In the before times, prior to the establishment of Oregon's Adult Use recreational cannabis program, the list of things to consider when purchasing weed was fairly short, including but not limited to: "Is it, like, chronic?" "How much?" and "How late from the time my dealer says they will arrive will they actually show up?"
"Been two hours. I'll try his beeper again" sighed many a stood-up stoner. Simpler times...
When buying cannabis now, questions primarily concern potency, terpene content and if the product/strain will deliver on your intended outcomes. But for many, the same questions they ask when making other purchases are being asked about their cannabis, often involving how it was produced.
Cannabis is an agricultural crop, and like all cultivated crops, is generally produced in two forms: small scale sun-grown "Craft" and large-scale indoor "Commercial." As cannabis continues its transition from "illegal evil drug comin' for your children, booga booga" to "taxed and regulated commodity helping fund schools and police departments, ka-ching," the sector of consumers who seek out craft cannabis is growing—not simply for the quality, but for the shared beliefs in ecological stewardship and supporting small businesses.
Trigger warning: Whenever one is discussing the merits of sun-grown cannabis it is often framed as a contest between that and indoor, instead of a comparison. I know indoor growers can produce remarkable, award-winning flowers, which I regularly enjoy very much. So, while "sun-grown versus indoor" is a false equivalence, "craft compared to commercial" is not.
A new public education and awareness campaign looks to help cannabis consumers identify sun-grown producers that adhere to certain organic cannabis farming practices and ideals.
"Weed Like Change," a name which clearly someone signed off on while high AF, is a coalition including dispensaries, producers, nonprofits and "Sun+Earth" certified farms and brands.
Sun+Earth is a two-years-young nonprofit that promotes and certifies growers producing sun-grown cannabis using regenerative organic soil practices, and who fairly compensate their workers. Their 50-plus small craft cannabis farms, primarily in southern California and southern Oregon, with a few in Washington, are spotlighted by "Weed Like Change" to amplify the value of environmental impacts of cannabis produced this way.
The farms, all sun grown, have a carbon footprint of 1/25th that of an indoor grow, and forgoe herbicides, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers for compost teas, soil inoculants and nitrogen- fixing cover crops.
Some of my favorite flowers lately have been from small craft sun-grown farms, providing outstanding taste, potency, bag appeal and high terpene contents. I've written of my love for Green Source Gardens, who arguably are Oregon's foremost regenerative organic soil cannabis growers, as well as members of the Weed Like Change campaign. They offered up some strains that delivered soaring highs, subterranean chilled out lows, with mouth-watering terpene levels. Also great? Their lower production costs result in wallet-friendly prices.
Other Oregon members include Luminous Botanicals, East Fork Cultivars, Groundworks Industries—owners of Serra, Farma and Electric Lettuce, Somewhere Dispensary, Phoenix Rising, and several other farms. They are joined by Brother David's, a nonprofit cannabis brand whose 100% of proceeds are dedicated to supporting small cannabis farms.
Technology has developed grow systems utilizing high intensity, low energy LEDS and more efficient HVAC systems for indoor growers, offering a smaller carbon footprint than traditional indoor grow systems using massively inefficient rows of 1000 watt lights and HVAC.
Reducing our carbon footprint involves numerous small changes and choices. The choice to support small sun-grown craft cannabis is one of the easiest.
Weed Like Change