7 places to visit and tours to experience Portland's cannabis culture, according to an Oregon local

marijuana dispensary
Co-owner Troy Moore weighs marijuana at the Oregon's Finest medical marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon.REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
  • Cannabis has been recreationally legal in Oregon since 2015.

  • For the 21+ in Portland, there are various dispensaries that sell cannabis products and accessories.

  • Here's where to go, according to a Portland local.

In Oregon, marijuana has been recreationally legal since July 2015.

An Oregon landscape.
Recreational marijuana use was legalized in Oregon in 2015.Getty Images

The state legalized recreational cannabis in July 2015, and before that, it had been available for medicinal use since 1998.

Now, those over the age of 21 are able to purchase and use cannabis flower, as well as cannabis-derived products like edibles, concentrates, topicals, tinctures, and extracts.

I grew up in Oregon and watched the cannabis industry grow after legalization.

Jules Rogers Portland Oregon
Author Jules Rogers.Jules Rogers

I hear all about the changes from working in the news industry myself, and also from my husband, who worked in the cannabis industry while it expanded over the past seven years until recently.

Since 2015, I've seen a lot change. There are now more than 800 dispensaries around the state, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, open to those over the age of 21, selling flower buds, edibles, glass accessories, and more.

Portland follows Oregon state law when it comes to marijuana sales and restrictions.

Portland, Oregon, USA skyline at dusk on the Willamette River.
Portland, Oregon from the Willamette River.Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Those over the age of 21 are allowed to purchase marijuana for recreational use.

However, you can't smoke in public (doing so could get you a citation), and you can't drive while under the influence. You also cannot take any marijuana products purchased in Oregon across state lines, including plant seeds, as these items are still federally illegal.

At dispensaries in Portland and throughout the state, employees with ask to see an ID to verify you're over 21, or over 18 with a registered medical marijuana card.

For those visiting Portland who may be curious, I think one of the best ways to learn about the city's cannabis culture is by visiting local dispensaries. Here's where you can find some of my favorite small businesses in Portland that sell recreational cannabis products and accessories, plus where to book a quirky cannabis-themed bus tour.

For the budget-conscious, Nectar and Parlour Cannabis Shop dispensaries have daily discounts and specials.

Inside Nectar, a cannabis dispensary in Portland Oregon Jules Rogers travel
Inside Nectar, a cannabis dispensary in southwest Portland.Jules Rogers

Parlour Cannabis Shop is located in southwest Portland's Raleigh Hills. The store is designed to look like an antique barbershop, and has soft lighting that I think creates a calm and welcoming atmosphere. I've always found the staff to be polite and proactive in serving customers.

The menu has a premium flower selection, concentrates, edibles, and pre-rolls, among other items, and the shop has a sale or deal every day of the week. I also appreciate that Parlour lists the daily specials on their website, which I haven't seen from many other local dispensaries. The discounts typically are 15% off various products like edibles, topicals, tinctures, extracts, or flower.

Another shop for the budget-conscious is Nectar, a local dispensary chain that has several locations throughout the city and state. The shop sells flower, concentrates, edibles, topicals, smoke accessories, and logo souvenirs like sweatshirts and caps.

I think Nectar is a convenient option for finding a good deal as the various locations regularly have rotating, week-long specials on numerous products. And in my experience, the chain has a consistently friendly approach with shoppers.

Green Front can be a pricey dispensary, but I've found it often has the highest quality products.

Cannabis buds and other products are sold only to those over 21 years old in Oregon.REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Green Front is a dispensary with two locations in the northern end of Portland. Prices here are higher than at Parlour Cannabis Shop or Nectar, but, in my opinion, the products are worth it if you're willing to splurge. Here, the buds are large, fresh, and dense with trichomes, which are tiny growths on cannabis flower that make for a more flavorful smoking experience.

I also appreciate that the store stays up to date with new releases in the cannabis industry, like new strains of flower and popular tinctures. Green Front also keeps a substantial stock of products from popular high-end brands.

For an excursion, take a tour to visit different dispensaries on a bus with a designated driver.

Portland Electric lettuce cannabis dispensary Oregon Jules Rogers
The Electric Lettuce dispensary is a stop on the Potlandia experience bus tour.Jules Rogers

Potlandia Experience is a tour company that runs a rock n' roll-themed trip around Portland on a 12-seater, green and purple tour bus. I think this is a convenient and safe way to partake freely, as the bus includes a designated driver, so attendees don't have to worry about smoking and driving, and instead can enjoy privacy inside the bus and enjoy views of driving around Portland.

The business has tours every Friday through Sunday, and has two different tours: The Potlandia Experience, and the Weed and Waterfalls tour.

On the Potlandia Experience, attendees are driven to visit several dispensaries around the city, and also stop by local microbreweries and food cart pods. The Weed and Waterfalls tour takes riders on a trip outside of Portland to the Columbia River Gorge for nature sightseeing and leisurely hikes, and attendees can consume marijuana on the bus ride.

