Here's one way to rebound from a doping scandal: Sell dope.
At least, that would appear to be the thinking behind Floyd Landis' new pot shop, Floyd's Fine Cannabis. Landis, a star cyclist who won the Tour de France in 2006, made history in 2010 by admitting to doping and subsequently being stripped of a medal, a first in the race's 103-year history. (Landis also exposed the doping by teammate Lance Armstrong.)
Nearly a decade after his ousting from the U.S. men's cycling team, Landis wants to move on—from one drug to another.
With Floyd's Fine Cannabis, Landis hopes to educate athletes about how weed can help them perform and recover. Expanding into Portland from his original Colorado location, the store has a subtle cycling theme, which Landis hopes will attract "the antithesis of what people actually believe marijuana users are"—meaning, not "a lazy person who doesn't exercise."
While Landis was in town for the Sept. 30 opening of Floyd's Fine Cannabis on Northeast Broadway, the first of three locations in town, WW sat down to chat about cycling, the best way for athletes to consume cannabis and an appreciation for getting high.
WW: How did you end up in Portland opening a pot shop?
Floyd Landis: That's a long story with the way my cycling career ended. I admitted to [doping] in 2010, and most of my energy was spent on litigation from the charges. The marijuana part came along as a result of being at the right place at the right time. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado, and I was working and living there. It had benefited me, and similarly to cycling, it was something I love and understand. I'm not a great salesman, but I can sell something if I know it's real.
How do you think your cycling reputation will impact business?
I don't know. I do know that people in Portland tend to be cycling enthusiasts. So for us to try to be part of the community is easier than for someone who wasn't a cyclist. People are generally nice here, whether it's me or anyone else.
Really, what we're trying to do is use our ability to get attention to educate people and help people who otherwise might not try [cannabis]. It'll take people a little time to understand what we're trying to do with the dispensary, but hopefully they come check it out at least.
What exactly are you trying to do with the dispensary?
We're more marketing toward people with an active lifestyle—outdoor people who like cycling or endurance sports, or just generally people who are using marijuana to enhance an outdoor, active lifestyle. We sell all the products that are available and cater to everyone, regardless. But our brand is directed at what probably isn't the stereotypical marijuana user.
Do you use cannabis?
I use it. Even if you're not an athlete, you get aches and pains as your age. I raced my bike as a professional for a long time and I had some injuries. I broke my hip and had a hip replacement. At one point, I was prescribed narcotics to deal with the recovery and I ended up getting addicted to it. So marijuana helped me get off of that.
What's your pitch to an athlete who has never used marijuana before and wants to know what it can do for them?
The best thing to do is use small amounts after a workout in the evening for relaxation and better rest. Better sleep helps with recovery, and that's a good way to start. Used in very reasonable doses, it's as good as any other drug that could be prescribed for managing pain. It doesn't make you so high that you don't function and all these things that people worry about. There's an entire generation of people that were told this is a gateway drug and the next thing you know you'll be a heroin addict. That's not true. We're trying to help undo that.
So you're marketing toward people who want to smoke weed but don't want seem like stoners?
Our customers are the whole range of society. I think people who are still averse to marijuana would be surprised to see who comes into dispensaries. I like to get high, too. I'm not making judgments. There are people who use it for all kinds of reasons. We have products for all of those people.
GO: Floyd's Fine Cannabis, 801 NE Broadway, 503-288-5454. 9 am-9 pm daily.