Wineries Are Becoming The New Weederies

For more than a decade, Barbara and Bill Steele have owned their winery, Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden in Jacksonville, Oregon. Recreational marijuana has been legal in their state since 2015, and as marijuana legalization continues to grow, the Steeles are adding another crop to their fields, marijuana. Last year, they grew 30 plants on their land, and now they’re growing double that to be branded with the same labels as their award-winning wine. Other winemakers are also experimenting with cannabis to appeal to younger consumers, as less baby boomers are drinking and more millennials are seeking “weed and wine” experiences. Many wineries are ripping out portions of their grapes in order to meet this demand for cannabis.   

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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