November 22, 2017

Sarah Jane Gallegos, Author at MARIJUANA POLITICS

Sarah Jane Gallegos is the owner and head instructor for Medicinal Jane, LLC, Portland’s premiere cannabis cultivation education and consulting firm. Sarah Jane began her career as a public school educator where she innovated technology based education for her urban students. Over the past decade her focus has changed from public education to cannabis activism and education. Sarah Jane’s countless volunteer hours for Oregon Green Free, NORML and Solidarity Ribbon manifested into a career at one of Portland’s first Cannabis Clubs. From there she went on to form Medicinal Jane, LLC. Sarah Jane is looking forward to her current students becoming some of Oregon’s finest organic cannabis cultivators!

Dispensaries Compete to Impress on First Day of Sales

Many Marijuanapolitics.com reporters enjoyed making their first legal cannabis purchase in the state of Oregon yesterday. It seems there are new dispensaries opening daily.  I visited shops in each of Portland’s communities to see how each neighborhood was bringing their own flavor to this historic day. Here are some of the places that made a big impression.

 

Cannacea

Check-in at Cannacea
Check-in at Cannacea

 

Our first stop was Cannacea’s 10 a.m. opening. Cannacea chose the first day of legal sales as their grand opening. I can remember seeing billboards for this dispensary popping up over other dispensaries about a year ago, creating a buzz as to who was this new dispensary to come. The wait is over, and those who braved camping out overnight were rewarded with gift bags. Noah’s Ark Consulting sponsored 200 bags, 100 for cardholding Oregon medical marijuana patients and 100 for recreational users. O.m.m.p patients received bags containing cannabis and various cannabis products, while recreation users received smoking accessories and a gift certificate to redeem for future purchases at Cannacea.

 

Gift Bags for first 200 people through the doors.
Gift Bags for first 200 people through the doors.

 

Recreational Goodie Bag Contents
Recreational Goodie Bag Contents

 

Patient Goodie Bag Contents
Patient Goodie Bag Contents

 

Multiple vendors were on hand to education patrons about their products and give samples. Looking Glass Extracts, whose focus is on terpenoid profiles was there to educate everyone about how there is much more to cannabis than just cannabinoids.   Green Leaf Labs was there to help people understand testing profiles. BHOombchellys and Jollybee were on hand to give away samples and inform customers about extracts different applications.

 

Jollybee Team
Jollybee Team

 

Looking Glass Extracts
Looking Glass Extracts

 

BHOombchellys Team
BHOombchellys Team

 

Anthony Johnson made an appearance, arriving to make his second purchase. Anthony made his first purchase of the day at Cannabliss, paying homage to the state and going with the Oregon bred and grown Trainwreck strain. “I feel very grateful and emotional to have Anthony Johnson present. He has done so much and been very inspirational.” Trish Siler owner of Cannacea.  Anthony addressed the crowd as they waited in line.

Anthony Johnson smells some Lemon Skunk.
Anthony Johnson smells some Lemon Skunk.

 

People began lining up as early as midnight. At the 10 am mark, around 250 people had lined up awaiting the Grand Opening. Most were happy to be a part of something so historic and commented that they didn’t believe they would live to see it. “I’m glad to see the end of prohibition. I didn’t think I’d see it in my lifetime.” Joel Nelson, a patient who had been waiting since 6 a.m. commented. Molly, a representative for BHOombchellys remarked “I didn’t think this would ever happen. I’m excited for the future.”

 

First legal sale at Cannacea
First legal sale at Cannacea

Haborside Health Center Portland

 

Harborside Health Center Portland Lobby
Harborside Health Center Portland Lobby

 

Our next stop was one of Portland’s newest dispensaries, Harborside Health Center. After only receiving their permit on September 30, Steve DeAngelo’s franchise opened its doors October 1 to Oregonians. Made famous for their California dispensary Harborside Health Center in Oakland is one of the nation’s oldest dispensaries. There has been mixed feelings about Haborside Health Center expanding to Oregon. Karen from Cannaflage Designs was at Harborside to make her first purchase. “I love Harborside, they have such a great reputation. As a vendor working with reputable dispensaries is key.”

 

Chris Helton and Sarah Jane at Harborside Health Center Portland

 

We met with Chris Helton, General manger of Harborside Portland. He was happy with the turn out and expects it to increase in the next few weeks. One of the things he is most proud of is their focus on the community. This includes things from hiring staff from the area, to community beautification and education. The focus here is on medical, and there is plans for future wellness services to be included free of charge for patients, such as acupuncture and massage.

Panacea

 

Next up was Panacea. This shop came highly recommended and we were eager to check it out. With museum quality art and a bright open space, Panacea is a hidden gem. Urb Thrasher and Charlo Greene had already visited by the time I arrived, and I can see why. Designed to appeal to soccer moms, professionals and patients alike, Panacea’s focus is on quality. Melissa Egan, co-owner and LBQT housing activist, said that there was a perfect turnout. She believes that her community has been supportive and welcoming since they opened in April.   In an act of neighborly love, Melissa purchased sandwiches for her customers from local deli Bacchi’s. The deli had suffered a break-in the night before, and Melissa wanted to do what she could to support them.

 

LookingGlassFlower

 

Budtenders at Panacea are extremely knowledgeable about the cannabis on the shelves, and you are likely to be able to speak with the grower who grew the marijuana you are purchasing. One such grower we spoke to is Steve Bailey of Wildfire Farms. When asked about the turn out he said, “People from the community came out in droves. Steady business all day.”   The highlight of his day was teaching someone to use a rolling machine for the first time.

