CBD (Ministry of Hemp Official CBD Review)MISSION FARMS REST CBD OFFICIAL REVIEW

  • Highlights: Mission Farms Rest CBD will ease you to sleep with the combined power of CBD, chamomile, and other soothing essential oils.
  • Strength: 1000mg per 30ml bottle (also available in 250mg trial size)
  • Price: $29.00 – $99.00
  • Customer Service & Shipping: Fast, friendly customer service. Mission Farms charges a flat $5.00 shipping fee on orders.
  • Independent Test Results: Online.
  • Flavor & Feel: The essential oils give this CBD tincture a strong, distinctive flavor of citrus and lavender with notes of vanilla. With this oil, our reviewer fell asleep fast and slept deeply.
  • Ingredients: CBD oil / Full-spectrum Hemp extract in MCT (Coconut-based) oil with Organic Vanilla flavoring and Organic Essential oils (Bergamot, Orange, Lavender, Chamomile)
  • Other: Also available in Relieve, Relax, and Pure (just CBD) formulas. Mission Farms offers a generous 30-day money back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

All Mission Farms products are made with hemp grown in Oregon. They also offer CBD topicals, CBD soap and even a CBD bath soak that our team loved. It soothed our muscles while leaving our skin super soft!

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Expanding US Hemp Acreage Proves Hemp Is The Next Big Cash Crop

Total U.S. hemp acreage is rapidly increasing, as legalization spreads across the country. In 2017, hemp fields expanded by 163 percent across the country. That’s over 25,000 acres of hemp…

Total U.S. hemp acreage is rapidly increasing, as legalization spreads across the country.

In 2017, hemp fields expanded by 163 percent across the country. That’s over 25,000 acres of hemp grown across 19 different states. With more states opening their doors to hemp, the speculation arises, how much further can U.S. hemp acreage grow?

Hemp experts are predicting sales of hemp products could reach $2 billion by 2022. That’s nearly triple the profits from current levels. In order to understand these predictions, it’s important to also look at who is growing hemp, and how much. Through this, we can discover which states are leading the way and inspiring the rest of the country.

U.S. hemp acreage is growing rapidly despite a complicated tapestry of state hemp laws, which vary widely from place to place. Hemp plants grow tall and leafy in a densely packed field.

U.S. hemp acreage is growing rapidly despite a complicated tapestry of state hemp laws, which vary widely from place to place.

Since hemp remains in a legal gray area on a federal level, laws work differently from state to state. A hemp farmer in Colorado might have an easier time growing acres upon acres compared to the recent legalized state of Illinois. Through this information, we’ll begin to understand not only the states where hemp will spread but also how the country as a whole can benefit from progressive hemp laws.

TOP 5 STATES WITH THE MOST HEMP ACREAGE

In comparison to 2016, last year was a huge milestone for the hemp industry. States had doubled and tripled their hemp efforts, more licenses were issued, and more people were beginning to understand the benefits of this next cash crop. The following statistics are from VoteHemp’s 2017 US Hemp Crop Report:

  • 25,713 acres of hemp were grown within 19 states.
  • 32 universities conducted various research projects for hemp.
  • 1,456 state hemp licenses were issued.

In 2017, there were 5 particular states who made huge hemp acreage leaps in comparison to 2016. Knowing of their success within the industry, it’s possible to examine the laws within each of the top five states in order to better understand how other states can increase their production.

#5 – New York – 2,000 Acres

On New York’s official state hemp website, it’s claimed the Governor has taken notable actions to inspire industrial hemp production within the state. It began, in 2015 when New York allowed a select amount of educational institutions to harvest hemp.

A person in a dark hoodie standing in a hemp field gives a thumbs up. In front of them is a huge pile of freshly harvested hemp. Increasing hemp acreage in the United States reveals this crop's immense economic potential.

Increasing hemp acreage in the United States reveals this crop’s immense economic potential.

Part of the reason New York hemp acreage increased in 2017 is due to the removal of the cap on the number of sites allowed to grow hemp. The state’s program expanded to include new farmers and businesses. This allowed for the original 30 acres of hemp in 2016 to grow to 2,000 acres in 2017.

#4 – North Dakota – 3,020 Acres

In 2017, North Dakota had only 34 growers of hemp out of 42 applications. Unlike New York, this state’s 2017 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program requires those who hold a license to either “(1) be part of an agricultural or academic research program conducted by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture or by an institution of higher education; and/or (2) obtain annually a registration issued by the DEA.”

