Medical marijuana dispensaries closing for recreational prep

Options, as it turns out, are as of now in short supply, however. I was taking a look at Portland’s general dispensary map on Leafly and I noticed what I thought was a trend. There are some dispensaries letting its patients and caregivers know that they’ll be closed some days in order to prep for October, but after looking at almost all of the 142 dispensaries in the greater Portland area, I was a little surprised.

Here’s a little cheat sheet for which dispensaries will be closing for recreational prep and when:

Purple Organics (SW): Closed Mondays and Tuesdays 

The CDC (SW): Closed on Sundays 

Natural RXemedies (SW): Regular hours of operation, opening for recreational 

Vessel (NW): Regular hours, opening for recreational 

Portland Medicine Pot (NW): Regular hours, opening for recreational

Powell House Cannabis Club (SE): Regular hours, opening for recreational

The Grass Shack (NE): Regular hours, opening for recreational

These are all the dispensaries that mentioned October recreational sales. Only 7 outwardly say they’ll be involved in recreational, out of around 140. I was expecting to find more, but maybe dispensaries are approaching this in a word-of-mouth type way. Or maybe everyone is still unprepared for October – let’s face it, it’s going to be insane.

Dispensaries not updating their Leaflys seems like it’s not a big deal, but it’ll leave the rest of us without any clue where to turn. How many doors will we knock on to be turned away? It’s definitely good for the patients to have their dispensaries, so, dispensaries, is it unreasonable to ask for details? Right now the cannabis market is this crazy waiting-game, so sit back, relax, and – well – don’t get your hopes up just yet? 

Event Updates: No Cannabis Cup, and a Waterfront Hempstalk

Bad news for Portland cannabis fans. As it turns out, Portland will not be having a 2015 HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup. Similarly to Hempstalk, the Cannabis Cup was continuously denied permits for locations in Portland. It’s strange, considering how much revenue the cup would bring, but apparently the largest opponent was the OLCC. No surprise there.

There are only so many venues that could host something as large as the Cannabis Cup. Amanda Younger, the Event Director for HIGH TIMES stated that “Portland-area venues that can accommodate such volume inevitably have liquor licenses. The OLCC made extremely clear that holding a Cannabis Cup at a venue with a liquor license would put that liquor license in jeopardy of being revoked, regardless of whether or not liquor would be served at the Cannabis Cup.” A continuous road-block for progress, the OLCC has been exercising the power granted by Measure 91. Which is, like, all the power – essentially the OLCC is the only government agency that has control over the cannabis industry and for some reason it’s holding Oregon back. HIGH TIMES is a huge name in the industry, and the Cannabis Cup is an international phenomenon. It’s pretty lame that Younger says that “bringing the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup to Oregon has proven to be a Herculean task— in fact, it’s been the most difficult of all of our Cannabis Cups to get off the ground.” So, what now?

The dates of Portland Hempstalk Harvest Festival have officially been announced: Oct. 17th – 18th. It certainly has the air of an Autumn harvest festival – but the real backlash is due to the location. To no fault of Paul Stanford or Hempstalk’s own, Tom McCall Park will once again be the host of Hempstalk. Fighting the OLCC and the Portland Police Commission was no easy task, and that seems largely not of concern to most Hempstalk attendees. It’s true, the event will be a shadow of its days at Kelly Point Park, but it seems that all these large events are met with resistance.

To HIGH TIMES, the city of Milwaukie seemed like a good alternative to metro Portland, but even that didn’t pan out. After exhaustive negotiations beginning in July this year, Younger withdrew the application for the Cannabis Cup in Milwaukie herself. She says to the city, “It has become clear to us that regardless of the amount of time we spend going back and forth on this application, the City of Milwaukie will never grant it.” Another embarrassing set-back. Hopefully Oregon and its government officials and agencies realize that legalization was a good idea, and that progress and possibilities for the state lie ahead.

Hempstalk in Portland: Finally Happening in 2015!

Hempstalk in Portland, long before legalization, has always been a way for like-minded cannabis enthusiasts to gather in a large and safe setting. The first year I attended, it was hosted at Kelly Point Park. It was a fantastic celebration – vendors of all varieties, stages with all sorts of presenters and music, and hordes of happy people. Then, last year in 2014, Hempstalk in Portland was moved to Tom McCall Park, on the waterfront.

Saying it paled in comparison is an understatement. Being so out in the open yes, got rid of the public smoking, but also got rid of that sense of safety. All of a sudden, us hemp fans were feeling vulnerable, despite being at an event totally for us. Where my friends and I had spent all day at Kelly Point Park, we spent barely two and a half hours at the Tom McCall Park. We walked through all the vendors (it felt like a fraction of the amount at Kelly Point Park) in single lap, and felt like there was no other reason to be there.

