On She Goes

Three Trailblazing Minority-Operated Dispensaries in Portland

A guide to cure your cannabis craving.

Emilly Prado
Emilly Prado
November 15, 2017
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The business of bud is flourishing in Portland. It’s only been a few short years since Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, and the state already has more cannabis dispensaries than McDonald’s or Starbucks locations! Portland is home to some of the most prominent pioneers in the industry. If you want to blaze up during your visit to Portland, consult this guide to Portland dispensaries founded and owned by women and people of color.

On display at La Mota.
photo by Emilly Prado

La Mota
7435 SE 52nd Ave
4434 NE Sandy Blvd
4999 NE 99th Ave

The sleek white interior of La Mota is contrasted by the seemingly endless jars of vibrant, potent flowers. Syrupy names like Sugar Alien and Cookies N Cream 2 identify each strain, and a menu further explains the THC and CBD attributes of each. With genuinely friendly staff and a loyal clientele, the Brentwood-Darlington location in Southeast Portland feels like a neighborhood joint through and through. But there are actually three La Mota locations in Portland, and over a dozen statewide. One of Oregon’s largest chains, La Mota has a workforce that’s almost 80 % women, with Rosa Cazares as the CEO. At each location, glass cases display a variety of accessories including neon-hued pipes, an impressive selection of edibles, Clay Wolf brand cannabinoid extracts and everything you need to procure the perfect dab. The dispensaries are also conveniently open at 8 a.m. every day to fulfill all last-minute needs for the wake-and-bake crowd.

6714 NE Sandy Blvd

Panacea, owned by Melissa Egan, has a mission so perfect that it’s almost unbelievable: “[Our] objective is to generate profits from cannabis sales to support projects, organizations or businesses that promote social justice and address problems that threaten people and society — not to maximize profits for a small group of individual investors.” Cofounder Jesce Horton is committed to propelling cannabis as a catalyst for social change and is also the board chairman of the Minority Cannabis Business Association — a nonprofit dedicated to leveling the playing field in the cannabis industry, decriminalizing marijuana and educating folks on the plant’s medicinal properties.

Some of the available products at Panacea.
photo by Emilly Prado

The Northeast Portland dispensary feels ultra-Oregon with warm, real wood shelving, geometric furniture and a waiting area with holographic art! Budtenders here are revered for their high spirits and extensive knowledge of each product’s varying medicinal properties. For those who want to learn more about the ways weed interacts with the body, a clinical herbalist holds free monthly informational sessions too. AMong the in-house Panacea Valley Garden varieties, be sure to look out for the Black Cherry Cheesecake, OG Jones and Goji OG strains.

3609 SE Division St

Since 2010, Brothers has served medicinal cannabis patients; now, they’ve added recreational users to their repertoire. Owned by Peou Sea and Nyno Thol, the Division Street dispensary is nearing eight years in business, which makes this dispensary the oldest in all of Portland. Amidst the bougie makeover along this Southeast Portland street, Brothers has thrived as they’re in close proximity to famed eateries like Pok Pok and Ava Gene’s. Photos of celebrity patrons decorate Brothers’ cozy, celery-colored walls, including visitors such as Redman and Talib Kweli. Stock up on unique finds like Star Wars–themed paraphernalia and cannabis-infused cakes.