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Let’s be real. Oregon is known for it’s greenery. And while the rolling hills, and lush forests, and magnificent waterfalls are great and all, sometimes you need a break from the outdoors and just need to…chill. Well, wouldn’t ya know it, Oregon has a lil greenery for that as well. If you didn’t pick it up from the title, I’m talking herb, grass, ganja, weed, pot, hash, reefer (does anyone still call it that??), and just good ol’ marijuana. If you are looking to meet up with Mary J, you can find some of the best THC and CBD dispensaries in Portland, and at a great price too!
Is Marijuana Legal in Oregon???
Do you really think I would write a blog post suggesting y’all do something illegal? ME???
In short, yes. Marijuana (and related THC/CBD products derived from cannabis/hemp) are legal in Oregon as of 2014. I think the confusion of if it’s legal or not is largely due to it being relatively easy to come by and extremely casually referenced in most forms of cultural entertainment. Yet, at the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of people in jail (mostly from Black and brown communities) over cannabis charges.
Also…isn’t it a drug?
How did we get here?
Where did Cannabis come from?
Well, get this. The American legal system used to be pretty chill (no pun intended) about cannabis before the 1900s. They also used to be chill about slavery, genocide, and indentured servitude back then too, but I digress. As it turns out, cannabis (the plant), is not native to the Americas (thanks Central Asia!), but how exactly it became so embedded in the culture of the Americas is a point of murky uncertainty.
Both British and French colonies grew cannabis sativa L (aka hemp) plantations along the east coast of North America. You can’t get high off hemp, but it WAS used for clothes, paper, ropes, and oakum (hemp fibers placed between boards of a ship for waterproofing). George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were actually hemp farmers – and by that, what history books REALLY mean is that they had hemp plantations and enslaved people working said plantations. In fact, in 1619, Virginia passed a law requiring hemp to be grown on every farm in the colony. The Declaration of Independence was made from hemp fibers. Heck, Betsy Ross’s American flag was made from hemp.
Cannabis was pretty fundamental.
In contrast, cotton was very hard and labor intensive (aka expensive for slave owners, they didn’t care about the actual labor) to produce. After the invention of the cotton gin, and it’s expansion, hemp was used less for its fabrics and more for its medicinal uses. Although used medicinally in other countries for literally thousands of years, it took the US until the mid-1800s to catch up. Extracts from cannabis were used to treat restlessness, nerve pain, coughs, spasms, and a ton of other ailments – children and adults alike.
When did the “fun” cannabis (THC) come to the Americas?
Like I mentioned before, hemp was grown in North America, which contains VERYYYY little THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation. So people weren’t out in the cobblestone streets getting high. So how did the cannabis species with high (no pun intended) THC concentrations make its way over?
It’s starts in India and Bengal (now India and Bangladesh).
The infamous British East India company (yah, the bullies in Pirates of the Caribbean) exploited India and Bengal for their spices (among other things) and exported cannabis from that region to Guyana, South Africa, and Jamaica. That particular cannabis species was cannabis sativa (without the L) – which is VERY high in THC. From the British who took it to the Caribbean and the Portuguese who took it to Brazil, the main purpose of cannabis sativa was to forcibly “pacify” enslaved folks. Even after technical slavery ended, the plantation of this high THC cannabis was heavilyyyy encouraged so it could be taxed.
And yeah, people bought it. I mean…it got you high. Is another reason even needed? So using this species of cannabis as a narcotic became a norm in Jamaican culture.
At this time, there was also large Indian communities in the Caribbean (from indentured Indian workers on plantations) who were also familiar with smoking this species of cannabis recreationally. So Latin America in general was pretty familiar with recreational marijuana, and also throw in peyote, ayahuasca, and coca…getting high was a-okay and sometimes part of religious and/or spiritual ceremony.
How did Cannabis become illegal?
If something was so readily accessible and acceptable before, what was the switch?
Well, it is America, so….
If you didn’t know already, the United States of America has a…tense…relationship with Mexico, in specific regards to immigration. While there are many layers to this, I want to look at what Mexican immigration had to do with the criminalization of cannabis in the US – because yes, it’s related.
Like I previously mentioned, all of Turtle Island (the continent of North America) was cool -in general- with cannabis up until the early 1900s.
Let’s take it back to 1910. The Mexican Revolution. Aside from, yanno, the formation of the country now known as modern Mexico (or what would become Mexico), there were two very important aspects of the Mexican Revolution that led to the US criminalizing cannabis. The first is the increase in Mexican immigration into the United States as a result of refugees fleeing to the US to avoid and/or escape the civil war. For a country founded on people literally going into a land that isn’t theirs, the US is strangely very critical of immigration. Needless to say, (white) Americans did not like this increase in Mexican immigration.
The second aspect is that Mexico actually criminalized cannabis in 1920.
Similar to coca and peyote, the Catholic-idealistic governments HATEDDD its familiarity with Indigenous communities and non-European traditions, likening it to witchcraft and evil. So they banned it. Plus, most of North America (including Mexico) was getting on board with banning alcohol and opioid-like narcotics, sooo…what’s one more? Throw cannabis in there too!
Since cannabis was banned in Mexico, but still legal in the US, people would smuggle cannabis from the US into Mexico. So while cannabis wasn’t actually a problem in US, (white) America’s negative sentiment towards Mexican people was transferred to marijuana. Even though cannabis (and even the THC version) had been in the Americas for literal centuries, in (white) America’s eyes, cannabis = Mexican.
Yeah, yeah. Logic has always been a shaky topic in the USA.
As historian Isaac Campos puts it, “When drugs are seen as foreign, they’re seen as more dangerous.” Even if the drugs weren’t being brought INTO the US.
Slowly, cities and states started to ban cannabis use, starting with Texas (El Paso I believe?) in response to an increase in Mexican immigration. In fact, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics testified in Congress in support of banning cannabis, stating:
“I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigarettes can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That’s why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who [sic] are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions.”
Mind you, the same CBD bans WERE NOT happening in northern cities that had a high influx of Canadian immigrants. And yes, since Canada criminalized cannabis in 1923, there were Canadians smuggling cannabis back into Canada.
Straight up racist y’all.
On top of that, because of America’s segregation and redlining, Mexican and Hispanic immigrants would often be in close proximity with Black and other immigrant communities (largely Caribbean), so now marijuana was seen as a “Black and brown” thing, which in America law meant BAD.
So, predictably, the USA federally criminalized cannabis in 1937.
See what being racist gets you?
Where is cannabis legal in the USA today?
Okay, so this post is going on longer than I even intended so I’m going to just skip over America’s war on drugs. That’s a whole different post for a whole different day. This would turn into a dissertation if I started going into the complexities of systemic racism in the justice system (over-policing, over arrests, over incarcerations, etc etc) that intentionally impact Black, Latine, and Indigenous communities disproportionately.
So, I’m going to skip over that. For now.
Technically, the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado and Washington, didn’t happen until nearly a century later in 2012. And the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (South Dakota) voted to legalize recreational cannabis on its reservation in 2015. However, California legalize medical marijuana in 1996 AND, a little homebase shoutout, Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973.
But enough history, right? All you wanna know is where you can get high TODAY. I get cha I get cha. Well, whether you’re a visitor to the states or you’re just headed to another state, here’s a quick list of all of the states (and territories) where recreational marijuana is legal. Spoiler, there are 19 of them!
- Washington, D.C.
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- New York
- New Mexico
I believe all of the states (except DC, Guam, and Vermont?) have retail stores and dispensaries. So you can pick up some weed in all of them no problem (as long as you’re 21 years old), including grabbing your preferred green from local dispensaries in Portland, Oregon! Which leads me to the actual point of this post, haha.
Local Dispensaries in Portland
Omg, remember that time I spent 1500+ words telling you the background of cannabis in America when you really just came here to find out the best dispensaries in Portland owned by local folk??
Anywayssss. So you’re in Oregon -probably through Portland- and you want to get your green on. COOL! Well luckily for you, I got the scoop on all the best dispensaries in Portland. If you’re just visiting, you might not want to stock up because yanno, airline regulations and other state laws, etc etc. While there’s a ton of dispensaries in Portland, it’s…kinda what the city is known for, the below businesses are local with amazing customer service. And some dank cannabis – of course.
