Recently, I had heard from a friend that owns an Oregon medical cannabis dispensary, that there was a cart driving around Portland, Oregon, offering “free” marijuana while charging for waterproof containers. My dispensary-owning friend wasn’t exactly happy about the fact that his state-licensed business must pay a $4,000 fee to the Oregon Health Authority, comply with numerous safety regulations and undergo audits and inspections, while someone else can seemingly provide medical marijuana completely unlicensed and unregulated.
The Oregonian has confirmed the existence of this cart, with a few photos of the “Smoke Buddy”. Jessica and Larry, owners of the Smoke Buddy cart claim to provide organic cannabis, while not accepting “donations” larger than $100.
The Oregonian reports:
In a city where nearly every type of food can be found in a mobile cart, it’s no wonder someone adopted that model for medical marijuana.
It took less than a week for local residents Larry and Jessica, who declined to give surnames, to build their “Smoke Buddy” cart, complete with Rastafari colors and a green cross.
The pair have taken it to several neighborhoods around Portland in the past week.
The concept of providing “free” marijuana to go along with other goods and services isn’t a new one, but a mobile cart that plays into Portland’s love of food carts is certainly unique. If the state decides to allow such carts, I imagine that licensed and regulated dispensaries will open up their own carts. If they can’t beat the low prices offered by the carts, then, like any other business, they’ll just join ’em.
Update: Oregon state officials state that the Smoke Buddy isn’t exactly street legal.
From The Oregonian:
A mobile cart selling marijuana in Portland is illegal, the Oregon Health Authority said Monday.
The Smoke Buddy cart has been seen in North Portland. Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the health authority, which oversees the state’s dispensary system, said mobile marijuana operations and delivery services are illegal underOregon’s rules.
“Any transfer of marijuana to or from a dispensary must take place at the registered address of the dispensary,” the state notes on its dispensary website.