Hempstalk Portland

Photo Credit: Hempstalk

 

After such a different Hempstalk last year, and legalization of weed this year, you’d think that Portland would jump on the opportunity to host a much better Hempstalk and bring in some revenue. Waterfront or not, it’s still Hempstalk, and if you build it people will still come. The city of Portland, however, had other plans. City officials were most certainly affected by the passing of Measure 91, and went ahead and denied the permit for the waterfront when Hempstalk applied for it in November. It wasn’t happening at the waterfront, or anywhere else for that matter, and that was the last bit of Hempstalk news for the majority of this past year.

That is, until the 28th of this month, when Hempstalk’s permit denial appeal took place! Paul Stanford, Hempstalk’s organizer, has been fighting tooth and nail for a permit. This whole summer I’ve been operating under the assumption that no, despite the waves Portland is making in the marijuana world, we would not have our annual Hempstalk festival. Pretty heartbreaking, even moreso anti-climactic! But have no fear! The mayor of our fine city of Portland has established that Hempstalk in 2015 will be on! Much to stoner chagrin, it will still be hosted at the waterfront, but hey, at least it’s on. For Portland to not host a Hempstalk after its year of legalization would be both a slap in the face to the cannabis industry but also  pretty embarrassing for the city.

Hempstalk Portland

The city commissioners agreed this time around, voting 3 to 1. With one commissioner absent, the only opposition was from commissioner Amanda Fritz, who also coincidentally oversees the Portland Police Bureau. Cough. With statements from Hempstalk organizers that they will be devoted to working with city officials, the city council appealed. Stanford assures that “this is not a smoke-out. Our event is about the use of hemp for fuel, fiber, food, the use of adults for social situations, and as medicine.” This year’s Hempstalk will be an invaluable experience, for now not only is it rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, but it will have months of legalization behind it. Smoking will still obviously be a big no-no, but the 21+ possibilities are endless. Every new person you meet will be a new person to trade with or gift to, not to mention all the private smoking that can legally happen after the event. So, yeah, even though it’s still at the waterfront, you bet I’m going! And I’ll see you hemp fans there.

Recreational in Portland: Cafes, Theaters, and Buses – Oh My!

The thing about Portland is that it exceeds expectations. People come here for tasty food and get more options than they could have ever imagined in response. People come to here to find like-minded friends and find all the niche communities they need. Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Portland, people will be coming here to experience the recreational market. It’s only been one and a half months, and again Portland is exceeding expectations. Smoking marijuana is finally embraced as legal, and the city is celebrating!

World famous Cannabis Cafe in Portland

The World Famous Cannabis Cafe has reopened in a new location to offer recreational smokers a home away from home. It initially opened in 2009 as a place for medical patients to gather and partake in their medicating socially. The World Famous Cannabis Cafe reopened its doors on July 31st, and has since been scheduling events like concerts and jazz jams. The cafe is now located at 7958 SE Foster RD, Portland, Oregon 97206. Check their events page for updates!

Francos Fun Bus Portland, Oregon

Franco’s Fun Bus, a recreational dabbing experience, is ramping up for its third outing. The bus will be driving out to Mt. Hood Adventureland for a day full of dabbing, yoga, hiking, and adventuring (entirely optional). Franco and his crew are keeping it fresh for dabbers by providing different things to look forward to – in this case physical activity! Again, every participant will receive a swag bag of samples at the end of the night, curated by Franco himself.

The Other Spot Portland marijuana

Similarly to the World Famous Cannabis Cafe, “The Other Spot” is a cannabis lounge in Portland. Located on 5431 SE 72nd Ave, The Other Spot is just that, another place to enjoy yourself recreationally! So far there are river floats and chili cook-offs scheduled, as well as movies nights here and there. Sounds like a blast, right? The best part is you can partake in marijuana consumption within the building!

Analog cafe and theater marijuana Portland Oregon

At the Analog Cafe and Theater, you cannot consume marijuana products on site, but they still show love to us weed-smokers. So far since legalization, the Analog has been having “Marijuana Mondays!” Besides hosting amazing musical, socially-charged, and theatrical individuals, Marijuana Mondays are also the source of more free weed-gifting in the Portland area. The Analog Cafe and Theater is located on 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., and while consumption is illegal, the night is full of stoner-oriented activities.

