The 12 Best Dispensaries in Portland
Like every legal weed state during the pandemic, Oregon’s industry saw a huge spike in demand during quarantine. It wasn’t just that people were buying more of it—loosened delivery and curbside regulations made it easier to do so from the comfort of your couch or car. Thanks to the proliferation of delivery middleman Dutchie, over half the shops in town deliver now, and the handful of one-off delivery services like Green Box are thriving.
While delivery was king in socially distanced times, physically visiting an experiential cannabis shop holds even greater appeal than usual as vaccinations roll out and summer adventures begin to beckon. Especially in Portland, a place where people take cannabis retail environments extremely seriously, considering our modest tourism numbers. Shops have personalities here: They have themes; they have legacies; they transport you to eras of countercultures past. Not to mention Portland’s farm-to-table agricultural philosophy and emphasis on cannabis education has resulted in what I consider to be the safest, most robust and interesting cannabis products in the world. Here are the 12 best dispensaries you can’t miss, from flower and concentrate authorities to the experiential spaces that celebrate our multifaceted relationship with this plant.
This far east of the city center, people rarely wait in line for anything. But drive past Archive the day of a fresh drop and you’ll spot a line wrapping around the building. Known for its legendary seedbank of sought after genetics and authentic, legendary strains, you’ll be picking up straight from the breeders responsible for strains like Scooby Snacks and Do-Si-Dos—a dizzyingly giddy OG Kush Breath genotype of Girl Scout Cookies. That also means that in addition to an expertly curated menu of house-grown buds and the best in the west, there’s a phenomenal selection of seeds and plant clones to boot. In-store shopping and pick-up available.
Bridge City Collective
Boise and Central Eastside
When wall-to-wall racks of products and experienced budtenders seem daunting, you need a simple but reliable shop that won’t overwhelm you with choices. Balancing a polished space with a down-to-earth style, this is an ideal shop for newbies seeking concise quality and veterans interested in an efficient, satisfying grocery run. The straightforward menu contains local favorites like Focus North and High Noon Cultivation, plus a robust selection of edibles, oils and vapables. With one location in the middle of the unofficial Central Eastside Bar District and the other in the heart of New North Portland, these friendly shops are a lighthearted break amidst the tourist flurry of hyped up hoods. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
Jayne has charmed Portlanders with a serene, botanical space and a user-friendly approach to providing a vast variety of herbal goods. Details like mossy green decor and a tangible, bound paper menu give respect to the natural roots from which this industry is growing, and thoughtful extras like non-infused candy and chips keep the airy space grounded. Find a large selection of edibles and topicals in particular here, including various transdermal patches, sensual oil, and multi-use tinctures from Luminous Botanicals that can be applied topically or eaten. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
Kings of Canna
The Kings of Canna took a more dapper, Sherlock Holmes-inspired approach, with warm lighting and mahogany-colored wood floors providing a cozy, 1930s cigar-room vibe—and when you live in as casual a town as Portland, the fact that this luxuriously-styled shop has remained a favorite of growers and customers alike says a lot. The products, though displayed against red velvet in a stunning wraparound glass case, are priced very reasonably. You aren’t paying for the decor, they just want to enhance the shopping experience. Boutique grows like Nelson & Co. Organics can be found on the shelves for $14/g, as well as a variety of generic—but above decent—flower for just $60/ounce. In-store shopping only.
