Recreational weed in Portland: finally landed

With October 1st behind us, you’re probably just starting to emerge from the fully recreational haze. How does it feel? Like we’re living in the future, man? It’s kind of insane to think about! Recreational weed is here, and Portland is knee-deep in it.

I myself partaked in a couple of celebrations. First, I went to The Third Eye Shoppe’s celebration on Hawthorne. It was freaking awesome. With at least 9 torches and glassblowers at work, the rest were mingling and chatting with the crowd. As a glass enthusiast, I was elated. I enjoyed seeing John Dillinger, Lea Luna Littleleaf, Renee Patula, and Goliath Glass glassblowing up close and personal, and ended up getting a chance to fangirl all over Renee Patula and Jamie Burress. It was a fantastic event – made better by vendors like EO vapes and Sconed, bakers of edibles in the Portland area. EO Vapes hooked it up with a glass vape pen bubbler attachment (seriously awesome), and Sconed was gifting out free samples of recreational toffee and other sweet treats. The milligram measurement wasn’t anything crazy, my own sample ranged in at only 10mg, but it tasted so good. The taste of weed was barely noticeable, but it was super yummy.

Glassblowers

With all the glassblowing excitement, I had almost forgotten what the day was really about. Natural Wonders, the nearest dispensary, was across the street and down a block. My friend and I walked the few minutes to the dispensary and were surprised to find only one other person in the waiting room. The process was smooth. The receptionist took our licenses and made photocopies for their files. There were beautiful marijuana photographs lining the walls of the waiting room, as well as nice house plants and bright lighting to spruce up the room. It was really pleasant! Once someone left, we were allowed into the actual shop. Two budtenders were there to assist us in showing us the array of flower options. One budtender was there to assist with concentrates and other menu items for medical patients.

Headband

The options were tiered in three rows: $8, $10, and $12 grams. I myself bought a gram of the strain Headband. They gave me a pre-weighed vial and a flyer for not letting it near your children. All in all, the experience was extremely professional, and the weed itself was not top shelf but I’d say better than expected! We returned to the Third Eye and enjoyed some more glassblowing before I moved on to Mary Jane’s House of Glass at NE 33rd and Killingsworth.

Headband-recreational-marijuana-2

NE 33rd and Killingsworth boasts both Mary Jane’s and Uplift Botanicals, a high-class dispensary in the area. When I first arrived, I saw a booth set up outside the dispensary with a Mary Jane’s clerk. He was advertising for the scavenger hunt that Mary Jane’s was throwing, but also was equipped with ice cream sandwiches, Uplift’s menu, and a great attitude. He pointed myself and others in the direction of the headshop, which I checked out briefly before returning to Uplift. While I wasn’t in the market for glass, it’s always fun to see what new things they’ve got in stock over there.  

It was a good thing I returned to Uplift when I did, however, because unlike Natural Wonders, this place was packed. When I first walked in, the receptionist took my name and birthdate from my license on a legal pad. The order in which we were let in depended on when you showed up, but because of the shear volume of people, they moved on quickly if you weren’t there to hear your name called. I wasn’t there for long when the amount of people seemed to double. By the time I got in the actual shop, the line was a cluster of people outside the door. I felt bad for the receptionist, who was being overwhelmed by so many people. Inside was far calmer and more casual, however. I looked at the updated menu, as they had sold out of some of their strains, and they had only $10 grams listed. When my gram of the strain J1 rang up as $8, however, they called it at that and I tipped them the remaining $2. Think of it this way, if budtenders are like bartenders, you should always tip if they go above and beyond in service.

Mary-Janes-House-of-Glass-map

In terms of the bud itself, I preferred the Headband to the J1, but both were quality middle tier flowers, I would say. It’s hard to believe it already happened, that I was able to buy weed, take it home, and legally smoke it, but it’s real. We’re here now, and yes, the weed is untaxed! So go out, take out some cash, and find your favorite neighborhood pot shop! 

 

October is (almost) HERE!

Just days away, October’s magic is in the air! Twenty-one year olds and up will be able to walk into designated dispensaries and buy clones, seeds, and up to a quarter ounce of flower. It’s seriously about to happen – just months after legalization and before a single recreational store opens. Thank you Oregon! In this, you’ve been a bro. I think it’s most definitely safe to assume it will be tax-free until January 4th, so enjoy that, too. Seriously! Get stoked!

With all this hubbub and excitement, recreational users are still sort of in the dark about recreational and where to find it. The dispensaries that mentioned anything on their Leafly can be found here, but other than that, there’s no specific way to find which ones we’re allowed in. Except, maybe, going door-to-door and finding rejection or success every which way. There are enough dispensaries in Portland that you could feasibly do something of a bike tour just to find your recreational weed. It won’t take too long to find, I’m sure – most dispensaries will open to take advantage of the naive recreational buyers – but it may still be a bit of a wild-goose chase for us this first month. And a fun one at that.

