LOWD'S Jesce Horton on Teaching Cannabis in College and an Upcoming Cookies Collab
Visionary leader Jesce Horton is CEO at LOWD, an award-winning cannabis company that embodies the art of urban craft cultivation. An engineer by education, energy management and automation expert through certification, and horticulturist by passion (plus plenty of time in Amsterdam), Jesce founded LOWD after experiencing successes in medical cannabis cultivation, where he began growing medical cannabis in his home for two elderly patients who were suffering with cancer, pain and insomnia.
Jesce then co-founded the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first and largest non-profit organization developed to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. He's also served on numerous federal, state and local cannabis regulatory advisory committees to help shape the legal cannabis markets in both Oregon and California. Jesce co-founded the non-profit organization NuProject, which delivers grants, loans, educational resources, job matching assistance and entrepreneurial services to cannabis business owners and career hopefuls.
We spoke with Jesce for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.
Jesce, tell us...
Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.
I’m chief executive officer at LOWD. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, LOWD exists effortlessly at the intersection of urban culture and epic nature unique to the city and the Pacific Northwest.
Your earliest cannabis memory.
After watching the movie Friday, I went on a mission to smoke some weed.
A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.
Cannabis has given me the opportunity to do something I love and help other people through my non-profit work with MCBA and NuProject PDX.
A favorite flower, edible, product, or brand.
503 WiFi flower, Retreats Gummies, Smoke Like A Grower (SLAG) Jars, Cookies.
The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.
Connecting with consumers in a way that gains their trust and loyalty.
One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.
LOWD x Cookies Collab dropping in 2023.
A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.
Nu Project, Cannabis Regulators of Color and Marijuana Policy Project are three extremely important and impactful organizations led by black women who have an important voice in this market.
A recent project you're proud of.
Developing curriculum and instructing at the first college in New York to have a cannabis major, LIM College. Also, I am doing similar work at an amazing HBCU, Medgar Evers College.
Someone else's project you admired recently.
I love Emily Eizen’s Pride 2022 Photo Campaign ‘Uncon(strain)ed’ featuring LGBTQIA+ creatives where each muse became the namesake of a popular cultivar. It really taps into the true beauty and connectivity of cannabis. Flowers—any grower can appreciate that.
Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.
Dasheeda Dawson, the former cannabis program director in Portland who has now taken that position for the State of New York. I've known her since early days in the industry and this is a fantastic role for her and the cannabis industry as a whole.
A movie, TV show, music or food you most enjoy pairing with cannabis.
Trap Music…think Future's "7:12PM," Back to the Future, House of Dragons/Game of Thrones, chicken wings.
What you would be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.
Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.