With a white marble aesthetic and artistic details down to the custom floor tiles made to match a signature geometrical pattern, Serra defines posh pot in Oregon. But the attention paid to the interior design is also reflected in their vast selection of unique, terpene-laden flower Pruf Cultivar. But don’t overlook other buzzworthy buds on the shelves, like those from Black-owned LOWD, either. (Their 503 WiFi is unforgettable). Serra is a good destination for sophisticated add-ons, too, like their 20 mg chocolate bars made with local bean-to-bar chocolatier, Woodblock Chocolate, and mild, beautifully-packaged herbal + weed spliffs from Barbari. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
Cedar Hills, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oldtown, Foster-Powell, Lloyd District, Alberta
This groovy little (older?) sister to the Serra brand has the same quality selection with a chiller, Summer of Love-inspired ambiance. Walls are covered in vintage political posters and tchotchkes straight out of your grandma’s attic, while the effects of flower, oils, and edibles are categorized by five frequencies: active, aware, groovy, cosmic, mellow, and easy. White marble is swapped for tie dye and shag carpet, and there’s a record player in the lounge area for you to sustain the time travel a little longer. Also, their one-of-a-kind glass ashtrays and general EL gear remain some of the strongest pot swag in town. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
Formerly known as Green Hop, this is the hip-hop-centric dispensary redefining what a dispensary can do. Co-owned by former educators who have established an internship program teaching employable skills to at-risk young adults of age to consume, the Black-owned business aims to help make space for their community in a gentrified North Portland neighborhood. Nineties hip-hop plays on the speakers, and graffitied walls create a colorful, creative environment. They organize their solid selection of the best of local flower by relating each to a corresponding music artist according to that strain’s high, like the balanced, high-CBD effects of Critical Mass going by Stevie Wonder. In-store shopping and curbside pick-up available.
ICYMI—Bend has as strong a cannabis scene as Portland for its comparative size. Oregrown started there but its renown for fabulous flower and mouthwatering resin cartridge pods made in collaboration with PAX quickly spread statewide. You can find their flower all over town, but visit their store for the full experience, where you can peruse branded street- and outdoor wear in the stylish space, containing the single coolest, massive custom couch melting down one corner of the room. Edible seekers won’t be disappointed either—they serve the higher dosing crowd well with a variety of $5 – $6 single gummies and local favorites like Elbe’s cake balls packed with 50 mg THC in one bite. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
If a scientist opened a cannabis dispensary, this would be it. In this case, a weed scientist did open up a dispensary, from which the smoking crowd has benefited greatly. When cannabis first legalized, and testing regulations were still very much in flux, in fear of newbies buying unsafe product, many local leaders reached out to me begging me to write something so that “no one shopped anywhere but Farma.” This shop’s carefully curated collection of farms, processors, and edible makers have been vetted for organic, ethical practices, and the staff has managed to maintain a special, particularly welcoming and helpful budtender culture. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up and delivery to a residential Portland address available
Find TreeHouse under the billboard denoting the start of the Green Mile: a collection of cannabis dispensaries on the diagonal Sandy Boulevard which stretches for miles. But if you’re looking for a huge selection of the state’s best flower and concentrates, this place is the only stop you’ll need to make. Resin Ranchers, Ten Four Farms, Tao Gardens, Evans Creek Farms—all the farms serious consumers seek out, for the best prices this central. Plus, a variety of live resin, hash rosin, rosin badder, and all the other niche concentrates a dabbing aficionado will appreciate. In-store shopping and curbside pick-up available.
Five Zero Trees
Dekum, Montavilla, Beaverton
Stickers for this shop are everywhere: on bridges, on outhouses, on sidewalks—pretty weird considering neither of the outposts are within walking distance of downtown. But the heavy users of Portland fell for this flower authority back when it was just a medical shop in deep Southeast. This place once sold a 1g Oregon Lemons joint so strong it nearly knocked Tom Sizemore out before he started talking like a conspiracy theorist, pledging to call whenever he’s in town for the hookup to the good stuff (true story). Now you can find a Five Zero Trees (two actually!) as far as the Oregon Coast. In-store shopping and curbside pick-up available.
