Learn to Earn
When weed edu pays off.
The Broccoli Report
Friday, November 18, 2022
Time to read: 6 minutes, 37 seconds. Contains 1324 words.
How one hemp farm took consumer education to a new level.
I talk to a lot of different cannabis and hemp businesses, and this year, interviews have been a little grim. While heartwarming moments are still to be found in most people’s cannabis stories, the conversation is often about struggle. Some founders I spoke with were deciding whether to throw in the towel; others were enjoying a brief moment of calm between existential fires; most were crossing their fingers for brighter days ahead. Oregon’s East Fork Cultivars, though? East Fork’s doing just fine, according to a recent chat I had with co-owner and CEO, Mason Walker.
The adult-use licensed hemp farm sells CBD-rich flower at licensed dispensaries as well as <.3% THC hemp products wholesale and online. In Portland, their lovingly grown sungrown flower and tinctures have been familiar fixtures in shops and inside of other cannabis products, their name synonymous with trustworthy, satisfying high-CBD experiences. I initially reached out to gather intel for a dive into the wobbly state of CBD, but was intrigued when Walker reported that revenue has been climbing steadily since the company’s launch in 2018. While diversifying into bulk ingredients and custom-formulated extracts bolstered the business over the past two years, Walker doesn’t believe that led to East Fork’s year-over-year growth amidst massive price drops in a saturated, tourist-light market. Instead, he thinks the difference is down to East Fork’s early investments in education.
What started with a small—not insignificant, but singular—investment in budtender education has grown into a massive arm of their brand and business operations. Keep reading to learn how it grew, what made its edu content accessible, and how it’s affected what people are willing to pay for their hemp flower at dispensaries.
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