Portland Cannabis Events to Look Forward to in 2021
Let’s face it: 2020 is a wash. Coronavirus is likely to keep everything closed, or close to closed, for the rest of the year, which means there won’t be any reason to leave the house for the next six months or so. You might as well kick back, order some bud from your favorite Portland dispensary and wait until infection rates start to decline.
Fortunately, there is still some hope for 2021 — and many of Portland’s best events are expecting to open their doors once we kick COVID-19 to the curb. If you need something to look forward to, consider marking your calendar with the following 420-friendly events set to take place around Portland all next year.
Cannabis Science Conference
Though cannabis is woven into human history — being one of the oldest domesticated plants, valued even before civilization — the truth is we don’t know all that much about it. White Europeans’ disinterest in the drug in the 19th century and disgust of its use by minorities in the 20th century contributed to a dearth of cannabis research that has persisted until today.
Fortunately, increased availability of cannabis thanks to legalization efforts is contributing to a new enlightenment, in which researchers are learning more and more about how marijuana impacts the human body and brain, how cannabis grows and develops cannabinoids and much, much more. The Cannabis Science Conference is a gathering of leading minds in cannabis study, the largest and most technical of cannabis events around the world. The Western CSC is scheduled for August 30 to September 1, 2021.
Portland International Film Festival
Not purely pot-focused, the Portland International Film Festival is at least 420-friendly. The PIFF is hosted every year in early March in the Portland Art Museum; the event attracts some of the best filmmakers from around the world and includes more than 150 international shorts and feature films. In 2019, more than 35,000 attendees participated in viewings, panels, workshops and award ceremonies — and if any of them lit a spliff in the theater or smuggled in their own THC gummies, no one complained.
It is almost preposterous how much variation exists within the cannabis species. In the millennia since its first cultivation, cannabis has proliferated, and growers have carefully sculpted the plant’s genetics to produce a wide variety of effects. Today, the best count suggests there are more than 800 unique strains — but even strains with the same name, like Sour Diesel, can have significant discrepancies in their THC content and their flavor if they are produced by different growers or in different seasons.
The Cultivation Classic is one of several cannabis events around the country that attempts to categorize and class different cannabis cultivars. Unlike say the Cannabis Cup, the Cultivation Classic takes submissions of marijuana and hemp grown around Oregon and objectively tests them, providing participants with detailed insights regarding effects, cannabinoid content, terpene profiles, contaminants and more. Then, trained judges rank submissions, giving growers, dispensary owners and stoners guides to the best Oregon-grown bud of the year.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
Another Portland event that isn’t strictly about marijuana, the Cathedral Park Jazz Fest is nonetheless a relaxing and invigorating way to spend a summer weekend. Every year in the park beneath St. John’s Bridge, the Jazz Oregon Society hosts a three-day gathering of the region’s best jazz and blues musicians. Though 2020’s Jazz Festival was live streamed, 2021 is tentatively on the books for July 19-22. While it might not be wise to ostentatiously use weed in a public park, you can surreptitiously vape or enjoy edibles as the smooth music carries you away.
Oregon Hemp Convention
Cannabis is a versatile plant. Though you might immediately think of psychoactive marijuana when discussing cannabis, the truth is the plant has dozens other, non-psychotropic applications — and it has done so for time immemorial. Thanks to the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, cannabis with a THC content lower than .3 percent can legally be grown across the country without federal interference. Ecstatic, Oregon farmers have taken to sowing their fields with hemp, enthusiastically hoping to capitalize on the CBD craze or else the imminent use of industrial hemp for textiles, plastics and other products.
The Oregon Hemp Convention works to coordinate hemp farmers around the state, providing more information and insight into this valuable crop. By attending, potential hemp growers can learn about the cannabis plant, building a hemp business and the status of the hemp industry overall.
Living in such unprecedented times, we cannot predict with certainty that these events will take place in 2021 — but we are hopeful that Oregon will get its infections under control and allow public gatherings on par with those in the before-times.