Be on the look-out for local events that pop up on the first. It’s hard to find anything with details online, but Mary Jane’s House of Glass will be celebrating, at the very least at its Tualatin location. There you’ll find games and contests, live glassblowing, and more. Everything is advertised on flyers, so if you don’t see one, swing by your local shop just in case! (If you bring a non-perishable food item, or are a patient already, you receive a discount at the store).

The quintessential Portland head shop, “Third Eye Shoppe,” (famous for being founded by hemp God Jack Herer) will also be hosting glassblowers on the first, and some bonus giveaways. A total of 16 glassblowers are scheduled to be there, huge names and stores in the PNW like Trautman Art Glass and Jason Walker Glass Art. Not to mention, apparently most of the store will be around 25% off. October 1st is, after all, definitely a reason to celebrate! They’re near dispensaries in the area as well, so there should be a lot of fun hustle and bustle over on Hawthorne.

Ultimately, while things are still a bit confusing on the recreational front, it will be amazingly fun to usher in October with recreational marijuana in dispensaries. Keep your ear to the ground, and pay attention to flyers all around Portland, you never know what sort of celebration you’ll find.

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.

October Sales: What really lies ahead

Obviously rushing to sales in October meant some speed bumps ahead, but it always seemed like the benefits far outweighed the costs. However, now I’m realizing that one of these costs is clarity. In trying to update and confirm the status on October sales, I’ve come across some confusing legislature.

Senate Bill 460, the bill allowing October sales, mentions nothing about taxation during this time period. There are stipulations – for example, recreational users 21 and over, may only buy up to a quarter ounce per day (per dispensary). That’s not a bad guideline, but it turns out that there will be quite a bit of tax on this weed. Maybe?

According to oregon.gov’s FAQ page on recreational marijuana, there will be a 25% tax to pay in dispensaries. The answer to the question of taxation continues: “Recreational sales in medical dispensaries are slated to start on October 1, 2015, and end on December 31, 2016.The tax will be imposed on sales after January 4, 2016.” I had already known of this possibility of tax-free weed and believed it, but here it’s mentioned so briefly. Does this 25% tax really start as late as January, even though it says that the “tax will be 25% for the limited time that recreational marijuana will be sold in dispensaries?”

That seems so straightforward – 25% tax for recreational sold in dispensaries. This starts in October and lasts until a predicted December 31st, 2016. This is already a limited amount of time, but the “after January 4, 2016” undercuts 3 months of that. However, despite that brief mention at the end, that sentiment suggests yes, tax-free weed.

That said, dispensaries are getting ready to take advantage of this opportunity for profit. I’ve already been made aware of the fact that some dispensaries will only be showing their buyers the “bottom shelf shwag,” as we say. Thousands of people who have never seen something like a dispensary will have this skewed perception of bud, and be paying extra for it. Not to mention, there will be a limit to only “4 units” of non-flower marijuana product. You can only buy seeds, flower, and clones (a marijuana plant that is not flowering). No concentrates, no edibles or drinkables, just cold, dry, flower.

Just kidding – it’s really not that bad, but once January hits, that 25% will be rough. When there’s no overlap of recreational retail stores, still predicted for open in July, 2016, it’ll be especially bad. When those retail stores open, the taxes will be around 17-20%, much less than the dispensary prices. But I’m predicting that right around May, all the dispensaries will start showing off, to keep the recreational crew coming. December 31st, 2016 marks the end of recreational sale in dispensaries, so they’ll have to use these upcoming months wisely. Keep an eye out for that bottom shelf, and growing your own is still the best way!

Recreational marijuana delivery in Portland?

With Oregon’s passing of recreational sale for October, big things are on the horizon. The period of tax-free weed will be from October to whenever the first store opens. You will be limited in the amount that you can buy per visit, as they have to regulate these sales. Come July, or whenever the first store opens, weed will be taxed 25%, so the goal is to stock up.