The World Famous Cannabis Cafe, Franco’s Fun Bus, The Other Spot, and the Analog Cafe and Theater, are just four recreational opportunities in Portland available for those 21 and up. Local dispensaries and suppliers know that these events are the way to advertise to smokers right now. It’s no surprise that they’re hooking us up in unimaginable ways. By getting on our good sides now, these businesses hope to gain enough of a fan-base to survive the next couple years. Already there’s a dispensary on every other street, and these shops will have to outlast one another. Supplying events and recreational smokers with samples is a great way to get their name out. Thank you to those contributors, but moreso to the platforms (like the four above) for recreational smoking that are popping up. It will all push this market further towards profit, and in return further towards Federal legalization.

Portland Nightlife: Franco’s Fun Bus is Fantastic!

It was obvious that legalizing weed in July would bring huge changes for Oregon, but who knew it would actually be happening so quickly? If you had asked me just one year ago if my next tour of Portland would be on a bus while taking high-quality dabs from high-quality pieces, I would not have believed you. Even now, the second-ever Franco’s Fun Bus feels like it was too good to be true. But no, it happened, and boy, was it amazing.

When you go out to a bar with friends, your average beer costs $4 and mixed drink about $8, and that’s me being generous. For marijuana extraordinaire Franco, of Portland-based concentrate company Franco’s Finest, a night of drinking seems like a night to forget. Drinking out is expensive and unrewarding in the long-term. Franco decided to create something for smoking that embraces Portland nightlife without being a part of the bar scene. Thus, Franco’s Fun Bus was born!

Francos Fun Bus Portland, Oregon

Tickets for Franco’s Fun Bus are $125 regularly, with discount codes and “early bird” options readily available. It is an expensive activity, but when I say it’s worth it, trust me, it’s worth it. Franco teamed up with amazing vendors like Oregon’s Finest, Ideal Farms, Natural Wonders (site coming soon), Uplift Botanicals, Primo Extracts, Trillium Extracts, Canna Refinery, Sour Bhotz, Hide PDX, Earl’s Edibles, Jolly Greens, and more. Not only does Franco donate endless dabs throughout the night (lovely hosts and hostesses will take size requests – ranging from itty bitty to big ol’ slabs), but we each came home with a dab swag bag full of goodies from the fine vendors. When you figure you need a budget for marijuana products anyways, the dab bus makes perfect sense. So, exactly how fun was it?

As my friends and I commuted to Pioneer Square, the butterflies in my stomach were a result of not knowing exactly what to expect. There we were to board Franco’s Fun Bus and drive around Portland for a scheduled 4 hours of dabbing and executive party-bussing. I had no idea what lied ahead. I was picturing hosts and hostesses balancing glass and torches and dabbers in an aisle on a school bus type thing. We arrived early and were watching them set up “The Lego Movie” for a bit when Franco’s business partner Rosie greeted us with a friendly wave. “Dab Bus?!” she said, and we rang back in a chorus: “dab bus!” This was going to be awesome. Eventually (almost) the whole party trickled in, and we were waiting on the bus and one other member of our fun bus family. Our last member arrived just before the bus rolled around the corner and up to the curb. “Executive” didn’t even begin to cover it. With its black tinted windows and handsome party-bus host descending to greet us, it finally set in. This was real. Fifteen stoners were about to get the ride of a lifetime.

Francos Dab Bus Portland, Oregon

With this being such a new event, it’s been far from sold out. Between the small number of us and things like the couch/TV in the bathroom, the executive aspect of this bus couldn’t feel any more real. Everyone was able to take turns dabbing, and I feel confidently speaking for all of us when I say no one was left out. If you wanted to dab, you would just sit down on one of the cozy leather seats near Franco and enjoy.

There’s no precedent for an event like this, so rule of thumb was to treat this outing like any other party bus with people drinking on board. For one thing, that meant no open flame. The beautiful solution? An e-nail! If you’re unfamiliar with e-nails, they attach to titanium nails and keep the metal at a constant temperature. That means your rig will never cool down too quickly, and your dab will be as hot as you like it. Not to mention, so long as there is oil on the nail, it will continue to burn. With e-nails, one person can take a dab, not finish it, and pass on the rig to the next no problem. In short? No dab left behind, and that was certainly the theme throughout.

