Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | May-June 2020 98 E ast Fork Cultivars is a respected cannabis cultivator in the Pacific Northwest, and in the months ahead, the family behind the company wants to win over the rest of the country. Brothers Nathan and Aaron Howard started East Fork Cultivars in 2015 to relieve their oldest brother, Wesley Howard, of his range of medical conditions caused by epilepsy and the neurological disorder neurofibromatosis. The Takilma, Oregon-based company began by growing CBD-rich hemp using sustainable, sun-grown farming methods. Wesley died in 2017, but his influence lives on at East Fork. The farm-based business continues to cultivate craft hemp using green growing methods and has expanded to include CBD-dominant cannabis. Marijuana Business Daily recognized the company as an industry leader in December during the inaugural MJBizDaily Awards presented at MJBizCon in Las Vegas. Looking ahead, how will East Fork achieve its goal of establishing a solid national footprint? In short, the company plans to get its plants—or their byproducts—into the hands of national brands. And, in the fall, East Fork will open a retail space in Portland, Oregon, where customers can consume CBD-infused products and preview its commercial seed line. “We did just over $2 million in top-line revenue last year, so we’re still quite small in scale. However, the complexity of what we do and our out- look moving forward is certainly more Growing Up By Adrian D. Garcia Oregon-based East Fork Cultivars leverages partnerships and an upcoming retail presence in Portland to get national exposure, expand its footprint BusinessStrategies | Cultivation While still fairly small, East Fork Cultivars has become one of the most respected cannabis cultivators in the Pacific Northwest. The family- run business wants to increase its profile in 2020 while capitalizing on national revenue opportunities. Here are details about East Fork and its growth strategies: • The company expected during the first quarter to generate $3.6 million in top-line revenue in 2020, up from about $2 million last year. At the same time, the staff could grow from about 24 people to 30 or 35. • East Fork has worked with several cannabis manufacturers in Oregon. Going forward, the company plans to partner with national mainstream brands looking to add products that include hemp or CBD as an ingredient. • The farm-based business intends to take over the ground floor of a mixed-use building in Portland, Oregon, and provide a retail space where customers can try products created by East Fork and its business partners. • Ahead of unveiling its commercial seed line, East Fork is working with Vibrant Hemp Cultures to propagate its cannabis strains and market and deliver the cultivars to farmers nationwide. East Fork Cultivars began by growing hemp in Oregon; today, the company also cultivates CBD-rich marijuana. Photo by Olivia Ashton