BY LEAH MAURER \n The CannaSociety Soirée in Portland demonstrated how stunning a cannabis event really can be…and I was lucky enough to be invited. \n As more states legalize cannabis, social consumption becomes more of a topic of discussion. In fact, Denver recently passed a social consumption ordinance just a few weeks ago. Much like a fancy dinner party or small reception at a home in the West Hills of Portland, the CannaSociety Soirée was stunning. \n \n This event brought together over 80 cannabis industry supporters for the purpose of celebrating Cascade High Organics fall harvest. Many in the Oregon Cannabis industry model their own companies after Cascade High Organics, who also very generously hosted this private event. \n Not only were the attendees of this event treated to an incredible dinner, but also were able to network and share stories of how they have become licensed participants, lawyers, marketing firms, real-estate, medical and recreational providers in the newest frontier that is the cannabis industry. \n “The idea of the CannaSociety Soirée was about bringing together industry players to celebrate organic farm-to-table food and cannabis in a relaxing and elegant environment. As an industry, we need to carefully consider how our industry can lead the way in sustainable agriculture. From our use of energy, to eco-friendly cultivation techniques, to finding ways to incorporate socially conscious packaging using hemp based plastics,” said James Schwartz, founder/owner of Cascade High Organics and host of the event. \n “As a new and burgeoning industry in the country, OR Cannabis industry pioneers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to build a socially conscious sustainable cannabis industry that supports the people and the planet. At Cascade High we are tirelessly working towards that goal, putting the people and planet above profits. We hope others want to join us in this endeavor and we thank our industry partners that joined us for this remarkable evening.” \n \n To celebrate this event, guests were treated to music by Gaea and a grand dinner prepared by Chef Leather Storrs that showcased an infused menu demonstrating how the terpenes of cannabis can augment the flavors of traditional cuisine. Salmon, roasted beets, polenta, chocolate torts and even a beautiful, cannabis-themed cheese plate were among what was served for dinner. Some of the food was infused with cannabis oil and some was not, but it was perfectly done and all of the dosing was clearly communicated by the event staff and hosts. \n John Vito Farinola and his wife hosted this event in their home. John said, “As a participant, I was amazed at how the different terpenes gave incredible support to the flavors of the different dishes served. Those around me were simply in awe of not only the incredible tastes and presentation, but also how those infused dishes deliciously and safely transported the effects of the cannabis responsibly into those who indulged.” \n Samantha Montanaro, owner/operator of Prism House PDX, was the event planner and organizer for the soiree. She said of the event, “I was thrill \ned to assist in the production of a farm-to-table infused dinner that was bringing so many together from the healthcare and Cannabis industries. I enjoyed bringing elegant touches to the event to make all guests feel comfortable – no matter if they consume Cannabis on a regular basis or not. My goals with the decor and details of the event were to convey the big picture message: socially conscious practices and elegant and fresh local organics. From the florals to the plated dishes, this event felt cohesive, uplifting and exciting.” \n \n In addition to the infused meal, there were tinctures and concentrates to explore. A dab station was present to share CBD concentrates with those interested. There were multiple topical oils to sample as well as various kinds of cannabis flower that attendees had brought to share. \n Host John Vito Farinola added, “The feeling of the entire event was certainly freeing as well as social and cordial. To be quite sincere, it felt like a Fall Wedding event – the marriage of ‘high’ society and high ‘society.’ I could honestly call it the most fancy and mature house party I have ever attended, where I also got to enjoy cannabis in differing forms.” I would absolutely agree with this. \n “The Soiree was the perfect marriage of local business professionals and Cannabusiness leaders and business members. The goal of the night was to create an intimate setting for people from a variety of backgrounds, professions and cannabis experiences to come together to learn about who is currently involved in the industry as well as to highlight what we are doing to help keep the industry sustainable, collaborative and legal. I believe the event helped to foster the spirit of community and allowed people without previous knowledge of the work being done in cannabis to see how far things have come. It was an opportunity for our previously secret industry to step into the light and I think that is what happened,” said Melissa Huff, Operations Manager for Cascade High Organics who also helped organize and run the event. \n I have been told that Cascade High Organics may possibly hold this event on an annual basis. I certainly hope that is the case, because I want to go again and bring others to participate in what was simply an elegant evening of social growth around the topic of cannabis.