Rachel Green knows there's a stigma attached to "medibles," the marijuana community's term for pot that is eaten rather than smoked.
"Some people have negative associations from bad brownies in the '70s, or they just have weak stomachs and they can't eat the medibles," she says from her production facility in North Portland, a batch of hash cookies baking in the kitchen. "But if you include the peppermint oil, that's a medible they can consume."
She's referring to the special peppermint bark she and her sister, Tammy, made for the holidays. It's just one of the medibles the women produce under the imprimatur Lady Green's Treats. Their lollipops, lozenges, salves and candy bars aim to make pot-infused consumables approachable beyond the college stoner set.
"A couple of old gals may say, 'Marijuana, I won't take that! But cosmetic cream—oh honey, I'll take some of that!'" says Rachel, a self-described 40-something hippie who gets visibly excited discussing anything weed-related. "Flower is taboo—but a lozenge, that's benign."
The Green sisters are the last living siblings of nine kids. Rachel is the marijuana expert, while Tammy helps with the business end. Rachel got her Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card four years ago. She was a recreational pot smoker unhappy with how prescription pills made her feel. She started growing her own marijuana, and gradually began experimenting with extractions that separate the medicinal properties from plant matter. She turned to Budbook, a now-defunct social-media site connecting patients and legal growers, to develop a test audience for her initial hash recipes.
"The first time I crushed down absolutely beautiful bud and dumped vodka all over it," she says, "there weren't people really talking about it on the Internet."
Now, though, Lady Green's Treats provides its goods to individuals as well co-ops, collectives and clubs around town, including its popular hard-candy jewels and original candy bar, which has evolved into three variants. Regardless of quantity or dosage, prices remain fixed, keeping the focus on taste and consistency. If you go to Lady Green's directly—clients don't technically buy medical marijuana in Oregon, they reimburse your source—the fudges are $1 and lollipops are $1.25.
"We're trying to keep it very cheap," Rachel says. "We're trying to keep people comfortable, not empty their wallets."
Customer appreciation is central to the Lady Green's operation. The daughter of a 92-year-old man for whom Rachel had made a special batch of "fuck-you-up grandpa brownies" sent an email thanking her for making his final days more comfortable. An insomniac client contributed the company's motto: "Lady Green's candy dreams—eat candy like a kid, sleep like a baby."
But with House Bill 3460 making marijuana dispensaries fully legal, beginning March 3, Lady Green's will be required to pay for lab testing to quantify the potency of each batch of medibles. It will have to pass that cost to clients, and if each batch has to be tested, it would delay time between baking the product and getting it to customers, jeopardizing freshness. Lady Green's started as a way to help ill people by giving them Rachel's leftover medical herbs, and she worries about alienating clients with higher costs.
Economic issues aside, Rachel is excited that medical dispensaries are becoming fully legal, giving structure to her business. But Lady Green's has no plans to change its intimate model. The Green sisters will continue delivering products personally, and Rachel will continue dosing each batch by hand.
"My hands make every single product," she says. "[Tammy] may be cooking up the cookies, but I made that dough. She might help trim and package them, but I make every lollipop, every salve, every tincture—every everything."