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Takilma, OR

East Fork Cultivars

East Fork Cultivars produces CBD-rich, sun-grown, craft hemp between the east fork of Oregon’s Illinois River and California’s Siskiyou Wilderness.

Project Summary
  • Start Date: 2018
  • Farm Size: 24 acre(s)
  • Products: Fiber Flowers
  • Loan: $595,030
  • Interest Rate: 9.50%
  • Term: 5 year(s)
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Description

East Fork Cultivars produces CBD-rich, sun-grown, craft hemp between the east fork of Oregon’s Illinois River and California’s Siskiyou Wilderness.

Meet the Farmers

Nathan and Aaron Howard founded East Fork Cultivars with a singular mission—to grow plant-based medicine that would provide their eldest brother, Wesley, relief from an array of medical conditions. Aaron started growing cannabis in an effort to alleviate Wesley’s pain at the age of 17. As he and Nathan researched the plant and its healing properties, they realized that cultural preoccupation with the intoxicating THC compound had underemphasized the restorative potential of non-intoxicating active compounds in cannabis, including cannabidiol (CBD). Aware of CBD’s many medicinal benefits, the Howard brothers and East Fork CEO Mason Walker went back to the drawing board and began breeding cannabis cultivars high in CBD and low in THC. They acquired the East Fork Ranch in southwest Oregon, one of the best locations in the world to produce sun-grown cannabis.

East Fork Cultivars

Reason for Loan

When East Fork Cultivars looked to expand into craft hemp production (hemp is cannabis measured at 0.3% THC or less), they struggled to find backing from traditional sources of financing. A loan from Steward financed the purchase of 24 neighboring acres. This more than tripled the size of the East Fork Ranch, from 9 to 33 acres. In addition to land acquisition, the funding also supported soil preparation and improvement of post-harvest processing facilities, specifically for curing and drying hemp.

What's Next?

As the market for hemp and cannabis products continues to grow, the East Fork team is confident that their commitment to place-based craftsmanship will distinguish East Fork from conventional and industrial growers. Moving forward, they plan to continue breeding unique hemp and cannabis cultivars and make those genetics available to other farmers.

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