Oregrown Industries is Cultivating World-Class Cannabis and Destigmatizing Cannabis Through Community Involvement
Oregon’s Oregrown Industries is known for their premium plants grown ethically and organically.
At Oregrown, every person in the organization is part of the family, which has helped cultivate award-winning flower and exclusive partnerships with Pax Era as well as Jolly Greens Hard Candy.
In fact, they’ve won several awards including Best Place to Work in 2017 and Best Dispensary three years in a row from 2015 to 2017.
How does a cannabis brand become so successful? Chrissy Hadar is the Founder and Vice President of Retail and Branding developed the flagship store in Bend, Oregon, and takes care of just about everything from retail to the customer experience. Utilizing her background in business, Hadar oversees the company’s 60+ employees and fosters the company’s financial and operational growth. Chrissy, along with the talented team at Oregrown, work hard to create an amazing experience for their customers and community.
Chrissy took some time to talk to VIRIDE about Oregrown and her vision for the future.
Viride: Oregrown has won several awards including best place to work and best dispensary three years running. In an industry where dispensaries can be seen almost anywhere, what sets Oregrown aside from the others?
Chrissy Hadar: I believe the biggest thing that sets Oregrown apart from other dispensaries is that we have taken a different approach to de-stigmatizing cannabis by being active and engaged in our community—whether it be through sponsoring local concerts and large scale family friendly events, or partnering with nonprofits such as the Humane Society of Central Oregon and Central Oregon Trail Alliance. Our team members are treated like family, where we are proud to offer a career in an industry they are passionate about. As a brand, we do not display green crosses or marijuana leaves outside of our establishment.
The interior of our shop, at first glance, does not look like your average dispensary, but instead offers an inviting and authentic feel for people of all walks of life and all levels of cannabis experience. We have put just as much thought and care into the customer experience as we have into the curation of the top shelf products we offer.
V: Your background is in finance, which is helpful for budgeting and growing a business. What made you decide to pursue a career in the cannabis industry as opposed to a traditional finance corporation?
CH: Between my junior and senior year of college I was offered the opportunity to take an internship in New York at a large investment bank, or I could spend the summer studying abroad in South America. I chose the latter. Later that year, I met my now husband, Aviv. He and his family immigrated to the US from Israel when he was 4 years old. Aviv was unlike anyone I had ever met, in that, it didn't even occur to him to follow the traditional American road map of college, work 9-5, get the safe job with a steady paycheck, yada yada. He has this entrepreneurial spirit, garnered from his mother, that was infectious and gave me the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and really explore my passion for retail and fashion allowing me to utilize my creative mind and financial background—which led to various mildly successful e-commerce startups.
Around the time Aviv came up with the idea for Oregrown I was in the middle of r&d on an adventure towel line. But, I soon saw the potential for Oregrown to be more than just your run of the mill cannabis company and knew that my unique skill set would be an asset to the founding team. As an Oregon native, I quickly recognized how the Oregrown brand was resonating with people all over the country and knew there was magic there that we needed to capture—which segued into the growing Oregrown lifestyle and clothing brand which I spearhead. To me, it is the truest expression of Oregrown. It blurs the line of cannabis as a lifestyle, it debunks the common misconception that those that use cannabis are "lazy stoners.”
V: Oregrown partners with athletes to raise awareness about the benefits of cannabis and maintaining health. With there still being a stigma attached to the plant, what kind of impact, if any, has it had on the athletes?
CH: Cannabis has been proven to have a vast array of medicinal benefits, one being anti-inflammatory properties. With Oregrown being based out of Central Oregon, basically an outdoor enthusiasts playground, we found a lot of our customers coming into the shop looking for topicals or other medicated products to help them recover from their favorite form of outdoor recreation. Often, these were people that were completely new to cannabis, but were looking for alternative relief from traditional pain or arthritis medications. With a variety of ingestion methods, cannabis can be a great addition to an active lifestyle either through enhancing the experience or assisting in recovery. Athletes are great stewards of living a healthy, balanced, and active lifestyle which falls right in line with what Oregrown is all about.
V: Your company supports and has a close relationship with the Humane Society of Central Oregon. In what ways does Oregrown contribute to this amazing organization?
CH: My husband and I are huge supporters of the Humane Society. We adopted a cattle dog from them a few years ago and when their “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” came around, I asked how we could help. We weren’t in a position to adopt another dog, but we really wanted to support the cause. The organization had a lot of cannabis companies reach out and they weren’t interested in attaching themselves to a cannabis brand at the time. On the other hand, the Humane Society had seen all of the things Oregrown had done in the community and that we weren’t just wanting to put our name next to theirs—we’d paid our dues in the community and because we really wanted to partner with them, they made an exception. We sponsored their Tuxes and Tails event last year and they raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, although we’d have to check with them on the exact amount.
We also recently started the Nya Fund in honor of our cattle dog that passed away. Anyone who comes in and donates five dollars gets five percent off their purchase and we match those donations. The money goes to the education, adoption, and long-term care of elderly animals. Older dogs aren’t looked at as fondly when people are considering adoption and we really wanted to assist in those efforts.
In honor of Pride Month, we are sponsoring PFLAG and Coming Out Central Oregon and will have a booth at their big Pride Festival. We have partnered with Pax and are donating a portion of the sale of every pod sale to LGBTQ foundations here in Oregon.
V: There are several locations in Oregon, which do tremendously well. Are there any new store fronts planned for the future?
CH: We are looking to open up a dispensary in Portland, which is going to showcase an Oregrown all grown up theme. A lot of people are making the dispensaries in Portland very high-end and geared toward the hipster crowd. With our dispensary, I’d like to take it back and have it be a reflection of the late 90s and early 2000s when the Blazers were in the playoffs and Niketown was a little grittier. We are going to send the message of authenticity that will set us apart from other dispensaries in Portland, so we are very excited about that.