Two Next-Gen Cannabis Shopping Experiences

PotLand and Green Box offer a change of pace from the standard dispensary.

PotLand (Brianna Wheeler)

Portland’s dispensary scene has a (mostly) phenomenal reputation, for (mostly) good reasons. While Stumptown stoners would probably agree that ours is a scene worth celebrating, from the inside it can sometimes feel a bit, ahem, monotonous.

Most shops will sell you shockingly cheap cannabis. Plenty have levelheaded budtenders with serviceable strain recommendations. Nearly every dispensary in town features the same familiar edibles and topicals (not to mention papers, pipes and lighters). Gorgeous as it is, the boutique dispo scene can get pretty repetitive.

Now, instead consider a recreational landscape where these outposts do more than just gleefully slang cheap eighths, dollar doinks, and bargain dabs. Consider a landscape where you buy your weed at the same place you shop for locally made, artisan gifts. Or attend a contemporary fine art opening. Or munch out at a parking lot food festival. Consider a landscape that acknowledges the many cannabis users that are patients unable to navigate a glossy boutique, or would benefit from straight-up weed subscription services.

This week’s two featured Portland shops have done more than just considered those things: They’ve worked them into their ethos, offering a delightful change of pace from the typical Portland dispensary experience, and contributing to its evolution in the process.


1761 NE Dekum St., 503-432-8629,

Woodlawn and its surrounding neighborhoods are experiencing no shortage of cute cannabis shops, but the phenomenally named PotLand distinguishes itself.

Housed in a three-unit retail strip at the east end of Northeast Dekum Street’s short string of mixed-use blocks, PotLand is a dispensary that simultaneously operates as a local gallery, an artisan gift shop, and sometime event host, resulting in a space that caters to more than just the stash-and-dash stoner. This place is also an artsy wonderland of curated gifts and tchotchkes, many of which have little to nothing to do with cannabis: engraved rose bookmarks, assortments of enamel pins, and a diverse menagerie of small objets d’art all had me too captivated to immediately browse weed, though the selection appeared both solid and affordable. My objective was a “walking joint,” so I perused pre-rolls and flower. Between full-gram joints for under $5 and top-shelf flower for less than $20 a gram, my needs were easily and cheaply met. (I ended up with a single pre-roll of Oregon Roots Cherry OG that took a half-hour to smoke.)

The anteroom of this dispo is a low-key highlight; a grassy selfie wall, emblazoned with the cheeky slogan “Pound for Pound, the Dopest in Town” greets customers upon entry, but is also plainly visible from across the street, which is such a gentle flex considering the family-centric neighborhood population. Candy-colored works by local visual artists are harmoniously arranged on the walls—a feat considering the multiformity of the work—rather than the backlit digital menus or graphic nug posters many of us are accustomed to in dispo waiting rooms. The earnest post-modern gallery vibe removes the buy-drugs-here ambience of other shops, and instead feels more like a soda fountain with hard-candy displays—as if gazing into the windows from the walkway would be both adorable and acceptable. Occasional parking-lot vendor events and socials further boost that energy.

This embrace of cannabis culture as creative, artistic and enthusiastically social is a top-shelf model of dispensary potential—regardless of these baritone-low cannabis prices.

Green Box

In 2017, Green Box became Oregon’s first licensed cannabis delivery service, with a fully stocked online dispensary and on-demand delivery. It remains the state’s only cannabis subscription box. That separates it from the fray of delivery services that emerged to serve locked-down potheads during Miss Rona’s hellion era.

But Green Box always stood out from its competitors in part because of its PDX roots (co-founder Adrian Wayman fiercely lobbied for the then-novel delivery-only license category) and because the founder’s story is rooted in medical therapeutics (Wayman’s father-in-law and co-founder, Bob Wayman, is a Vietnam-era war veteran), and in part for a model that catered to homebound users even as the pandemic panic waned.

Yes, Green Box today is essentially an online dispensary that delivers to your home, made noteworthy by its signature subscriptions that even further simplify online cannabis shopping by predicting and curating monthly boxes for subscribers. When Green Box launched, the idea of both delivery and cannabis subscription boxes was novel. Today, in a landscape where many dispos offer their own delivery services, Green Box still flourishes with its subscription model, which even offers subscription-gifting options, so you can gift your novice nephew a stoner starter kit or get your uptight granny hooked up with some nice THC hard candy to chill her out. The Green Box selection is purposefully stocked without coming off as overwhelming, with everyday faves like truffles and cookies from Laurie + MaryJane, CBD flower from East Fork Cultivars, and vapes from Orchid, as well as new products as they drop, all for prices commensurate to most brick-and-mortar dispensaries.

For homebound users, Green Box’s services present a dispensary experience with zero hassle. For adventurous users, its subscription box is a low-stakes gateway to the best of Oregon’s cannabis.

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