By Matthew Korfhage
At a new store that opened last November on North Interstate Boulevard, you can pick up a little bit of La Quercia prosciutto and some aged Vermont cheddar from the fridge, a San Pellegrino, some tinned sardines, a single-serve ice cream, maybe some Kettle chips.
A little meat and cheese board sits near the registers—it's sample Sunday, after all—inviting you to take some sliced Olympia Provisions sausage and stone-ground mustard on some crispy bread.
There's nothing remarkable about any of that, until you take note that Jeffrey's Flower and Oil is a cannabis dispensary. After you sample your chorizo, you can sniff some Animal Cookies from Albion farms or some Purps from HUG, or maybe refill your vape cartridges.
Jeffrey's is Portland's first true cannabis bodega, a one-stop for tinctures, drinks and munchies. With its reclaimed-wood, subdued wall art and electric chandeliers, the mood inside is somewhere between subdued boutique and Portland bar—leaving aside the DayGlo candy wall spanning Swedish Fish, Haribo and Ritter Sport candy bars.
"We wanted something new and fresh," says owner Sam Watson, "something that would be different. As a consumer myself—I love cannabis—I almost always go somewhere to get a tasty beverage. Let's curate some stuff that's made here in Portland."
In its location at 4027 N Interstate Blvd., catty-corner from the Alibi, Jeffrey's customers might be people from the hospital stopping in for food, locals on their way home or patrons of nearby bars taking advantage of the "Dank 'n' Drank" district along Interstate. The weed prices reward the everyday shopper: Prices for flower range from $4 to $14 a gram on good product from farms like Eco-Firma, Phyre and Mindful.
"If I were to compare ourselves to anything," he says, "it'd be like a mini Providore with cannabis. We're not quite there."
The shop is named after the famous Jeffrey joint from the movie Get Him to the Greek, Russell Brand's fat blunt of "a little bit of this, a little bit of that," including methadone, crunched-up E and "maybe some angel dust as well, and a little glue to keep it traditional."
Watson has no plans to make joints like that. But he does hope to offer Oregon Liquor Control Commission-approved pre-roll joints mixing different strains of cannabis to take advantage of different aromatics. The shop has other big plans that include summertime concerts and Korean shave ice in the parking lot.
But the most interesting blend at Jeffrey's is the simplest—the idea that you can pick up weed and a snack as casually as you'd pick up a bottle of wine and some bread for dinner, or a sixer and some chips at the Plaid. Like a lot of very smart ideas, it feels head-thunkingly obvious the second you're inside.
"It's lunchtime," says Watson. "Smoke a joint, have a sandwich, go back to work. Depending on where you work, that is."
Watson hopes after the shop takes off he can add produce like apples and oranges, and maybe some grab-and-go sandwiches, or picnic baskets en route to the Skidmore Bluffs with your dog.
"This summer, we're going to allow people to pre-order picnic baskets online," says Watson. "You pay for it and walk out with whatever strains and food. It's like a grocery store, you can fill your cart up, put it in a Jeffrey's picnic basket. You know: 'I want some Lemon Sour Diesel, some prosciutto and some Cypress Grove cheese.' Then you can go to the park."