It should be noted that North Dakota made impressive progress with their hemp cultivation. In 2016, they had a mere 70 acres grown. In 2017, total hemp acreage number grew to 3,020. However, part of the reason the state hit such a high number is due to the expanding amount of land each farmer operates on rather than looser regulations.

#3 – Kentucky – 3,271 Acres

Another of the leading states within the hemp industry is Kentucky. Back in 2016, it grew a staggering 2,525 acres. That number grew to 3,271 acres in 2017. Part of the reason Kentucky has been paving way within the industry is due to the early start it had over the majority of the country.

#2 – Oregon – 3,469 Acres

Oregon’s hemp laws are similar to New York and Kentucky. Any farmer or business can apply to grow and/or handle hemp. The price per application is quite hefty at $1,300. Compare that to Vermont’s low application fee of $25!

However, ignoring the price tag of registration, Oregon has less confining laws in terms of growing cannabis in general compared to the rest of the country. Due to this, total industrial hemp acreage jumped from 500 in 2016 to 3,469 in 2017.

#1 – Colorado – 9,700 Acres

For years to come, it seems as though Colorado is going lead the hemp industry. Even in 2016, the state had more hemp acreage compared to any other in 2017 — at 5,921 acres. Yet, they nearly doubled those efforts the following year.

This might not come as a surprise considering Colorado was one of the first states to institute cannabis legalization.

A densely packed hemp field at Luce Farm. Vermont's hemp laws are some of the most progressive in the nation.

A densely packed hemp field at Luce Farm. Vermont’s hemp laws are some of the most progressive in the nation. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Paul James)

HEMP ACREAGE: GROWTH MATTERS, TOO

Though the states mentioned above led the way for hemp acreage in 2017, it should be noted that other states made great progress as well. These include:

  • Washington went from 0 acres in 2016 to 175 acres in 2017.
  • Vermont went from 180 acres in 2016 to 575 acres in 2017.
  • Montana went from 0 acres in 2016 to 542 acres in 2017.
  • Minnesota went from 51 acres in 2016 to 1,205 acres in 2017.

These number are crucial in comprehending the future status of the hemp industry and U.S. agriculture as a whole. Since many U.S. hemp products depend on imported hemp, growth in hemp acreage is vital to the overall growth of the hemp industry.

If hemp acreage increased so much just within a year, it’s possible — with further efforts towards hemp legalization — it might reach even higher profits than predicted.

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New State Hemp Programs: Growing Hemp In Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon & Nevada

Thanks to new state hemp programs, more of this miraculous crop is growing in the USA than ever. In this article we discuss hemp programs in Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada. We also list the market price for hemp in each state.

Thanks to new state hemp programs, more of this miraculous crop is growing in the USA than ever.

Have you ever dreamt of starting over? Packing your belongings and heading to a place where you can spend your days working the land, instead of working behind a desk? Thanks to the rapid expansion of state hemp programs in the U.S., more and more people can be a part of this profitable green future and help create a more sustainable way of life at the same time.

With so much happening in American hemp, we thought this was a perfect time to look at some new state hemp programs, and see what is and isn’t working in each state. In this article, we discuss hemp programs in Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada. We also list the market price for hemp in each state, which we sourced from a Hemp Industry Daily report.

But first, we wanted to share a brief history of modern hemp growing.

HOW HEMP GROWING RETURNED TO THE USA

It all started in 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana. They were the pioneers. California remained ahead of its time until 2012 when another rogue state stepped in. In this case, Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational use. These two states created a revolution in the cannabis world!

Hemp legalization timeline: From California to Vermont, Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Hemp legalization timeline: From California to Vermont, Oregon, Wisconsin and Nevada.

Without California and Colorado leading the way, the Agricultural Act of 2014 aka, the 2014 Farm Bill may have never been introduced. This bill re-legalized hemp growing in the U.S. under state “research” programs. Without this change, the public may have never learned about the life changing benefits of CBD. CBD has had a huge impact it’s had on the hemp market; basically, setting it on fire!

The 2014 Farm Bill left a great deal of leeway to each state to set the parameters for their hemp growing programs. Some state hemp programs only allow academic research while the most successful allow for widespread growing and hemp sales. As with any market that experiences the same growth hemp has, there is bound to be some bumps and bruises along the way. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of those pains, along with what it takes to get into the hemp business.

