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Real Cannabis Stories

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Thoughts on the Portland Cannabis Scene…

If you’ve ever thought about moving to Portland, and have an interest in working in the cannabis industry, we highly recommend it!! Having grown up in California, I’ve only really seen the differences between LA, OC, SD, the central valley, and SF, I thought I’d seen it all… I was wrong. The people are friendlier, and seem to really care about customer service. They really know their strains, and how to recommend products. Everywhere I went seemed to have an amazing work environment.

The major difference in Oregon is that you need an OLCC workers permit to work in the cannabis industry. Yes, OLCC stands for Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and we think it’s weird that they are regulating the industry.. but it seems to be working from a ‘tourist’ perspective.

A few weeks ago we attended TechFestNW + PitchFest in Portland, Oregon. All we knew going into the event was we’d be one of a few cannabis companies pitching (out of the 70 competing in Pitchfest), and there was a keynote speaker nicknamed “The Wizard of Weed”… At a mainstream tech event?…Yes.
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First, we’ll start with our Airbnb host, Isabelle. She was so passionate about her little “cannabis cafe” and it was awesome to see her hosting legal cannabis/420 yoga events, cooking classes, and board game/poker nights. We were out and about all day/night but we met plenty of great people through her and had to give her a shoutout! She is one of the few “420 friendly” hosts in Portland 😉

Now back to the event.. PitchFest was awesome, and we received great feedback from the Judges and the audience! We didn’t win this time but we appreciate the opportunity and learned a lot!

As I mentioned, one of the keynote speakers was Jeremy Plumb, CEO of FarmaPDX (The Wizard of Weed). He gave a great presentation on opioid issues and how cannabis can help.




Prūf Cultivar was also one of the main event sponsors, and had constant foot traffic at their booth throughout the conference. It was awesome to see the Portland tech community embrace cannabis.

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Overall, we visited a few dispensaries and networked with a few very influential people in the Oregon cannabis community. We have a few posts that we will be sharing over the next few weeks highlighting some of the people we met in Oregon.

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‘First Public University Medical Marijuana Course In The Nation’ Offered In California By The Same University That Kicked Me Out Of Their Dorms For a Gram Of Weed

Cannabis was legalized for medicinal use over 20 years ago, and last November we finally voted on the legalization of recreational, “adult” use. This was a major turning point for the industry! Such a turning point, that my alma mater Sonoma State University partnered with United Patients Group to offer a 1 day course titled Medical Cannabis: A Clinical Focus.

“United Patients Group, a medical cannabis education organization, and Sonoma State University are teaming up to offer what they say is the first medical cannabis course from a major public university in the country.

The course marks a watershed moment in medical education and the nation’s rapidly evolving acceptance of marijuana, according to UPG and Sonoma State.” – [Toke Signals]

This course was today, but I’m sure it will be the first of many to come!

upg-flyer-for-sonoma-state-course-sh-page-001-2-768x9945 years ago…
Things were different.
Still the same Sonoma State University in the middle of the Emerald Triangle,
but things were different.

It was the end of the first month of my freshman year at Sonoma State. I was going from class to the gym to rush events hoping to get a bid from Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Almost everyone was on probation after drinking to much the first few weeks, but not me. I kept out of trouble and focused on my goals. One day after the last Rush event, I invited a few of my future pledge brothers back to my dorm. We decided to smoke, and then hung out for about 20 minutes. As we were leaving to go get food, the worst possible situation occurred: My fire alarm went off..

We didn’t know why because it had been some time since we had smoked, but we had to make a decision quick. I knew everyone else was on probation so I told everyone to run and I would take the blame. I figured  that I would be given the same probation sentence for cannabis as my friends had received for alcohol…
I was wrong

I admitted to having one gram of medical cannabis, and was immediately kicked out of the dorms. No probation. No second chance. No refund from the dorms. Nothing.  It’s crazy that a harmless plant was the cause for such drastic changes in my educational path.

I think education is the most important thing, and I live by the quote “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” I hope more Universities “grow up” and realize the true benefits of this plant. The medicinal and economic benefits are INSANE…
But you knew that 😉

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How I applied for a job in the cannabis industry, and got an investment in a business I hadn’t started instead

If you looked at my social media a year ago, you would have never guessed I had anything to do with cannabis. The truth was that I was involved in the industry, but I never thought it was “socially acceptable”. Instead, I portrayed a more “normal” life.

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8 months ago while I was working in corporate america, I finally decided it was time to get off the side lines. I kept seeing articles on “The Green Rush” and realized I was missing out on a huge opportunity. I felt like I knew the basics of cannabis, but I didn’t know how to bridge my professional skills into the legal cannabis industry.

I started looking on every job site I could find– from Linkedin to Craigslist to every “Weedjobs” variation you could think of… But I wasn’t getting anywhere.



I didn’t want to publicly display that I was “Looking for a cannabis opportunity” on my Linkedin, and I felt like it  was ridiculous how much time it took just to find a few quality job openings. When I finally found a few  job openings that appealed to me, I realized I had no idea what was “okay” to list on my resume.


I ended up applying to “The Arcview” group for a business development role. Instead of waiting for a response, I found the CEO, Troy Dayton, on Linkedin and messaged him with my interest. To my surprise,  I was interviewed right away, and thought things went well. I expressed how I felt there were certain gaps that needed to be filled in the industry, and made it clear I planned on starting my own company in the future.

Shortly after the interview, I received an email from Patrick Rea, CEO of Canopy,  asking to learn more about my “cannabis business idea”. After a few phone calls with Patrick, the general Idea was given the green light. I was given 3 weeks to pack my bags, build my team, and move up to Berkeley…


That is how Paragon was born.