For the people behind Northwest Cannabis Company, the weed superstore isn’t just the place to find an enormous selection of strains and brands. It’s an oasis in a desert.
The company is the first and only marijuana dispensary to pop up in Tualatin since a city ordinance significantly eased its restrictions on cannabis businesses in late 2020, decreasing the mandatory distance from schools, parks, libraries and residential districts from 3,000 to 1,000 feet.
“Lake Oswego has a ban, Wilsonville has a ban. Tualatin, this is the only location,” says Bobby Saberi, a consultant for the business. “People had to go 20, 30 minutes to get their pot.”
General manager Jeremy Hall chimes in: “We are the weed desert people.”
With the new ordinance, a 2,400-square-foot space—located just off Lower Boones Ferry Road, at the northernmost tip of the city—was already being eyed by Hall and company owner Stephanie Carmichael when it suddenly became available. And they weren’t the only business to covet the spot.
“We beat the next closest competitor by 15 seconds,” Hall says.
The goal was to assemble the largest selection of brands and strains available in Oregon. Hall, who’s been managing cannabis dispensaries for about four years and growing medical cannabis for another 12, says he’s confident they succeeded. Northwest Cannabis currently carries 50 brands and more than 100 strains.
“That was the goal: supercenter,” he says. “Offer the biggest selection we can as a one-stop option.”
Forming a Community Around 4/20
Hall and Saberi see the business as a way to fill a weed vacuum in towns south of Portland. And with 4/20 approaching, they see another opportunity: to establish their brand and form a community with Northwest Cannafest, a major, mission statement-establishing event.
Northwest Cannafest, which will start at around noon on April 20, will feature a live glass-blowing demonstration in the parking lot. The store will also offer a 30% discount on all its products, a free Voodoo doughnut with each purchase, and giveaways of merch and gourmet s’mores.
At 4:20 pm, a bus will shuttle attendees across the street to restaurant and concert venue At the Garages for three performances by Tom Petty tribute band Petty Fever, Prince tribute band Erotic City, and Beastie Boys tribute band Grand Royal. The concert will be hosted by Ben Zabin of the marijuana-themed magic show Smokus Pocus.
“A lot of companies will have vendors in store, and goodies and swag for customers to have on that day to celebrate,” Hall says. “We’re taking it a step further. We definitely want to create an event that is really independent of our business, but still creates cross promotion. With the event, the idea was to go as big as we can because we want to create something that people can truly gather around.”
And, he adds, “It’s just a great excuse to party.”
GO: Northwest Cannafest is at Northwest Cannabis Company, 17937 SW McEwan Road, Tualatin, and At the Garages, 17880 SW McEwan Road, Lake Oswego. Noon Wednesday, April 20. Tickets $17.50 at atthegarages.net/event/petty-fever-and-grand-royale.