Each tour costs $79 per person, and lasts for four hours. I think the Weed and Waterfalls tour is a fun option for visitors who want to see the state's nature outside of Portland, while the Potlandia Experience I'd recommend to those who prefer discovering new food scenes.

I think one of the best stops on the Potlandia experience tour is Electric Lettuce in the Lloyd District, one of four of the chain's locations around town. I always recognize an Electric Lettuce shop from its rainbow branding, which is usually painted on the building's steps or as a mural.

For cannabis-infused edibles and tinctures, visit the walkable Slabtown District for a handful of curated shops.

Jules Rogers MindRite Portland Oregon
The MindRite dispensary has a sidewalk window counter for speedy shopping.Jules Rogers

MindRite is in the Slabtown district near the upscale Pearl District, which is a very walkable area. I never miss this dispensary thanks to its bright yellow walls and tree of medicine mural on the door. The business also has a sidewalk window counter, so you can walk right up to the open window and order your products, without having to go inside.

I'd recommend MindRite particularly for its edibles and tinctures, as the shop has a nicely curated supply of these items at reasonable prices, in my opinion. When I've visited, the shop has always had the latest edibles on the market, from cookies and gummies to tinctures meant for sublingual consumption.

Sublingual consumption means putting the tincture under your tongue to absorb, a method that has a faster onset time compared to edibles that are chewed and digested, according to Fluent Cannabis. For this reason, MindRite would be my pick for visitors looking for a good-quality product that acts fast.

Also in Slabtown, Power Plant on Thurman has quality concentrates and a taqueria next door.

Power Plant on Thurman Portland Oregon Jules Rogers
Power Plant is near Uptown, a buzzy street for shopping.Jules Rogers

Power Plant on Thurman is a spot I like to stop into when I'm shopping in Uptown, which is what Portland locals like me call Northwest 23rd Avenue, a trendy street filled with boutiques that's not far from the Slabtown area.

The dispensary is in a two-story historic building with a pharmacy-style storefront. There's a generous selection of dabs and quality concentrates like rosin, live and cured resin, and other extracts.

Another perk of Power Plant is that it's located next to Cha! Cha! Cha!, a locally-owned taqueria with incredible house-made tortillas. The restaurant is a great stop, in my opinion, to satiate munchies with an order of tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.

Downtown, Serra has a luxurious shopping experience and high-end products.

Serra Dispensary cannabis weed Portland Oregon Jonathan House for Insider
Serra is a curated dispensary in downtown.Jonathan House for Insider

Serra is a thoughtfully curated dispensary in the heart of downtown Portland. I think this store has a more luxurious shopping experience compared to other dispensaries in town. Coming here reminds me of being in a high-end, designer store, and makes me feel like I'm shopping for quality items.

It's a clean shop with an upscale ambience, and products are displayed neatly on wood shelves and in delicate glass cases. There are both affordable and high-end products sold at Serra, including flower, edibles, concentrates, and sleek glass accessories.

Several dispensaries in town also sell unique glass smoking products and accessories.

A selection of recreational cannabis goods at Oregon’s Finest dispensary Portland Oregon Jules Rogers Travel
A selection of goods at Oregon’s Finest dispensary.Jules Rogers

If you're looking for a glass pipe or piece, there are several stores I recommend.

In Southeast Portland, Green Oasis is a dispensary that I think is the best mom and pop-style joint in the area. It's family-owned and located in the historical Sellwood neighborhood, and a fun place to pick up glass pieces, in my experience. The store has a vibrant, ever-changing display with fun and unique designs at good prices, and sometimes a discounted $5 dish of colorful, small pieces to choose from, too.

Besides glass accessories, Green Oasis also has a full menu of cannabis products and a pre-roll joint selection. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and just what I'd expect from a neighborhood dispensary.

Another dispensary, Oregon's Finest, is grower-owned and operated and focuses on "top-shelf" items. In my experience, the flower sold here is always of a high quality. The store has a variety of uniquely designed glass accessories — I once saw a double bowl glass that was shaped like a cherry, and another unique art piece that doubled as a smokable pipe.

I especially appreciate how the dispensary showcases new, popular strains in beautiful glass jars that always catch my eye. With popular brands and aesthetically-pleasing displays, this is one of my favorite shops to show friends when they're in town.

Overall, Portland is a welcoming place for visitors looking to explore cannabis culture.

Jules Rogers in Oregon, marijuana has been recreationally legal since July 2015' - My husband Marshall at a Dr. Jolly’s / Tumalo Industries indoor recreational marijuana grow.
My husband Marshall at a Dr. Jolly's Tumalo Industries warehouse in Oregon.Jules Rogers

In my experience, dispensaries around town are accommodating and inviting, and employees are more than happy to share their knowledge about cannabis products for sale.

If you do visit Portland in search of cannabis, remember to follow local laws, and don't smoke in public.

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