Some of the world's finest cannabis is grown in Oregon, and many of the best-curated dispensaries in the country can be found within Portland city limits.
You probably already knew that.
One aspect of legal weed you probably take for granted, though? This is the only state on the West Coast that allows consumers to see, smell and often choose buds before buying.
With few exceptions, Portland dispensaries weigh out flowers per order, deli-style. As you consider your options, a budtender brings out the jars and removes the lids, so you can take a whiff to help you decide what to buy.
Head north or south of Oregon's borders, and the consumer experience is far more limited. In California and Washington, state law dictates that cannabis flower must be sold in pre-packaged increments—meaning whatever you buy has already been measured and sealed, sometimes weeks beforehand.
Some California and Washington dispensaries have locked jars containing a bud or two for review, but those quickly dry out and lose their scent.
The ability to smell before you buy isn't just a regulatory quirk: In cannabis, fragrance—or lack thereof—can indicate freshness, flavor and, if you know your terpenes, effects.
But even if you don't quite know what you're smelling for, take advantage of the offer for a free sniff—because your neighbors are missing out.