A Betrayal By a Leader of Oregon’s Cannabis Sector Shows How the Weed Small business Went From Down Household to Cutthroat


“We had this perfect that Oregon could do it distinctive.”

Beth Schechter’s planet shattered with a text message.

An Atlanta native, Schechter moved to Portland in 2015 to took a job as executive director of a nonprofit named the Open Cannabis Project in 2017. Her job: defending little cannabis farmers by difficult patent claims on commonplace weed strains.

For two years, she was a satisfied warrior, collecting chemical and genetic information from pot plants and just about every now and then checking in with Mowgli Holmes, a geneticist and entrepreneur who was cataloging the plant DNA.

Then, this April, an individual texted her a 25-minute video.

It showed Holmes pitching his enterprise, Portland-primarily based Phylos Bioscience, to investors at a conference in Miami. It also seemed to show she had unwittingly sold out these little farmers.

“To be truthful, at 1st, I had no emotional reaction at all,” Schechter, 37, says. “It definitely took a handful of days to procedure and be like, ‘Wow, shit.’ Most likely, the numbness in my physique was shielding me from that so I wouldn’t just crumple into a ball.”

Because 2014, Phylos Bioscience—a startup founded by Holmes, a Ph.D. from Columbia University—had been collecting DNA samples from plants and publishing the information for the public.

Phylos and OCP each stated they pitted themselves against corporations like Monsanto, and normally talked about operating collectively to fight “corporate weed.” [Read More @ Willamette Week]


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