HEMP SALES HIT $820M UNDER STATE HEMP PROGRAMS

A recent report revealed that US hemp sales reached a record breaking $820 million in 2017. Product sales are estimated to reach a staggering $1.8 billion by 2020. And another report, published by Rolling Stone, suggested CBD sales could hit $22 billion by 2022, surpassing even legal psychoactive cannabis sales in the process.

The sad thing is, hemp’s multi-purpose use has been around since before colonial times. George Washington grew hemp and the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were penned on hemp paper. However, stigma from the war on drugs, and even government cover-ups, made us lose sight of hemp’s benefits for decades.

George Washington's hemp farm is growing again thanks to horticulturists at his Mount Vernon estate and the University of Virginia.

George Washington’s hemp farm is growing again thanks to horticulturists at his Mount Vernon estate and the University of Virginia.

Now hemp’s back in such a big way. Hemp is pouring money into the US economy, providing jobs and opportunity for people who want to put their farming skills to the test. It’s also helping thousands of suffering people suffering experience the benefits of CBD.

There are currently 19 states that allow growing and cultivating hemp, producing a total of 25,713 acres in 2017 according to Vote Hemp’s crop report. That’s just the beginning, as hemp could soon expand in a big way. An amendment to the 2018 farm bill would legalize hemp nationwide by putting it under the control of the Department of Agriculture.

WISCONSIN HEMP PROGRAM IS NEW BUT GROWING FAST

Legalized in 2017, Wisconsin is being hailed as one of the fastest growing states for hemp cultivation.

In order to grow and cultivate hemp legally, it must be grown under Wisconsin’s industrial hemp pilot program.  As part of this state hemp program, crops can only contain 0.3 percent or less THC (tetra hydro cannabidiol) and growers and producers must submit a variety of requested reports to the Washington Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to show compliance. In addition, required records must be kept for three years. These records document a variety of information such as product sources and chain of custody forms. Growers must also allow state officials access to the property to record property transfers.

Since becoming legal, there have been 320 hemp licenses issued. Of those 320, 180 were licenses to grow and 75 were licensed to process the industrial hemp. Registration fees are $350 and annual application fees range from $150-$1,000 depending on the size of the field.

Challenges of growing hemp in Wisconsin

While Wisconsin’s hemp program continues to thrive, there is a unique growing pain that’s getting attention: privacy.

Under Wisconsin’s hemp law, hemp processors contact information is kept private, making it tough for farmers to sell their hemp crops. In an article published by The Cap Times, Rob Richard of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau explained the need for secrecy.

He said, “we were concerned growers would be harassed by people who didn’t understand hemp.”

State hemp programs vary widely: some, like Vermont are simple while growers in Wisconsin face challenging complications. Hemp plants grow tall and leafy in a densely packed field.

State hemp programs vary widely: some, like Vermont are simple while growers in Wisconsin face challenging complications.

To remedy this problem, Richard is working with Larry Konopacki, a former legislative counsel attorney, to create the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance program. The Alliance’s mission is to bring processors, retailers, and consumers together with farmers. The organization is just getting underway, so there’s not much else to report at this time.

Hemp market price in Wisconsin

Due to Wisconsin’s infancy growing and cultivating hemp, market prices were not available.

VERMONT HEMP LICENSES INCREASED 3000 PERCENT SINCE 2013

Legalized in 2013, Vermont has a uniquely progressive state hemp program (as we recently reported).

Of all the states approved to grow hemp, Vermont is definitely among the most lenient. As with all industrial hemp grown in the U.S. approved states, the THC level cannot be more than 0.3 percent. Other than this, farmers and processors are pretty much left alone by the government.

This may partly explain why industrial hemp is booming in Vermont. In the first year, only 8 applicants applied for a hemp license. In 2018, that number increased to 316, an increase of over 3000 percent! Almost 2,000 acres of hemp are expected to grow in the Green Mountain State in 2018. Those wishing to grow or cultivate hemp are only required to pay an annual application fee of $25. This covers farmers wishing to grow hemp for any use. That’s really about it!

One reason for this freedom is that Vermont legalized hemp cultivation a year before Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill which allowed limited state hemp programs.

According to Hemp Industry Daily, farmers in Vermont “do not need to participate in a pilot project, research scheme with a university or state agriculture authority” to grow hemp. So while Vermont is potentially out of compliance with federal hemp rules, famers get to enjoy the state’s hands-off approach and they get access to viable hemp seeds other states do not. And because long-established hemp seed producers in Canada and Europe are close in latitude to Vermont, those seeds will have higher germination rates than if those same seeds were planted further south.