Some of the strains we tried on the bus were Franco’s concentrate of the month, New York Pineapple Diesel, and some other favorites, like Hot Mess and Buddha’s Grape Dream. Early on I knew this would be a night for heavy hitters, I myself had twelve dabs total (a number that I’ll probably never reach again in one sitting, until I go to the next Fun Bus, that is…). The two rigs we used were both strong in different ways. The glass came from Mary Jane’s House of Glass, a high-quality American-made headshop. The first piece we used was an MIO (Made In Oregon) brand typical inline percolator dab rig – heavy with a nice function. I have an MIO bong in my personal collection: they’re affordable and really nice quality. The second was a Honey Supply double u-percolator that had a chuggy yet smooth feel to it. I think in the end I preferred the Honey Supply, but I loved trying both. Between the high quality concentrates and the nicely functioning rigs, coughing was controlled. In my world, that really means something. The option to go hard in terms of consumption was definitely there, but so was the option to sit back, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere.

Francos-Fun-Bus-Portland-lookout

Our first “attraction” after downtown Portland was the St. John’s Bridge. Franco’s Fun Bus had a whole itinerary for the evening: drive down St. John’s Bridge, go to Rocky Butte, the Division Food Carts, the Waterfront, and finally back to ‘Pio Square.’ Like stoners, we more or less followed the schedule, but we rolled up to Rocky Butte at the perfect time. Rocky Butte is a destination in Portland due to its gorgeous views. As the sun was setting, the group of us got off the dab bus (a scene as funny as it sounds) and ascended the stone stairs just as the blue moon was rising. People were gathered playing music, picnicking, enjoying themselves, as we all watched the sky get dark around the magnificent moon. It was incredible, and added depth to this seemingly shallow recreation. We all felt a sublime appreciation.

Francos-Fun-Bus-Portland-munchies

Walking back to the bus, more dabs were inevitable, and so were munchies. In addition to the amazing snacks supplied on the bus (hello m&ms, gummy bears, and caramel popcorn), the goal was to stop at the food carts. We got off the dab bus and unleashed a certain kind of hell upon these SE Division food carts. A very stoney, giggly, docile kind of hell. Innocent bystanders gawking as we got off this bus like some kind of pothead Partridge family, ready to gnaw on some grub. Lots of us got waffles at Smaaken Waffles, due to the fact that it was still open and “prepared” for our business. It was delicious, and my leftovers turned to rightnows real quick. Filing back onto the bus, our last stop was the waterfront.

This stop was a bit of a decompressant – we pulled up and there was no rush. We still had dabs going down on the bus, while the waterfront patiently waited outside. The Fun Bus had brought to a particular spot where there was a picturesque weeping willow tree against the city and river backdrop. Though it felt like I never wanted the party to end, this was a nice spot to collect oneself and prepare for the real world again. We got back on the bus and drove to Pio Square. Franco and Rosie were so kind, and so appreciative, that the whole experience felt like it had been a field trip led by the two best “chaperones” ever. I would give the Fun Bus experience 5 stars, and recommend it as a new must-do for Portland recreational nightlife.

Francos Dab Bus Portland

On our way off the bus, we grabbed the final exciting piece to the puzzle – the swag bags! Oregon’s Finest supplied us with cloth drawstring bags to hold everything, and when my friends and I got home, it was like dumping out candy on Halloween night. Some things that stand out? Concentrates from Franco, Uplift Botanicals, Primo Extracts, and Trillium Extracts. There’s a “Cannabis Cure-All” from Luminous Botanicals that’s for “edible, topical, or sensual use.” Kind Heart Collective donated some flower from the girl scout cookies strain, Sativica Wellness threw in a balm and some capsules, and I’m stoked to try my Sour Bhotz edible. There are some wrinkles to work out, of course – like maybe some more labeling and instructions from the vendors  – but that’s to be expected when you’re only two tries in to the next big recreational thing.

A gigantic thank you to Franco and his Fun Bus crew. To say that this is an experience of a lifetime would be to sell it short. Did you ever think you would see the day? Activities like this will bring so much awareness and new interest to the recreational marijuana world, and this is just the very beginning. Now you can dab bus, too! Reasonably priced, totally legal, and seriously FUN – will you be on the next one?

Prohibition Smohibition: Portland’s First Week of Recreational!

It’s almost the end of the first week of July, and I’ve ushered in the end of cannabis prohibition with two amazing events. You probably heard the murmurs of the “free weed” given out on June 30th on the Burnside Bridge. On Tuesday night, I found myself walking up to a disorganized crowd of very happy people. I myself was not given any free weed, nor did I witness any handing out of any. Did that mean it didn’t happen? Absolutely not: but people were happy no matter what.

The bridge was essentially shut down. In typical stoner fashion, we made an attempt to countdown to July 1st, but no one was on the same second. I could tell we had reached midnight, however, when smoke puffs floated out of the crowd. A man dressed as Abe Lincoln was walking around taking photos with people, and any preconceived notions of what a stoner looks like flew out the window. If you were only at the “Burnside Burn” to get free weed, you would have been sorely disappointed. It was about much more than that: strangers getting together and celebrating this new and exciting freedom.

