CHRONIC ISSUES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN CANNABIS TOURISM

 
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Pick a suitable starting point ­-- say, Voodoo Doughnut's flagship location in Old Town -- and a few minutes' walk in practically any direction reveals the breadth of Portland's 200 or so dispensaries, from the Apple Store-like Serra, where the reception area could double for a resort spa's, to the no-frills aesthetic of Rose City Wellness, where the entrance more closely resembles a pawn shop's. Or cross the Willamette River and head to the city's Lloyd district for the '70s-stoner vibe of Electric Lettuce, where shoppers might find themselves grooving to Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland" or any of the other LPs stacked next to a turntable and wood-grain stereo receiver.

Ambience aside, these shops have a couple of things in common. One is product variety: Nearly every dispensary stocks a selection of edibles (these are not your college roomie's pot brownies), dabs (cannabis extracts) and pre-rolls (ready-to-smoke joints) as well as about two dozen strains of good old-fashioned bud, tantalizingly displayed in glass jars like penny candy, labels bearing whimsical names like Blue Dragon Desert Frost ($14 per gram at Serra) and Purple Punch ($70 for a quarter ounce at Electric Lettuce).

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