A densely packed hemp field at Luce Farm. Vermont's hemp laws are some of the most progressive in the nation.

A densely packed hemp field at Luce Farm. Vermont’s hemp laws are some of the most progressive in the nation. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Paul James)

Challenges of growing hemp in Vermont

As of July 1, 2018 Vermont made it legal to buy and sell hemp for those registered with the Agency of Agriculture. The program is expected to ease concerns about federal agencies interference with growers, as long as the growers comply with the states program. This program will set up a lab certification standard under a quality control program. It also allows Vermont farmers to purchase hemp seeds from out-of-state seed suppliers.

It’s important to note however that it’s not all hemp rainbows and ponies in Vermont. Hemp farmers and the like are dealing with a number of growing pains. For one, the state is about to face increased competition from their larger neighbors, New York and Canada. And if Vermont’s legislature and the governor decide to legalize recreational marijuana, that could create a whole new set of guidelines to deal with. Finally, as with any state, Vermont hemp growers need a clear hemp growing and sales plan if they wish to be profitable.

Hemp market price in Vermont

  • $100 per pound of dried flowers/buds for CBD extraction
  • $0.80-$1.20 per pound for edible seeds used in food products or pressed for seed oil.
  • $.10 per pound for stalks used for their fiber

‘HEMP IS THE NEW GOLD RUSH’ IN OREGON

Oregon authorized hemp cultivation in 2009, but the state’s Department of Agriculture didn’t license the first hemp growers until 2015.

Since that time, the Oregon hemp market (thanks to CBD) has exploded. In its purified distilled form, CBD oil can fetch thousands of dollars per kilo. Farmers here can make more than 100k an acre growing hemp! In the first year (2015) that Oregon offered hemp licenses only 12 were issued. Last year (2017) hemp licenses across the board increase dramatically. Oregon issued:

  • 233 hemp growers licenses
  • 170 licensed hemp processors, called “handlers”
  • 119 licensed producers of viable hemp seeds

Over 3,500 land acres were licensed for cultivation!

To sum the up the feeling in Oregon, farmer Jerrad said it best in Insurance Journal: “Word on the street is everybody thinks hemp is the new gold rush!”

Nevada's state hemp program is new but successful, with one advocate calling hemp a "new gold rush" for the state. A hemp field grows in tall, dense bamboo-like clusters.

Nevada’s state hemp program is new but successful, with one advocate calling hemp a “new gold rush” for the state.

Hemp entrepreneurs face some heavy startup fees in Oregon. First off, they must pay a separate license for growing and processing. Each license is $1,300. Plus there is a $120 fee for seed production registration.

Oregon doesn’t require background checks for growers or producers. However, the state exhaustively tests all hemp. The law requires growers and producers to use only laboratories approved by the state government. This past October, some new testing requirements were implemented that will end up costing Oregon upward of $50,000, which will most likely be passed down to the farmers.

Challenges of growing hemp in Oregon

An oversupply of marijuana has driven Oregon’s marijuana prices to rock bottom, which has resulted in pot farmers to turn to industrial hemp.

As Oregon issues more hemp licenses, hemp prices will most likely decrease, driving down the market. In addition, earlier this year, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law SB1015. This law allows industrial hemp to enter the recreational cannabis supply line if the hemp farmers are certified by the OLCC to do so.  Recreational marijuana processors are also able to apply for a special “endorsement” that will allow them to accept hemp and hemp products.

The recreational processors then make the hemp, which must be 0.5 percent THC or less, into their concentrate and extract products. But with some marijuana farmers already searching for drastic means to rid themselves of inventory surplus, even destroying their own product, bringing industrial hemp in cannot be a good thing. Doing so will only drive more and more farmers to turn to cultivating industrial hemp, which will eventually lead to a surplus there. Now, should CBD become federally legal, this might not be a challenge, it may be an opportunity.

Hemp parket price in Oregon

  • $100 or more per pound of dried flowers or buds for CBD extraction
  • Less than $.50 for edible seed
  • $0 for stalks used for fiber because the Oregon market is too limited

HEMP IS ‘TAKING OFF LIKE A WEED’ IN NEVADA

Like Wisconsin, hemp in Nevada is still in its infancy stages. Legalized in 2017, hemp farming in Nevada is spreading fast.

“It’s taking off like a weed” said Tick Segerblom in an article by the The Nevada Independent.