Pearl District and Central Eastside
With two fairly grandiose locations—one in the Pearl District and the other next to the Convention Center—Oregon’s Finest is hard to miss. With multiple high-end strain options from growers regularly featured in all the cannabis magazines, this is an easy one-stop shop if you’re anywhere downtown. You’ll find not only 25+ strains at any given point, but premium concentrates in every form and factor. Same with accessories—this spot has accoutrement for connoisseurs looking for the latest vape tech, as well as discrete one-hitter options for subtle stoney strolls. As far as shopping goes, you can’t go wrong with anything from sofresh farms, the impressive in-house grow. In-store shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery to a residential Portland address available.
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You Can Now Buy Marijuana Legally In Oregon
At 12 a.m. on Thursday, it became legal for medical dispensaries across Oregon to sell marijuana, seeds and immature plants to anyone over the age of 21. Excited customers lined up outside dispensaries in Portland, waiting for the clock to strike midnight.
One of them was Davia Fleming, 29, the first in line outside Shango dispensary and therefore one of the state’s first legal cannabis customers. For her, legalization means more than her ability to smoke without fear of prosecution. Cannabis keeps her stable, she said.
“What a great night! It’s legal!” she said. “I have ADHD so it makes thinking processes a little chaotic, and I discovered that marijuana kind of helps organize me and my creative functions.”
It should be noted that there’s been very little research into marijuana’s effects on those with mental or behavioral health problems, but as a study released in the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics notes, there is growing interest in exploring the topic.
Not everyone showed up hoping for medical benefits, though. For others, many of whom admitted that they already had weed at home, waiting in line meant being a part of history.
“For me, tonight means I’m no longer a criminal — it means I can do what I want, as an adult, in my own home, and not be concerned,” said Portland native John Finley, 22. “Before, I had to go through potentially dangerous, weird people in motels, for instance. Or just people I didn’t want to deal with or don’t trust. It was legal, but I didn’t have any options. . Tonight I wanted to come here as a show of support as someone who uses recreationally.”
WATCH: Davia Fleming Buys Marijuana Legally For The First Time
For now, customers in Oregon can buy up to seven grams of marijuana, an unlimited number of seeds, and up to four immature plants from a finite list of dispensaries that are registered with the state to sell. Shops can’t yet sell edibles, cannabis liquid or other products to the general public.
The state legalized marijuana possession and small personal grow operations on July 1, but until now, it didn’t have a system in place to sell and tax the plant. Senate Bill 460, signed by Gov. Kate Brown this summer, allowed for sales at dispensaries starting on Oct. 1. It’s a temporary plan while the state Liquor Control Commission works out the kinks on regulating marijuana shops, which could start opening late next year. The plant will be taxed by 25 percent starting on Jan. 4, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.
The limbo between legalization and sales can be hard to navigate — it took Washington state two years to go from allowing the drug recreationally to having shops selling it — but Oregon is patting itself on the back for coming up with a sales plan faster than any other state so far.
With that swift move from legalization to retail sales came a blossoming novelty product and services market. In Portland, there are already cannabis yoga sessions called Yoganja at Prism House PDX, house-call vaping parties with THC e-liquid in place of wine by the herbalist company Titrate, and edibles like Drip Ice Cream.
Many of the businesses are run by local parents and young people.
“Look, this isn’t all about, ‘Oh yeah, man, we’re gonna get super stoned and do yoga,’ this is about wellness,” said Sam Montanaro, a graphic designer who recently began hosting the Yoganja sessions at her house.
She hosted a backyard party Wednesday, on the eve of the recreational sale kickoff, for local industry workers and parents to celebrate the end of prohibition. It wasn’t much different from any other backyard party. There were crackers and goat cheese on a table outside, wine for the parents and lemonade for the kids, and a campfire around which children played with plastic swords and hula hoops.
The only major difference: the four marijuana plants growing among the sunflowers in Montanaro’s varietal garden, and a cordoned-off second floor of the house, where the adults could show off their cannabis products to the journalists filtering through.
For many pro-pot advocates, the gathering represented an ideal that the American majority agrees with: Marijuana isn’t a big deal, but legalization and its benefits are.