In a city replete with boutique dispensaries (and a few questionable ones), a recommendation for a quality shop is a valuable commodity.
Like real estate speculation, or internet recipe collecting, evaluating dispensaries is a relatively harmless hobby most stoners can appreciate. Every shop has its own vibe, and while some are worth chatting about and even praising, there are plenty of others that fall short. For instance, some dispos get clowned in the group chat for charging way too much for their dusty inventory, or are retired from rotation for keeping their staff visibly miserable. But there are those times when we encounter a business that’s so outstanding, we immediately file it in our mental directory of recommendable stores.
This month, we’re adding two to the catalog.
After putting on my customary dispensary judging robe (aka blanket poncho), I paid a visit to North Tabor’s Love Buzz Dispensary and Kind Heart Collective in the Kenton neighborhood. Factors that were considered include the shop’s footprint; the staff’s comfort, knowledge and efficiency; product selection; and general safety precautions.
Kind Heart Collective
8217 N Denver Ave., 503-512-6136, kindheartcollective.com. 9 am-9 pm daily.
Located along Kenton’s quaint main drag, Kind Heart is especially notable for its selection of cloned plants. Customers can check out a wall full of thriving baby cannabis stalks with bouncy, robust leaves on firm stalks. There are a number of phenotypes to explore, and the atmosphere seems positive enough to produce happy-looking plants, which is a powerful green flag.
Aside from a fragrant wall of potential new leafy BFFs, the shop has stellar flower deals, like $5 eighths of popular, midshelf strains and two-for-$30 pre-roll packs, as well as staffers that seem both satisfied and confident in their work. Bonus: A spacious, separate waiting room keeps the locked showroom safe from terror, as well as overcrowding, and a permanent 420-themed selfie wall is silly fun for regulars and out-of-town strain hunters alike.
Pro tip: Visit the glass gallery at neighboring head shop Smoke It Up and perhaps score a new unit for your home collection, or at least some hemp cones to roll up your bargain eighths.
Love Buzz Dispensary
5425 NE Glisan St., 971-754-4977, lovebuzzpdx.com. 9 am-9:40 pm daily.
Just west of the Interstate 84 on-ramp, at the corner of Northeast Glisan Street and 55th Avenue, is Love Buzz, an intimate, friendly store in the space adjacent to Acme Comic Books and Trading Cards, a Portland classic where the inventory is perpetually 50% off.
I visited Love Buzz shop on a particularly sluggish, bedhead-and-sweats type of day, and proceeded to clumsily ask the budtenders dozens of questions—some meandering. Each was deftly handled by the two employees behind the counter, who were easy to laugh and chat with, but also maintained their awareness, and even knew to back off when I wanted some space to meditate over a dozen or so pre-roll brands.
On my inaugural visit, I realized you couldn’t stroll in willy-nilly. Someone inside will buzz you in. The inventory was stocked with familiar brand favorites like Meraki, Fire Dept., and Bobsled, as well as a counter case packed with a considerable selection of extracts from niche brands (shout out Yas Queen dabs). The showstoppers, however, were ounces of terpy B-buds, for between $23 and $35.
Bonus: A small rack of branded merch features tie-dye shirts with Love Buzz’s uniquely nebulous, initials-forming-a-heart logo, possibly a delightfully Portlandian souvenir for any interested, tie-dye shirt-wearing parties.