Mr. Segerblom, who as a state senator sponsored the bills that were a framework for Nevada’s hemp program went on to say, “there’s an incredible amount of interest in it.”

There were originally 11 growers planting 319 acres in 2016 to 32 growers planning to plant 718 acres in 2018.

One official noted there's "an incredible amount of interest" in Nevada's state hemp program. A hemp field of young hemp plants growing tall in a dense cluster.

One official noted there’s “an incredible amount of interest” in Nevada’s state hemp program.

Nevada requires a separate license for growers, producers, and handlers. The grower license requires a $500 application fee plus $5.00 per acre/.33 per sq. for indoor grows plus and all fees incurred by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Handlers pay a $1000 application fee plus fees incurred by the NDA. Producers pay a $100 application fee, NDA fees and the same acreage and square foot fees as growers. By law, the NDA must approve all seed purchases. They do allow for non-NDA certified seeds on five planted acres or less.

Challenges of growing hemp in Nevada

The biggest challenge for the Nevada hemp industry has to do with the federal regulations against hemp. Most of the hemp in Nevada is slated for human consumption, including CBD. Other uses for hemp, such as textiles, ropes, and paper are virtually ignored because to process these items takes big equipment and big dollars. Investors aren’t willing to invest until hemp is federally legal.

Hemp market price in Nevada

  • $200 or more per pound for flower, depending on CBD content and quality.
  • $10 per pound for food-grade seeds
  • $45 per gallon for seed oil
  • $200 per ton of baled fiber

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF STATE HEMP PROGRAMS?

At first glance it might seem as if legalizing industrial hemp across the board would be the best and only real solution to everything.

Whether it’s lack of industry expansion Nevada faces, the privacy rules Wisconsin has in place, or the potential market implosion in Oregon, legalized hemp would definitely have a positive impact to many of the challenges outlined.

The US Senate added an amendment to the 2018 Farm bill that could fully legalize hemp, but a ban on people with drug felonies could cause complications for growers already operating under state hemp programs. A US Senate hearing chamber in the US Capitol building.

The US Senate added an amendment to the 2018 Farm bill that could fully legalize hemp, but a ban on people with drug felonies could cause complications for growers already operating under state hemp programs.

However, legalized hemp will most likely present a whole new set of challenges anyway. For example, how should states handle intrastate commerce? Will there be a mandate on hemp prices? As of this article, Nevada’s hemp prices are through the roof at $200 or more for dried flowers, where Vermont is selling at $100.00 for the same.

Additionally, while the 2018 Farm Bill could soon legalize hemp, the current amendment would also ban felony drug convicts from growing hemp. No other agricultural crop faces similar restrictions, and both farmers and hemp advocates have objected to the provision.

For now, we can delight in the fact that hemp is back and back in a huge way. Legal hemp created a new economy, revealed awe-inspiring medical potential, and makes use of otherwise unused land.

Let’s all hope the federal government does the right thing and legalizes industrial hemp for every possible use imaginable, and for everyone to grow!

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First CBD Cafe In US Offers Eye-Opening Way To Experience Cannabidiol

GrönCafe, the first CBD cafe in America just opened its doors in Portland, Oregon. The June launch of GrönCafe marks a historic moment for CBD’s rapidly increasing popularity in the U.S.

GrönCafe, the first CBD cafe in America just opened its doors in Portland, Oregon.

The June launch of GrönCafe marks a historic moment for CBD’s rapidly increasing popularity in the U.S.

Portland, Oregon is known for embracing the weird & distinct aspects of life, which is probably why it’s home to the first CBD cafe in the U.S. Oregon is also one of the trailblazer’s when it comes to cannabis, as they were the first state to start decriminalizing in 1973.

Portland’s GrönCafe offers CBD-infused coffee drinks and CBD edibles in an elegant cafe environment. (Courtesy: Grön)

We had the privilege of interviewing the Founder & CEO of Grön, Mrs. Christine Smith, who gave us an insider’s look at the creation of her cafe.

A VISIT TO AMERICA’S FIRST CBD CAFE

Grön is the biggest seller of cannabis edibles in the state of Oregon, best known for their delicious THC-infused chocolates. However, none of the products served at GrönCafe contain THC, the compound in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) that makes people feel high. Instead, CBD can promote relaxation, ease anxiety, and even relieve some forms of pain.

Located at Grön’s manufacturing facility in southeast Portland, the cafe serves CBD-infused coffee drinks akin to your local coffee shop’s espressos or lattes. Customers can also order all the drinks without the infusion, too. In addition to the coffee drinks, they serve Grön’s original CBD-infused chocolate products. Baristas always encourage first-time buyers to try a variety of products.

