For this post, we sat down with Smuggle Portland's Stephen Cahill (he's a co-creator) for coffee at Water Avenue Coffee in Portland to talk about the company, the vision, and why our industry is so exciting. 

What does your product and/or service do/perform?
We sell locally made goods that cannabis consumers would love, specifically focusing on women. We believe in the beauty and necessity of building stronger local economies. The local 'makers' that we work with combine the work of head, hand and heart into products that are gorgeous, well made, practical and environmentally conscious. Our goal is to bring healthy business decision making into the world of legalizing cannabis. In my experience, the plant itself encourages it. 

What changes have you seen in the last few years in the MJ industry? Why are they important?
Oh my, there are so many! One of the recent ones is Earl Blumenauer making clear to the state legislature that there are overlapping layers of regulation, and regulatory fees, that are keeping small businesses from getting up and running. I think in the broader context Oregon has mostly done a good job, really positioning us as leaders and as a model, for the national legalization process. Oh, and then there is the banking thing. 

Another thing that is really important right now is that you should be speaking up and making your views heard. This is not about complaining, but is about giving the information to those who can use it. It has been said to me that if your not being active in shaping policy, you're not doing it cannabis business right. The direction and shape of what we are going to be living with for years to come is still being developed, right now. Those few folks charged making policy hear mostly the complaints. First, tell them something good, then offer positive concrete and actionable steps for improvement. Get heard!

Where do you see the industry headed - and how will your company make an impact?
One of the ways we are having impact is through the support of an alternative means of financing. It called a Community Public Offering (CPO). This is a peer to peer lending format which allows individuals to invest in one another. It's a little different from other popular platforms with which we are all familiar, like Kickstarter, or Go Fund Me in that it's not a donation, or an advance payment for a product, it's an investment. We pay you a return, and we take you on this ride with us. 

This is an Oregonians only option, if this is you, you can find out more right here: Invest in Smuggle Portland. They can promise you that it will be a fun and interesting ride!  Here is their full website Smuggle Portland, and the link directly to their online store. Follow them in Twitter here.