 

Calyxes

 

Calyxes owner John Bayes and Sarah Jane
Calyxes owner John Bayes and Sarah Jane

 

One of our final stops was the beautiful Calyxes. Touting a boutique experience, this is the nation’s only fully Clean Green Certified dispensaries. We arrived at the 4:20 mark, and business was still pretty steady. A small line outside had patrons waiting around 20 minutes before they were allowed in to make their purchase.

 

Flower menu at Calyxes
Flower menu at Calyxes

 

A customer commented he hasn’t smoked cannabis in three years, and he is looking forward to going home and enjoying organic cannabis he can trust. “I will go home, eat and then smoke and relax. It will keep me from drinking a lot. When I smoke I don’t drink.” There were a lot of new people stopping by. One person had happened to walk by after visiting the bar next door.  Another customer was there because they had read about it in a Willamette Week feature during their lunch break and didn’t even know it existed even though he lives within walking distance.

 

Organic cannabis flowers on display at Calyxes
Organic cannabis flowers on display at Calyxes

 

Budtenders were extremely busy educating first time customers. “It’s exciting. We’ve had a lot of happy, curious eyes and it’s been nice to educate people about the differences in flower and what CBD is.” Jake Mather. We spoke with co-owner John Bayes, who also goes by Green Bodhi.   He is excited for the fist day of legal sales, but notes the focus will remain on patients. The focus on Clean Green is due to the dedication to patients and wanting to provide actual medicine. “When we are dealing with cancer patients and children we can’t be giving them pesticides and chemicals.” Calyxes is giving away CBD medicine to cancer patients and epileptic children who need it.

It is going to be interesting to see how these business fair the next three months of tax-free sales. Whether you are a patient looking to try a new place or just coming to market as a recreation user, Oregon’s cannabis market is proving to be so diverse you are sure to find your new regular spot.

Thanks to Dedicated Activists, Hempstalk Wins Permit Appeal for Second Time

Hemp for Victory

“Time to celebrate!”  Steve Wessing is all smiles at The Other Spot Thursday night, where organizers are already hard at work preparing for this year’s upcoming Hempstalk only hours after a 3-1 vote to overturn a permit denial, with Amanda Fritz voting against.

As one of the original core staff for Hempstalk, Wessing couldn’t be happier with how things went at City Hall.  “I hope the Mayor stays involved and honors his proposal to help it be a success.”  Mayor Charlie Hales had addressed the issue of Portland Police Department’s involvement in last year’s Hempstalk and vowed to personally oversee the Police department’s presence at this year’s festival.

The topic of police was a hot topic issue during testimony, prompting Amanda Fritz to cut one commenter short.  Justin James Bridges, also a Hempstalk core staff member, noted that no arrests or violence had occurred at Hempstalk, something that could not be said of other festivals held at the Waterfront location.  Bridges also noted that due to Portland Police Department’s neglect merchandise was stolen from the location overnight.  Bridges was reassured by the Mayor’s promise to oversee police operations at the event.

Around 30 people testified in favor of the permit.  There was no opposition testimony from the public.  Most arguments for allowing the festival to proceed included the revenue the city would receive, constitution issues, and documentation that the City’s assertions under the permit denial lacked any evidence.  Hempstalk organizer’s showed documentation signed by vendors that they would not sell or distribute cannabis at the event.  Organizers also showed video of their multiple announcements to festival goers that consumption was not allowed or tolerated along with printed and digital materials that also stressed no selling or consuming was to be done on premises.

“It’s like trying to ban a theater because some people may sneak in candy.”   Long time Hempstalk supporter Jessie Sponberg spoke out against the permit denial at City Hall.  No stranger to Portland City Hall Sponberg agreed that this was a victory for the people.  “We’re on the frontier of setting policy that will last for longer than us; it’s our job to craft and shape sensible legislation.  City Hall shouldn’t be making it harder for us.  It was really a magical day because City Hall s where you go to witness your bad news first hand.  Stuff like winning appeals never happens these days.”

“I felt empowered that so many people came to testify on our behalf.  Everyone spoke from the heart.”  Ben Christensen, a business owner, was in attendance for the decision but did not speak.  “It was nice to see a lot of people speaking about hemp.”

In all the discussion about cannabis consumption on site, it is easy to forget this festival is about hemp.  Since Oregon enacted Measure 91 on July 1, 2015 Portland has publicly taken a lax stand on public consumption, issuing statements that people should not call 911 as it is not a public safety issue and that PPD will not issue citations at the Blues Festival.  However, organizers wonder why Hempstalk has been plagued by unrealistic requirements, expectations and repeated permit denials.  “The only way to comply is 1:1 ratio of monitoring to insure no consumption.”  Don Skakie, a Hempstalk supporter commented.

This is the second time Hempstalk has won a permit appeal.  Organizers look forward to educating the public about hemp, while providing a platform for hemp based businesses and entertainment.

Despite numerous rules and requirements to allow last year’s permit to go through, Hempstalk organizers say they met all requirements imposed on them by the City and saw no reason why this year they shouldn’t be given the same chance again.

Organizers doubt cannabis legalization will have an impact on the event because consumption is strictly prohibited.

Hempstalk testimony

Hempstalk testimony

Photo Credits of Portland City Council testimony regarding Hempstalk–Oregon Hemp Works