WHY CREATE GRÖNCAFE?

Smith moved to Oregon with her husband Jasper (who owned & operated a medical marijuana dispensary at the time) in 1999. After observing his business, she recognized a better way to produce edibles, which at that time were nothing more than chocolates crudely wrapped in cellophane. It’s worth noting that Oregon had just legalized medical cannabis the year before, so the market was still in its infancy.

So in 2014, using her past experience in the medical cannabis business, her background as an architect for over 20 years and the skills she gained from her studies in Denmark, she embarked on her journey with Grön.

In addition to CBD-infused coffee, Portland's GrönCafe offers a selection of gourmet CBD chocolates.

In addition to CBD-infused coffee, Portland’s GrönCafe offers a selection of gourmet CBD chocolates. (Courtesy: Grön)

“I saw a market that had untapped potential, I saw something amazing that many people haven’t seen yet.”

Now, she’s started the CBD cafe as a way for people to get comfortable with using hemp for healing and as a way to introduce people into the many uses of CBD.

She feels strongly that CBD is one of the most powerful natural substances in the world. Smith hopes her CBD cafe can help remove stigma by providing an easy way for people to try CBD. Smith and her team plan to launch other tasty products too.

THE CHALLENGES OF WORKING WITH CBD & CANNABIS

Smith told us that working in this industry can be very challenging because of the complex regulations, even in a progressive state like Oregon.

Business owners in the cannabis industry are operating in a legal grey area. With state and federal regulations constantly changing, keeping up with rule changes is half the business. Smith and her team are constantly jumping through hoops just to operate as a business.

The GrönCafe team, with founder Christine Smith and her husband Jasper at right. Running America’s first CBD cafe presents unique legal challenges. (Courtesy: Grön)

Take banking for example: while Oregon is very progressive in terms of regulating businesses such as Grön, they are still held back by federal legislation. Oregon passed House Bill 4094 into law on April 4, 2016, which protects financial institutions from prosecution if they work with cannabis companies.

Even with this bill this in place, federal legislation requires financial institutions to comply with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (aka FinCEN) regulations, which are a lot of work for the banks and the businesses. Smith noted there’s copious amounts of paperwork needed to simply have a credit/debit card system for payment and online payroll.

Banking regulations also force her to have separate accounts for the THC side of Grön and the CBD side. To add to all this chaos, there are only two credit unions in the entire state of Oregon who are willing to work with marijuana-related businesses. Note that the THC side of the business is much more complicated and requires much more paperwork than the CBD side.

A barista serves coffee with a side of fresh whipped cream in Portland's elegant GrönCafe, a dedicated CBD cafe.

A barista serves coffee with a side of fresh whipped cream in Portland’s elegant GrönCafe, a dedicated CBD cafe. (Courtesy: Grön)

It’s exhausting to jump through these hoops, but such is the price to pay to be a trailblazer. Keep in mind that this is just for the financial side of her business. She must regularly test her products with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and a slew of other government agencies.

SO, YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN CBD CAFE?

Smith offered us four tips for entrepreneurs who want to start their own CBD cafe:

  1. Pay attention to all laws and regulations. Regulations are constantly in a state of flux on the federal and state levels.
  2. Study European CBD cafes, such as in Germany & Switzerland. Smith made effective use of her travels in Europe, taking the time to study the already-existing CBD cafes. Keep in mind that European countries are often more progressive towards cannabis, hemp and CBD than America.
  3. View CBD as a healing supplement, not simply a food ingredient. CBD is not psychoactive like THC and but has real, measurable effects and side effects. CBD is one of the most useful compounds found in the natural world!
  4. Most importantly, make an awesome product people will enjoy. None of the other tips matter if people don’t want to buy your product.

These rules are simple, but hard to follow.

Grön’s unique CBD cafe also offers a selection of other CBD edibles such as caramel sauce. (Courtesy: Grön)

WAKING UP TO CBD’S POTENTIAL WITH GRÖNCAFE

Christine Smith is a down-to-earth powerhouse of a woman. It was an honor to talk to one of the trailblazers of the CBD revolution.

Smith is doing much more than opening a cafe, she is helping bring CBD into the general public’s eye, making it a mainstream product while offering her customers a delicious and elegant cafe experience. Visit their website and be sure to stop by for a cup of CBD coffee if you’re in the area!

 

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