So get your pocketbooks ready and sample these amazing products from the best dispensaries in Portland!
5515 NE 16th Ave, Portland , OR 97211
I gots to start with Green Muse. GOTS TO. Formerly known as Green Hop, Green Muse was the first hip-hop focused dispensary, and it opened right here in Portland! I mean. Hip hop. Cannabis. The two go hand in hand. A quite literal mom and pop shop, Green Muse is actively disrupting the gentrification of NE Portland with “reintrification,” the notion and celebration of individuals who are returning to a community that once pushed them and contributing to positive change (term coined by rapper Roxanne Shante, btw).
Though their product names (John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, etc), the graffiti art on the walls, and the music playing in the background, Green Muse pays homage to the culture that put legalization of cannabis to the forefront in recent years. If it’s your first time exploring CDB products in Portland, the budtenders (staff) are super approachable with a great passion for cannabis and can walk you through everything to find what best suits your wants. Just a heads up though, they are not wheelchair accessible, but they can still help you out there if needed!
Plus, if you’re interested in joining the ranks of the best dispensaries in Portland, Green Muse hosts the Green Hop Academy, a program that teaches BIPOC (emphasis on the B here) community members the ins and outs of the cannabis industry. Dope.
6802 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97213
Aside from their range of pre-rolls and leafy greens, Budding Culture also has a great selection of super fun gummies and even cannabis-infused seltzer’s! Owners Damien and Charlie Rand are some of the NICESTTT people you will ever meet, plus, Budding Culture offers daily deals so it’s a great spot to hit up if you’re looking to try out a large range of products in Portland. Variety makes dispensaries in Portland top notch after all!
As a small and super local business, Budding Culture really appreciates the neighborhood and loyal customers, and has a really great reward program for returning customers and new referrals. Or should I say reeferals.
One of the best parts about putting Budding Culture on your shopping list is that it’s right down the way from Rosemont Bluff Natural Area – so you can enjoy some green while you’re enjoying your green, ya dig?
Tinc ‘n’ Juice
2605 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97236
Okay, so y’all KNOW I have a shopping problem, and the ability to blaze and browse is exactly the reason why Tinc ‘n’ Juice snagged a spot as one of the best dispensaries in Portland. Located in SE, and conveniently right next to a PetCo (I’m a new cat mom), they are one of the newer opened joints (keke) on the block by two individuals who were born and raised in Portland and know how take the shopping experience to the next level.
I’m talking shoes.
That’s right folks.
Over the pandemic, I became a sneakerhead.
So not only does Tinc ‘n’ Juice sell locally produced herbal medicinal supplements and topicals, but they also buy, sell, and trade sneakers. Like, a one stop shop where I can get infused dairy-free ice cream AND empty my wallet on some fly kicks?? DOPE. And, if you’re traveling through Portland with some busted white AirForces (speaking to myself here), they can hook you up and bring even the most stained white sneaks back to life.
6017 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
I love love LOVEEEEE the Joynt. Like, seriously, even the whole “best dispensaries in Portland” thing aside, the Joynt is actually one of the BEST juice bars in Portland HANDS DOWN. Literally so good. So refreshing. And…well, if you add a lil CBD to your smoothie, SO RELAXING. They also offer “hempnotized” salads and smoothie bowls as well if you’re feeling peck-ish!
Not everyone wants to be so high that it feels like they’ve melted into their couch, so if you’re looking for strictly CBD, I’d highly recommend checking out the Joynt. Their gummies, CBD oil, and pain patches are also great for anyone with arthritis, joint and muscle pain, or general body aches. I appreciate that their space is large and airy, and they also have like a REALLY good playlist going. I seriously shazamed like every song they played up in there.
There was only one person working when I visited, and they were super friendly and impressively efficient. They also didn’t judge me for…literally shazamming every song hahahah.
Oracle Wellness Co.
Oracle Wellness Co. is definitely one of the more spiritual dispensaries in Portland, but the story behind it is pretty darn powerful. Founder Megon Dee wants to take us back to the basics and give people more insight on plant medicine and integrating medicinal herbs into your normal wellness routine. Remember how I mentioned that was literally the whole point of cannabis back in the day?? Dee also wants to challenge societal belief that cannabis products are only for silly entertainment (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and bring its other benefits to the conversation.