Burnside Bridge recreational marijuana celebration Portland

As fun as the Burnside Burn was, it did have an air of chaos. Weed the People, however? An organized once-in-a-lifetime event from 2-9pm on July 3rd. My friend and I arrived to the venue, MCF Craft Brewing Systems, at what I expected to be on the later side of early – around 12:45pm. At that point, only around 50 people were there. I was asking myself, “what exactly will this be?” With the sun beating down on us, it felt like 2pm would never arrive. As more and more people arrived, it became clear that we had made a good call on showing up when we had.

By the time the line started to move, my anticipation was through the roof. The line had grown from the measly 50 people to almost three blocks around. At 2:20pm, we were inside. The first thousand people at the (sold-out) event received goodie bags containing some essentials like a water bottle, sunglasses, Raw papers, and more. This baggy proved to be our savior as we navigated through this carnival for grown-ups.

Weed the People marijuana celebration Portland Oregon

We got in line for the “Grower’s Garden,” where you could choose up to 7 samples. There were booths for everyone: the marketed farm that had all their bases covered (smelling samples were surprisingly hard to come by), the mom and pop farm that only one down-to-earth person was representing, the ones that wanted to talk about their high percentages, etc. This was perfect for the diverse crowd, and I felt that there was definitely something for everyone.

Other areas included awesome vendors and industry leaders. OG Analytical had a booth with plenty of pamphlets and information for those curious about testing cannabis. There were some crafts booths for the retail shopper – it was hard to resist buying some roach clip jewelry from the High Society Collection. Good food (thanks Roman Candle) and water were aplenty. The vaporizer lounge, where you could test Firefly, Herbalizer, and VapeXhale vaporizers, was located underneath an awning in the outside section. My schedule unfortunately did not allow for me to partake in this aspect of the event, but I witnessed some amazing customer service and satisfaction.

Weed the People cannabis legalization event Portland

We left Weed the People after about an hour and 45 minutes. I would have loved to have had more time to partake in the smoking aspect of the convention, as well as meeting all the vendors. When we left, though? It was clear to see that the line would be perpetually around the block until Weed the People ended. While I wanted to stay and take my time, it was hard to justify when fellow stoners were baking out in the sun, awaiting their turn to, well, bake in the sun. Feeling rejuvenated from the good vibes, we went home happy with our professional samples in tow!

UPDATE:

Samantha Webster was in attendance, representing Washington State behemoth growers, Liberty Reach.

Rule #1 of Weed Club. Got a chance at a cheesy fun photo-op? Then don’t miss cheesy fun photo-op. And yes, those are unicorn silhouettes in the foreground.

Samantha-Webster-room-mate-weed-the-people-Ganja-Goddess

Weed the People

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

 

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

Photo Credit: Samantha Webster, Liberty Reach

 

This first week of recreational marijuana has been a dream. There has been a weight lifted off the shoulders of recreational users, and it feels particularly good at events like the Burnside Burn and Weed the People. Now that it’s all said and done, I cannot wait to see what else Oregon has in store for us. The future feels a little lighter now.

UPDATE:

Mary Jane’s House of glass is one of the premier headshops around the Pacific Northwest. Mary Jane’s was started in 2000, when mastermind Mary Jane got herself a lease and over time became an established headshop. Because of this, Mary Jane and her family have built lasting relationships with some key names in the industry.

Yesterday, I woke up entirely unawares of the amazing events that Mary Jane’s House of Glass was hosting. On the 4th, in Tacoma, WA, and on the 5th, in Tualatin, OR, Tommy Chong was taking fan photos and giving autographs. You read that right, folks. Tommy freakin’ Chong! It was $40 for a “framed” photo, and he’d autograph pretty much anything you brought up there. One lucky stoner brought his Fender Stratocaster, others had glass in tow, ready with their sharpies. This last month, Chong revealed that he’s been battling cancer once more. To see him on the 5th, doing this for us and for Mary Jane’s, was truly an honor.

Tommy Chong Portland Oregon

And just in case you didn’t want to pay the $40, Mary Jane’s put on some wonderful non-Chong related activities. There was awesome live music being played, and glass blowing demonstrations by Goliath Glass, Bowman Glass, and Kush Unltd Inc. By being such a customer-service based chain, Mary Jane’s House of Glass earned its reputation over the years. Thanks to them, we’re able to see things like extremely talented glassblowers and true heroes of the cannabis world like Tommy Chong.