It’s official: Portland is the second-best weed city in America.
On April 4, a real estate data company published a study claiming that in the United States, only Denver is a better place to get a buzz. The numbers don’t lie: Here, we have 7.9 dispensaries and 1.1 head shops per capita (plus, Portlanders spend a greater percentage of their income on weed than residents of Denver or Sacramento, the other city that made the top three).
So why does the future of pot in Portland seem uncertain?
For one thing, the U.S. Senate bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level is likely to languish, given the chamber’s 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans. That means interstate weed sales will probably remain verboten, a problem for a state that produces more cannabis that its residents can possibly smoke.
Also, weed has lost some of its deep-pandemic luster. We’re a long way from March 2020, when Gov. Kate Brown deemed cannabis dispensaries as essential as grocery stores and gas stations, warranting a stoner victory lap. With that particular honeymoon over, now is the time to take stock of the industry’s growth and its growing pains.
For our 4/20 issue, we’ve put together a package of stories that illustrate the continuing joys, challenges and possibilities of our post-legalization world.
Looking for new accouterments to enhance your high? Check out our list of the best cannabis accessories created by local femme-identifying artisans. Ready to visit the state’s largest cannabis store? We’ll tell you what you need to know before you go. Want to know the difference between bullshit and beautiful CBD wellness products? We have some advice to offer.
4/20 is cheekily called “the highest of high holidays”—and like all holidays, it’s as much about reflection as it is about pleasure. We’ve spent over half a decade free of the dark ages of pre-legalization. Now, Oregon is on the most important part of that journey: figuring out what to do with the light.
—Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor