When we started Croptoberfest back in 2014, we knew that we had to throw an event that was similar to the other agrarian festivals that are thrown in agricultural communities across the state. Prior to legalization, no one had ever grown on the large scale that I-502 allowed or if they did they didn’t want to talk openly about it. When Washington State legalized cannabis there was a moment of realization for the entire industry and we saw folks just go for it and plant row after row of strains that had never been mono-cropped to that scale while utilizing the entire strength of the sun. We saw the sungrown cannabis farmers take to the valleys and the hills searching for their little slice of heaven.
There is a future for the cannabis industry and we would like to see that potential unfold sooner than later. The cannabis industry will eventually become unshackled when the ability to export to other states and nations becomes legal. It will be at this point that when we will be able to truly express the craft of sungrown cannabis. The future industrial parallels that we point to are with the hop industry. Most don’t know that hops and cannabis are in the same genus or plant family. In fact, hops and cannabis can be grafted together. We draw this future parallel because we know that if Washington State can supply 75% of the nation with its hops demand then we could do something similar with cannabis.
Washington State is also a premium wine-producing region. It’s the nation’s second-largest producer of premium wine and is known as one of the world’s top wine regions. Washington is known for its consistent quality, complexity, true to varietal wines. Washington has 13 American Viticultural Areas (the largest being the Columbia Valley). The Columbia Valley covers almost 11 million acres and represents a third of Washington State’s land mass; the vast size of the area allows for a number of meso and microclimates. Featuring low rainfall and free-draining soils enable vineyard managers to control vine vigor in order to promote flavor development. Warm daytime temperatures ripen fruit to perfection, while cool autumn nights protect the grapes’ natural acidity. Does any of this sound familiar? Well, if you’re a sungrown cannabis farmer then you would see the parallels to wine as well.
When we founded Croptoberfest back in 2014, there was actually a ban on cannabis in the City of Yakima. In fact, Yakima County had also passed a ban on the production, processing and retailing of cannabis. So, the vision of our event was to express to the community that even though our industry was being stifled in a regulatory manner we were going to sustain and thrive. It is because of this exposure to resistance that has helped shape the event into what it is today. Our event’s name has part of the word festival in it and that is because we want to inspire a sense of celebration as we bring in another year’s harvest. We use this moment to gather the industry together for a day of education and connectivity and each year we aim to dive deeper into the agriculturally inspired ideas on what post-legalization large-scale cannabis should represent.
Croptoberfest is proudly brought to you by: