January 28 2020
While Oregon lawmakers consider several initiatives that would create legal protection for cannabis lounges, getting baked in public is still a no-go, and the state's Indoor Clean Air Act prohibits smoking of any kind inside places of employment like bars, coffee shops, and hotels. This forces visitors staying in hotels or residents living in places that ban smoking to choose between breaking the law or taking on personal risk to consume legally purchased cannabis.
The good news is that a number of social consumption workarounds are available. This means enjoying your green in a privately-zoned location is the name of the game.
Oregon's half-built cannabis infrastructure has inspired a growing set of entrepreneurs and activists to take matters into their own hands and develop a network of consumption sites for visitors and socially-inclined locals seeking a safe place to light up.
Here's our list of resources for anyone looking for a smoke spot away from home.
Cannabis lounges operate as semi-private social clubs with varying approaches to membership enrollment. Some allow for walk-ins and others require an invite. Because they are privately zoned and owner-operated, lounges aren't subject to Oregon's Indoor Clean Air Act because they don't have paid employees or volunteers for the state to protect.
Northwest Cannabis Club This spot is weed's answer to the classic American watering hole. A dab lounge and flower friendly event space with pool tables, arcade games, and all the consumption tools you could hope for, the NWCC hosts musical performances and various gatherings for the community, like their infused barbecue sauce competition.
A lifetime membership costs $20, and they're open noon to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and noon to 9pm on Sundays.
Flight Lounge Like the NWCC, Flight Lounge a members only establishment. But unlike the NWCC, walk-ins are not served and hopeful new visitors must first acquire a Buddy Pass—either from an existing member, through a partnering dispensary (like neighbor Cannabis Corner), or by a shoulder tap via the lounge's DMs.
While Flight requires a bit of extra planning, the space offers the sincerity of an independent coffee shop, the decor of a neighborhood art gallery, and the utility of a work space. Free Wi-Fi, complimentary drinks, and snacks-for-donation are available to members and guests.
$10 scores a lifetime membership. Open Monday through Friday, noon to 10pm.
This experience reimagines the guided pub-crawl, allowing roving consumption by sectioning off the driver's cabin from a ventilated passenger lounge, where you'll find various amenities through veils of smoke.
High 5 Tours The themed outings on this consumption-positive yellow pot bus incorporate dispensaries and food carts, a grow tour, a day trip to the iconic Multnomah Falls, as well as off-bus activities like stoned yoga.
The Potlandia Experience Like the High 5 pot bus, but with neon trimmings. Tours are around Portland, as well as Oregon's wine country, and full-day excursions explore the Columbia Gorge.
The Portland Cannabus This 40-seater pot bus comes with lasers, flat-screen TVs, reclining seats, and a dance pole to class things up a bit. Complete with all the bells and whistles, the Portland Cannabus promises an inside look into the local industry, offering VIP access to dispensaries, grow operations, and an extraction facility. Limousine services are also available.
Smoke It Where You Sleep While hotels, motels, and other overnight accomodations subject to the Indoor Clean Air Act prohibit smoking of any kind, privately owned and operated bed and breakfasts and Airbnb's are free to create their own consumption policies.
Here are some nightly rentals that have greenlit the green. More options crop up all the time on Airbnb, so be sure to search via the magic phrase "420 friendly."
Mt. Scott Manor A traditional bed and breakfast that allows outdoor consumption amidst evergreen hills and wandering wildlife. If you're seeking a quiet, peaceful place to rest where the kindly hosts won't hassle you about your bedtime ritual, Mt. Scott Manor could be for you.
Amenities include a deluxe, home-cooked, family-style breakfast, a fireplace, and a piano. Note: Smoking is prohibited indoors and owners live on-site.
The Eastmoreland Retreat A 420 friendly Airbnb with a turn-of-the-century decor that will make getting stoned regal, this place is perfect for the cannabis enthusiast who isn't super into stoner stereotypes or design trends.
Amenities include a private entrance, a kitchenette, dueling smart televisions, Wi-Fi, and two queen-sized memory foam mattresses.
The Indica Room at Delta-9 House This cannabis-themed Airbnb offers a hazy slice of communal Portland living. Hot breakfast, Wi-Fi, plus kitchen and laundry access take care of the basics.
Additional amenities tailor to your inner stoner: Video games, outdoor BBQ access, and all the consumption accessories you could hope for are available, for when you're tuckered out from hitting the town on one of the city's cannabis buses.
Private workspaces are also available, plus there's an active cannabis garden, chicken coop, and bunny hutch to entertain the amateur naturalist. Note: Host and dogs live on-site.
420 Friendly Tiny House Living We can't think of anything more Portland than consuming legal weed in an eco-friendly, minimalist tiny house that doubles as a kind-hearted local's side hustle.
Amenities include a private yard and entrance, sleeping loft, full kitchen, and additional fold-out bed.
Take a Class, Find a Community, or Elevate an Experience
(Courtesy of Ashley Anderson) Cannabis is fun, but it doesn't have to be a party. If your relationship with cannabis is more about creativity, wellness, or coming together and exploring ideas with like-minded people, Portland is home to a number of social consumption experiences for you.
Not necessarily mellow as a rule, but these experiences offer more than a simple place to smoke.
Make & Mary Creativity, health, and learning come together in a consumption friendly atmosphere for themed classes and teachable crafting experiences. Take a loom-weaving workshop or an elevated yoga class, or go to a trunk show at a funky retailer.
A global cannabis community for women, Tokeativity started in Portland as a safe space for women to consume and connect over weed. Now boasting events and community outposts in locations as far as South Africa, Tokeativity hosts events in Medford and Eugene, as well as a monthly get-together in Portland. Gatherings include vision-board workshops, discussions about cannabis and motherhood, themed socials, and beyond.
Matt Stangel is Leafly's Oregon Product Specialist. His cannabis-related writings have appeared in The Guardian, Willamette Week, Cascadia Magazine, and elsewhere—links to which are available at Cannapinions.com.
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Photo: (Courtesy of Ashley Anderson)