Pubdate: Fri, 02 Oct 2015
Source: Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)
Copyright: 2015 Statesman Journal
Author: Saerom Yoo


A group of about 12 people milled around the locked door of Canna 
Medicine, a medical marijuana dispensary in South Salem. It was a 
sunny Thursday morning just before 10 a.m., the first day Oregonians 
age 21 and up could legally purchase recreational marijuana.

More than 250 stores statewide that were already selling medical 
marijuana opened to the general public to sell to recreational users.

Portland dispensaries could start selling retail marijuana starting 
at midnight, but Salem stores began selling at 10 a.m.

Diane Gourley, 70, of Lyons, had been waiting outside Canna Medicine 
since 6:40 a.m., she said.

"I thought there would be a big long line," she said. "I thought they 
were going to sell out."

Canna Medicine's manager, Crystal Young, walked outside and greeted 
the customers.

"I'm going to check everybody's ID so please be patient!" she said, 
as she opened the door.

"Even the old farts too?" one man quipped.

"Everyone!" Young replied.

The group, a mix of women, men, young and old, streamed through the 
lobby in a line to show their IDs. Each person received a goody bag, 
filled with brochures and a small wooden pipe.

They walked into the restricted area of the dispensary, where the 
goods would be sold. With white paper lanterns and wood-panel walls, 
the room had a relaxing, tiki hut feel.

The crowd quietly waited their turn.

Oregon is the third state to allow recreational marijuana sales to 
adults after voters passed a ballot measure last year. Customers can 
buy up to 7 grams at a time. Edibles, oils and lotions are not yet 
available to retail customers.

At the counter, customers were asked to show their IDs once more. 
They sniffed mason jars filled with marijuana of different strains, 
with names like Train Wreck, Cheese and Gumby.

Train Wreck was the most powerful, with 29 percent THC, and also the 
most coveted.

"It's the most potent right now," Young said, as she pre-weighed 1 
gram containers of weed, rapidly trying to stay ahead of the demand 
that streamed in consistently. "That's what most people are going for."

Young said she and other staffers stayed up until 3 a.m. Thursday 
morning preparing the 1 gram bottles of weed. The containers look 
like prescription pill bottles, but they're solid and green.

But before the first hour of sales were up, the hundreds of bottles 
of product they prepared were running dangerously low.

"We are very nervous but super excited," Young said. "We want to make 
sure we get it right, but we're very excited for everyone in Oregon."

Young was referring to the detailed regulations the Oregon Health 
Authority has put forth for medical dispensary operators selling 
retail marijuana.

OHA spokesman Jonathan Modie said Thursday that a compliance 
specialist visited five dispensaries in the Portland area to monitor 
retail sales.

He said for the most part dispensaries were in compliance with 
regulations, although a few had problems with not posting clear 
signage in the entryway indicating only medical marijuana cardholders 
and retail customers age 21 and up could enter. He said another issue 
was dispensaries giving away free product, which is against the rules.

OHA will continue to visit dispensaries and also respond to 
complaints of noncompliance, including allegations that people were 
giving away marijuana in the parking lot of a dispensary without 
checking ID and with a child nearby, Modie said.

Modie added that while the medical marijuana program only has two 
compliance specialists on staff currently (with one on vacation) it 
is in the process of hiring about a dozen more.

"That speaks to our recognition of this new situation we're in with 
regard to retail sales," he said.

At Canna Medicine, Young shifted quickly from weighing and bottling 
marijuana to answering phone calls asking about recreational sales 
(as long as you have an ID indicating you're at least 21, she can 
help you), to assisting the occasional medical marijuana patients who 
walked in.

Medical marijuana cardholders have paved the way for the recreational 
marijuana market, Young said. They have their own area of the 
dispensary to purchase their medicine. They will never wait behind 
recreational marijuana customers, she said.

John Cotton was among the first to buy recreational marijuana from 
Canna Medicine. He went with Train Wreck, he said.

"It's phenomenal," Cotton said. "I never thought I'd live long enough 
to see it become legal. And I'm glad it did. Oregon is a progressive state."

Cotton said he enjoyed marijuana's "tranquility effect" and that 
using it brings back old memories.

Willamette University law students Drew Thomas and Brodia Minter 
visited the store looking for a different kind of high. Rather than a 
euphoric high, they sought a relaxing, medicinal experience.

They ended up purchasing Critical Mass, which Young said has a low 
THC level and is recommended for pain relief.

"It's wonderful  it's absolutely wonderful," Minter said of the 
opportunity to purchase recreational marijuana legally. "There's no stigma."

Still, multiple customers asked not to be named or photographed.

Modie urged dispensary operators to continually check their protocols 
against the regulations posted on Oregon Health Authority's website.


Salem dispensaries selling retail marijuana

The Holistic Choice, 1045 Commercial St. SE, (503) 990-7312

Peace Love and Cannabis, 2625 Highway 22 NW, (971) 701-3694

Piper's Holistic Essentials, 1729 Center St. NE #170, (503) 586-3349

Club Pitbull, 4088 State St., (503) 409-8192,

TLC Medical LLC, 4550 Commercial Street S, (503) 339-7158

1st Choice Cannabis, 4142 Liberty Road S, (971) 301-0744,

The Joint, 3270 Market St. NE, (971) 304-7131

Cherry City Compassion, 2025 25th St. SE, (971) 273-7607,

ANCIENT REMEDIES, 2350 State St, (503) 990-6723

Kaya Shack 2, 5757 Commercial St. SE, #108, (503) 954-2348,

2nd Step Dispensary, 1295 Oxford St. SE, (503) 391-8214,

Herbal Grasslands LLC, 1130 Royvonne Ave. SE, #104, (503) 364-9522

Green-Way Medicinal Inc., 1865 Beach Ave. NE, (415) 377-1817,

Canna Medicine, 3212 Triangle Drive SE, (971) 239-7215,

Source: Oregon Health Authority
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom