I attended the Secret Session PDX last week, an event commemorating adult-use cannabis in Oregon, and celebrating diversity in the industry. The event was sponsored by Panacea Valley Gardens, Panacea Valley Gourmet Edibles, Go Greene, and the Minority Cannabis Business Association. Proceeds went to support the Minority Cannabis Business Association, and Go Greene, two organizations working to promote diversity in the cannabis industry.
Jennifer Tyler, a Founding Member of MCBA and owner/chef of Panacea Gourmet Edibles did an excellent job hosting the event. She introduced Jesce Horton, who recently took over as Chairman of MCBA. The Minority Cannabis Business Association "is the first non-profit organization created to service the specific needs and interests of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and patients. By developing a strong nationwide network of cannabis business owners within a variety of disciplines (including ancillary businesses), advocating for creation and fair enforcement of sensible policies, and serving as a voice for the minority population." Horton spoke eloquently about creating a cannabis industry that is inclusive to people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations. "Those of you who have a lot of resources and experience," said Horton "please reach out a hand, and help someone trying to get into the industry." He commended the Oregon cannabis community on recent successes, with the legalization of adult cannabis sales, but also reminded guests about the importance of keeping true to the roots of our industry.
Charlo Greene, owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club was the event speaker. Greene recounted the story of her frustration with the state of the cannabis industry in Alaska, which culminated a year ago in her viral, on-air resignation from an Alaska news team. She then put her efforts into legalizing adult use in Alaska, and is now launching GoGreene.org. Go Greene is also a non-profit organization, "aimed at cultivating diversity in cannabis advocacy and industry to rebuild the communities harmed by prohibition most." Go Greene hopes to create opportunities for cannabis to begin giving back to communities all over the country, and to support people who are still being jailed for non-violent marijuana charges, disproportionately represented by young men from areas of color.
Comedian and activist Ngaio Bealum did an excellent set, as he is known to do. There was a mellow atmosphere, food, excellent music by DJ Slimkid3, and wine was provided by Abbey Creek Vineyard, of North Plains, Oregon. Bertony Faustin, managing partner and winemaker for Abbey Creek, is shooting a documentary called Red, White and Black, highlighting a day in the life of a minority winemaker in Oregon. Check out the information video here. Samples were available from Panacea Valley Gardens, Panacea Valley Gourmet Edibles, Dab Society, Titrate, and Dirty Arm Farms.