Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | May-June 2020 102 BusinessStrategies | Cultivation he said. “Probably our biggest partnership this year that’s the most public and probably goes the deepest is with Gaia Herbs.” North Carolina-based supplement maker Gaia Herbs has products sold in CVS pharmacies, Whole Foods Market and other major retailers. The company is working with East Fork on its line of full-spectrum hemp products. Physical Presence East Fork is a farm-based business in a remote area near the Oregon- California state line, so most of its customers don’t get an opportunity to interact directly with the company. However, that’s expected to change later this year, once the company opens its physical space in Portland. East Fork plans to take over the ground floor of a mixed-use building in Portland’s up-and- coming Foster-Powell neighborhood. The space, expected to open in October, will serve as an office for 10 employees and a warehouse for its hemp wholesale and e-commerce divisions. There will also be a small “flagship” retail outpost that East Fork is calling Hemp Bar. East Fork’s goal is to “bring a small slice of the farm” to Portland. The tentative plan is for a community- oriented, beverage-focused cafe offering CBD-infused teas and alcohol-free cocktails, Walker said. “It will be almost like an apothecary. There will be a bar with a budtender/bartender behind it, and they’ll create a delicious, CBD- infused matcha tea and they can also sell you a tincture in the little retail space there,” he said. Growing Further In November, East Fork announced a partnership with Vibrant Hemp Cultures that would allow farmers across the country to grow its cannabis strains through licensing agreements. The startup, based in Hood River, Oregon, will propagate starter plants for East Fork through a deal with North American Plants, an Oregon- based tissue-production facility, and market and deliver them to hemp farmers nationwide, Walker said. The licensing agreement with Vibrant will allow East Fork to start building relationships with farmers as the company develops commercial seed lines through its internal breeding program. “If everything goes really well, we’ll do about $250,000 in revenue ourselves through the licensing deal. I’ve budgeted for about $50,000 in revenue,” he said. “It’s pretty small as a potential revenue opportunity; however, it’s really exciting because it announces us as a breeder to hemp farmers and previews where our seed lines should be in a couple of years.” Aaron Howard, Mason Walker and Nathan Howard, from left, are the leadership team at East Fork Cultivars. Photo by Olivia Ashton