This is made easier by the sheer amount of dispensaries in the Portland area. It is still unknown as to which are opening up recreationally for sure, but most seem to be planning on it and are preparing for that influx of sales. This influx of sales, however, will be spread out across literally hundreds of locations, and dispensaries need to stand out. Despite donating samples to awesome events like Franco’s Fun Bus or Marijuana Mondays at the Analog, dispensaries and vendors can impress with features such as a delivery service. According to weedmaps.com, there is only a handful of delivery-only medical suppliers. There are a few more in the Portland area that are not listed on weedmaps (which allows you to use search filters), but the first question on everyone’s minds is “will they sell recreationally?” Just as it applies to retail dispensaries, it applies to delivery-only dispensaries.

weed delivery portland

There are two things should happen, as a result of this question (which the answer to is most likely, yes, by the way). The first thing that should happen is that more dispensaries should offer a Portland weed delivery service in general. So many patients could benefit from it – the traffic alone in Portland can throw off someone’s ability to get their medications. The second is that those dispensaries should turn around and deliver recreationally once October hits. It would allow for more people to stay off the highways, lessening by a little the traffic problem of which we’re all a part. This would be particularly helpful during the upcoming recreational period when the stores themselves are chaos. At least with a delivery experience, it’s more one on one, rather than feeling someone breathing down your neck waiting for you to finish with the budtender. Delivery is a good opportunity to wow with customer service, and really establish the fan base that is needed to survive the next year.

Imagine opening your door to an experienced budtender and a briefcase full of marijuana products. That will be possible at the rate we’re going. You’ll be free to do things like ask your expert all the questions you’re maybe too nervous to ask either a dealer or a budtender in a store full of people. You can take your time with your deal (to an extent) in the comfort of your own home. Then you can consume immediately and enjoy the effects of your purchases without having to get back anywhere. So what’s the verdict? OMMP Card Holders: tell your favorite dispensary to deliver!

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.

Recreational News: October sales mean future taxes

We’re coming up on the third week of July, and by now our honeymoon phase with recreational marijuana is coming to an end. There have been celebrations aplenty, and you have probably consumed lots and lots of weed in homes and private property. Hooray! Have you been gifting and being gifted marijuana like the considerate stoner you are? Or has it slowed down quite a bit since all the energized excitement seems to have fizzled out into a complacent happiness?

Retail shops seem farther away than ever with the OLCC still predicting that stores won’t open until July, 2016. Maybe your seeds have taken root, but you won’t know if you have a flower-producing female plant until a couple of weeks down the line. So what are you going to do now?

There have been rumors about dispensaries opening up to sell recreationally before the January, 2016 date of accepting retail applications. How accurate are these rumors? Pretty darn accurate, it seems. With the approval of House Bill 2041 , marijuana sold in recreational retail stores will be taxed up the wazoo (approximately 20%). That’s in 2016, though, when we can actually buy marijuana in retail stores. Right now, in 2015, there are none. However, legislation has passed (not yet made law) an “early sales” bill! Senate Bill 460 allows for dispensaries to temporarily sell adults recreational weed, and it’ll be in effect for October 1st. Not bad, Oregon! Only a three-month turnaround from when marijuana was officially legalized. But don’t get too excited just yet…

Due to the fact that Measure 91 taxes marijuana in retail stores, recreational marijuana bought in dispensaries will not be taxed this additional 20%. Is it truly as good as it seems? Tax-free recreational weed? House Bill 2041 has another idea – if/when Senate Bill 460 is made into law and early sales occur, the tax on recreational weed in retail stores will jump up to 25% (that’s 5% more wazoo!!). This means that during the months from October to when we have recreational retailers, it’s time to stock up on that non-taxed weed. As soon as retail stores are up and running, they will obviously have to comply with that taxation. A $170 ounce will cost you an additional $42 – basically $1.50 extra per gram. That $42 extra marks a huge difference in quality – you’re looking at the difference between a $6-a-gram ounce and an $8-a-gram ounce in what you’re paying for taxes alone.

If you’re a quality nut and you don’t want to pay 25% on top of your product, then there’s really only one thing to do. You know that saying, if you want something done right, do it yourself? Well, if you want something done right (and to also legally avoid retail taxes on recreational marijuana), grow it yourself. Get your green thumb ready for 2016, and think of future-you’s fulfillment when you have your own self-sustaining cannabis garden!

How do you protect marijuana? This is a start. [HighAboveSeattle.com]

How do you protect marijuana? After all, legally, it’s a brand industry, transitioning from the black market. If you own a recreational marijuana shop, or plan on owning one, a security team can provide valuable and essential service.

For example, since marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, banks have their hands tied with the industry. Cash is not being protected properly. Sure, shops are required to have video surveillance on site, but sometimes that’s not enough. In addition, protecting money isn’t the only problem. What about those customers who enter the store? Are they properly ID’d? What about maintaining order in the store and keeping the customers and staff safe? These are just a few things that need to be addressed when protecting the marijuana industry.

Read more about one of the longest tenured legal marijuana security teams in the industry [HighAboveSeattle.com]…

Disclaimer: Apache 6 security is an advertiser of HighAboveSeattle.com. This is an article is about their service in the local recreational marijuana industry.

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.