International Cannabis Business Conference

Oregon Rep. Blumenauer Attends Portland Cultivation Classic

Rep. Earl Blumenauer speaks at the Portland Cultivation Classic judging contest on Aug. 30. (Photo by Doug McVay)

Want more proof that Rep. Earl Blumenauer is the coolest guy in Congress? Well, he attended Willamette Week's Cultivation Classic  judging contest in Portland on Apr. 30 and handed out the awards.

The competition was restricted to soil-grown cannabis that's free of mineral salt fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. There was good music, a host of great speakers and lots of vendors packed inside the city's Northern Warehouse. Smoking was restricted to the outdoor area.

The event ended with an awards ceremony hosted by Blumenauer, who represents Portland.The top five winners announced at the competition were:

Oregon legalization bong. (Photo by Doug McVay)

• Top indoor-grown THC strain: Jack Herer, grown by Garden Terrace Farms

• Top greenhouse-grown THC strain: Jack Herer, grown by Hill Fire

• Top outdoor-grown THC strain: Purple Hindu Kush, grown by Alter Farms

• Top CBD strain: Fisher's CBD, greenhouse grown by Essential Agronomy

• Top strain with a one-to-one CBD to THC ration: Cannatonic, grown indoors by Newcleus Nurseries

I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes with Congressman Blumenauer as the event was drawing to a close. “Did you think, when you started doing this back in the '70s, that you would be someday be handing out awards at a cannabis cup?” I asked.

Rep. Blumenauer hands out one of the awards at the Cultivation Classic in Portland on Apr. 30. (Photo by Doug McVay)

“Probably not," he replied. "But, actually, when we started working on this in the '70s, I thought we would have gone to legalization a lot faster. We had momentum, but then we all of a sudden had Nixon, the Reagans and the international War on Drugs. So we got sidetracked for about 20 years. I'm really proud of how Oregon has approached this. Measure 91 is the best proposal of anyplace in the country. You see people here who are committed to the gold standard. They want to do it right, serve their customers and understand the nature of the product. I find it encouraging and inspiring."

The Congressman then predicted that marijuana will be legal federally within the next five years:

'States will be able to make the decision that people in the states want. If Colorado wants it and Utah doesn't, that's fine. Just like you can have alcohol regulated by the states. I think everybody will have access to medical marijuana and we'll break down the barriers to research. I'm very optimistic that, in five years, it'll be game over.'

Twitter: @dougmcvay

Doug McVay

Doug McVay

Doug McVay is on the board of directors of Common Sense for Drug Policy. He lives in Portland, Oregon.