HOW DO YOU SAY GRÖN?
It’s pronounced grewn. It’s heard all over Sweden, where it means green. It’s a tribute to our founding chocolatier’s love of both Scandinavia and Oregon, and the simple beautiful rewards of being green.
Founder and CEO
Designing buildings, making chocolates, and running a business: Christine Smith understands a thing or three about bringing people together at the right time with the right ingredients and the precise proportions.
A fourth-generation Texan, Christine Smith built her first bonafide village on the family ranch at age 10—a prelude to her degree in architectural design at the Univ. of Texas Austin, studies in Denmark, and quest to form thriving communities on small footprints.
Christine arrived in Oregon at the start of 1999, embarking on a 20-year career as an architect while her husband Jasper owned and operated a medical marijuana dispensary. Combining curiosities about tempering chocolate and a marketplace limited to cannabis-butter treats wrapped in cellophane, Christine applied her rich understanding of thoughtful proportions and exacting composition to start Grön in 2014.
While Christine and her expanding team keep up with the growing demand across Oregon, there’s also her family life with Jasper, their two kids and dog, cat, two horses, and nine chickens. Their home is on Skunk Valley Farm outside Portland where Jasper oversees the property’s Tier II OLCC-certified and Clean Green Certified grow facility. Together, the husband and wife duo is committed to providing organic, sustainably produced seed-to-sale cannabis confections.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRÖN AND GRÖNCBD
IT STARTED WITH A DREAM
Christine founded Grön in 2015 to help chronic pain sufferers enjoy extraordinarily delicious chocolate. The name is the Swedish word for green, and it invokes Christine’s studies in Denmark and her love for all things sustainable and Scandinavian.
THE CRAFT BEGAN
While working full time with builders and developers on behalf of a Portland architecture firm, Christine also immersed herself in the nuanced and elusive art of chocolate making and infusing her recipes with cannabis oil extract. Without outside capital—and with only responsibly-sourced ingredients—the Grön team navigated Oregon’s evolving regulatory requirements to emerge as the state’s first fully compliant edible processor, certified by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and the Oregon Health Authority.
AN OREGON LEADER EMERGES
By 2016, Grön chocolates were made available to medical-marijuana card carriers a full year before Oregon legalized recreational cannabis. Today, several cacao varietals and flavors are available in more than 400 dispensaries across Oregon. Each Grön chocolate cannabis product reaches the consumer in biodegradable, child-resistant packaging.
A CBD REVOLUTION
Encouraged by the company’s success and with a continued commitment to providing natural alternatives for pain, Christine focused on finding an opportunity to provide CBD and its therapeutic qualities available to everyone by leveraging a breakthrough in which CBD is derived from the bark of an Asian pine tree. It is completely marijuana-free, and anyone can enjoy its benefits.
IS GRÖN A BEAN-TO-BAR CHOCOLATE MAKER?
We’re not. We leave the cultivation and harvest of farm-fermented cacao beans to the people who’ve been doing so for generations. We are, however, fully committed to sustainably sourced cacao and to always sourcing our cacao from farms that share our values. Our chocolate is always Fair Trade Sourced and often single origin sourced! Cacao’s sustainability depends on an ecologically complex and fragile canopy—as well as the communities who do the sorting, cracking, winnowing, conching, and aging. We’re proud to be part of the community that gets to bring this magical product to you.
FOR THE GREATER GOOD
Our products are hand-crafted and exclusively fair-trade sourced. No soy lecithin is used in any of our products and all our ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced whenever possible. We are always mindful of the environmental, social and economic impact of our ingredients.
IS YOUR PACKAGING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
We strive to make little waste and minimal impact on the environment. The inks we use are non-toxic and vegetable-based.