Portland finally has a cannabis cafe—sort of.
No, you’re still not able to smoke weed in public in Oregon. However, hemp—cannabis grown for fiber rather than its psychotropic qualities—enjoys a different, if still somewhat murky, legal distinction. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp production is federally legal. And since it contains less than 0.3% THC, it’s also legal to buy outside a licensed dispensary, and thus, consume out in the open.
And so, that’s what you’ll be able get at Hemp Bar, which had its grand opening at 6258 SE Foster Rd. today: hemp pre-rolls, hemp blunts, CBD-infused mocktails and edibles, even dabs, all of it stocked by Southwest Oregon farm East Fork Cultivars and available for on-premises consumption.
Of course, that raises the question: If the products have barely any THC, what’s even the point? But owner Nathan Howard insists that, depending on how much you ingest and the makeup of an individual’s endocannabinoid system, you can feel 0.3%.
“That makes [Hemp Bar] essentially a weed cafe,” Howard says, “but we’re just not leading people to get too stoned.”
Other than that, Howard says the bar is modeled after the cannabis cafes of Amsterdam. Guests can light up at outdoor tables, or sip an infused drink indoors. In addition to hemp, the menu includes non-infused non-infused vegan cheese boards and mocktails.
Also: It’s all-ages. Only customers 16 years and older can purchase the combustible items—prerolls, vaporizers, smokable flower, etc.—but drinks containing CBD are available to anyone.
“When I was 13 or 14, I would’ve been pretty stoked to go to a place to smoke weed that wouldn’t make me paranoid and wasn’t grown in a basement with a bunch of pesticides,” Howard says. “If a 15-year-old wants to smoke weed, I want them to come to Hemp Bar.”