So not only will you find a ton of great and locally sourced CBD products here, Oracle Wellness is one of the few dispensaries in Portland that also has spiritual ritual accessories like tarot cards and crystals. They even offer educational services like consultations (on how to use medical cannabis intentionally, not like…a primary care physician) and cannabis cooking classes. And even – doula services.
From her own birthing experience, Dee is passionate about plant-based herbal solutions for pregnancy related pain management and symptoms, and Oracle Wellness provides full-circle doula services to support pregnant people while laboring and birthing. They offer specialized holistic African centered/Black postpartum traditional birth support (that is inclusive for Queer folk!!!), which is something I…haven’t really heard about in Oregon, let alone at dispensaries in Portland, so the fact that they are so intertwined in health and wellness is pretty dope.
3213 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
Alright, let’s get back into some of the dispensaries in Portland that have THC products as well. Releaf Health! So the west coast is big big BIG on tech. Releaf Health really takes that to heart and merge cannabis and technology to create the BEST possible shopper experience. Aside from creating their own POS system from scratch (I think the only dispensary in Portland to do so), something that really sets Releaf Health apart is their dedication to sourcing from small craft growers in the state. In their retail space, they pride themselves on carrying unique products that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
Another cool thing that they do, if you live locally, is their delivery system! When your order is dropped off, you will get a personalized experience as their operator will walk you through the products and answer any potential questions you might have about the order, additional products, and even upcoming Releaf Health events. AND – you can request specific operators to have your own personal budtender and you honestly don’t ever have to leave your house again. What a time to be alive.
11605 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97266
I feel like Nebula Cannabis might not be one of the most popular dispensaries in Portland, but it is definitely a neighborhood favorite, especially for those looking at vapes and cartridges. Not only does it just FEEL like Portland, including a mural by a local artist, but they also do everything in their power to go above and beyond on customer service and making your experience the best every single time.
They know how to leave a lasting impression. Plus, just between me and you, they have some very competitive pricing. I’ll leave it at that, wink wink. They also have daily deals on different products each day of the week, which can really save you a good amount of pocket change if you plan your week accordingly.
Nebula Cannabis is very convenient if you’re driving out or in on the 26. For example, if you’re headed to Mt. Hood, a mini pitstop at Nebula Cannabis can really take your Mirror Lake picnic to the next level *chefs kiss*
My Earth Goddess
1515 SE Ankeny St Suite B, Portland, OR 97214
It’s very fitting that the owner of My Earth Goddess is named Joi Bonman, because this place is an absolute joy to be in. I’ve also included My Earth Goddess in my post about the best beauty stores in Portland because their skin and beauty products are an absolute lifesaver. And, if being included in this post wasn’t spoiler enough, they are all CBD infused.
So it doesn’t really fit the standard mold of dispensaries in Portland, but it still deserves a shoutout because their CBD products are just THAT BOMB. That bath fizz and milk bath??? REVOLUTIONARY. Forget clubbing, it will set a new level for your Saturday nights. There’s also a balm that they sell that has been helping a lot with my chronic headaches and migraines. Plus, if you didn’t know already, CBD has very active anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, so it feels good AND does good.
Oh also, the name My Earth Goddess has a pretty dope background as well. It’s named after CBD plants themselves, since hemp plants are female plants. Bonman wanted to honor the female plant, hence Earth Goddess ,that provides such amazing benefits. Plus, it is a tribute to women-owned cannabis businesses, because it is a very male dominated industry. Though I will say it’s rad that there are more than one women-owned dispensaries in Portland!
Aint nobody got the time to be rolling all of these blunts, aight? That’s where Sway comes into play. In the most basic of explanations, they sell pre-rolled blunts. BUT, they are hand-rolled. That is the key thing. And pretty much what put Sway on the list of one of the best dispensaries in Portland.
What’s wrong with machine rolled though?
You see, a lot of pre-rolled blunts, even at dispensaries in Portland, are made by machine, which really takes away from that…je ne sais quoi of rolling your own blunt. It’s a delicate art, really, and if you don’t want to do it yourself, DEFINITELY get it from Sway. They have a variety of options in terms of the rolling method, from the standard slim hemp wraps to banana leaf thaisticks. All of their blunts, and everything holding the blunt together, are organic and 100% biodegradable! It’s definitely one of the more unique dispensaries in Portland, and although it only really caters to blunts, they do the job RIGHT.
Club Sky High
8975 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203
Club Sky High is another veteran in the dispensaries in Portland game, and is still in it for a good reason. It’s one of the best. Before we get into their products, I do want to highlight all of the awesome work they put back into the community that supports them. This family owned dispensary volunteered for YEARS at Loaves and Fishes, who deliver meals to the elderly North Portland, and is currently on the St. Johns Business Boosters board, a nonprofit that supports local businesses.
One of the unique things about Club Sky High is that they are their own supplier, and they grow both on their land in Southern Oregon, as well as in their processing facility in North Portland. So you’re supporting a local business AND farmer! There’s not many dispensaries in Portland who do that, so – dope!
I also appreciate that they are very transparent on the effects of marijuana on the body, especially by smoking it. I think unbiased knowledge is truly the most effective way to make an informed decision based on their own body, so I’m grateful that they do touch on that in their FAQ. Surprisingly, not all dispensaries in Portland do that – some just say its 100% harmless or over-exaggerate the properties of CBD.
And last, I gots to shoutout PotMates. Along with being one of the best dispensaries with their range of high quality products, they are also a DELIVERY SERVICE!!! I had to end with the VIPs of hand delivering your order to you anywhere in Portland. Seriously, any residential residence – apartment, condo, townhome, tiny house, treehouse, duplex, HOA suburb single family home – they GOTCHU.
WITH NO DELIVERY MINIUMS.
Iconically, they launched at 4:20pm, 04/20/2020 – pretty once in a lifetime, so I love them based on that alone. PotMates works specifically with Oregon-based marijuana growers who are both sustainable, have environmentally-conscious growing practices, AND who give back to their communities. That last point is crucial, as it helps redress the damage caused by the failed -and wildly racist- War on Drugs. And, tbh, pretty important when I was decided who would make the cut for best dispensaries in Portland.
I also appreciate that all of their products or more or less the same price, so you can choose a product that you want rather than choosing ones based on price. Pretty dope stuff.
Some -Almost- Dispensaries in Portland
OKAY I LIED, one more thing!!! I just wanted to give a quick highlight of a super cool company that is kindaaaa like a dispensary, but not really. So Green Box is a local and family-owned Cannabis subscription and on-demand delivery service – aka, a weed subscription box!!! Now if that doesn’t make the least of one of the coolest subscription boxes, I don’t know what does.
They have a wide range of boxes with different tiers, so you can totally customize it to fit what you want out of their service. If you know someone looking to find new CBD products, but they don’t want to do any work on their own, you can even gift a box to them to try a few different products. In terms of products, it’s up there with the best of the best dispensaries in Portland, but without any of the legwork!
Dispensaries in Portland: Conclusion
Whew, now that was a doozy!! I did not expect to fall down such a long rabbit hole while talking about dispensaries in Portland…well, who are we kidding.
I go on tangents often.
BUT – at the very least, I hope you found at least one or two new dispensaries in Portland that you might want to check out, whether you are a local or just visiting. I also just heard of Natural Wonders, Oregon’s first and only Native owned dispensary, but I haven’t stopped by yet. If you get there before me, definitely let me know how it is! Did I miss any of your favorite dispensaries in Portland? Drop them in the comments below to show some love!
Also, while we’re on the subject of reclaiming narratives and neighborhoods, as always, support businesses owned by historically excluded community members. To this day, they are STILL excluded and not equally highlighted in the travel industry and in blogs, so I do what I can to round up a few of my favorites. Check them out when you can!
- Black owned restaurants in Portland
- Native owned businesses in Portland (coming soon)
- Best Mexican restaurants in Portland (coming soon)
Alright y’all, that’s it for the best dispensaries in Portland. Thanks for reading and happy vibin’ <3