In this series, we’ll take you on a tour of Portland’s best cannabis dispensaries, organized by specific consumer needs. Looking for a lengthy menu? The best craft bud in the state? A budtender who can answer every question that comes to mind? This critic-compiled list is sure to lead you to the perfect place, whether you’re new to Oregon or just passing through for the weekend.
In 2017, Oregon’s world-class recreational cannabis growers cultivated 1.1 million pounds of dried, cured, and ready-to-sell flower.
On the surface, a million pounds sounds like a sensible win for a community of experienced farmers transitioning from the state’s lively medical program. That is, until considering the pace of demand: Oregon residents and canna-tourists only consumed a ballpark 340,000 pounds of flower the previous year, and because cannabis grown in Oregon can’t be sold in out-of-state markets, locked into the local recreational economy was three times more flower than consumers can be expected to absorb in a given year.
So this past year, Oregon slowly burned through a record surplus. And though the numbers are still coming in on the most recent sungrown harvest, it’s expected to be substantial.
As a consumer, the Surplus Experience is record-low prices for high-quality product—offering unmatched value propositions. That means shocking deals: $7 grams now sell for $3, while $160 ounces of outdoor go at $40-$80 on the consumer end. For Instagram-pretty, ornamental stuff, you can pay anywhere from $8 or $9 per gram, on up to $17 for the most in-demand products (and beyond, if you don’t shop around a little).
Read on for an insider’s guide to Portland’s most price-friendly value buys.
Kings of Canna
Specialty: House flowers from the Kings’ lamp-assisted greenhouse for $3/gram, $80/ounce
Address:1465 NE Prescott St.
In truth, Kings of Canna as much deserves recognition for their best-in-class top-shelf options and reliably great customer care as they do their budget buys—but they’re the very first shop I’d recommend if you’re looking for high-quality, low-cost flower.
Back during the holidays of 2017, the close-in NE-Portland retailer introduced a disruptive Black Friday deal that they honor to this day: $3 grams and $80 ounces of the no-boof greenhouse flower that they grow at the shop’s sister farms, Everest Holdings and Kings of Kush. This stuff is sticky, stinky, and potent—the value buy of budget options.
Personally, I’ve found Kings’ Black Jack (5% THC, 20% CBD) to be ideal starter material for edibles, while the shop’s Banana OG and Cookies (both of which usually test between 25-30% THC) make for surprisingly flavorful vapor bags and inexpensive, crowd-pleasing joints.
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Zooming out to a bird’s-eye view, while it’s possible to find retailers who match or even beat Kings’ prices, it’s extremely rare to pin down $3 grams that consistently compete with the shop’s’ eyebrow-level, benchmark quality.
Today’s Herbal Choice
Specialty: Where store-wide, everyday low prices and no-tax Fridays combine for searing deals
Address: 4605 NE Fremont
As you might’ve expected from the name, Today’s Herbal Choice is all about furnishing variety—numerous products populate competitive price points across all categories and classes, and if you shop on a Friday, you’ll also be treated to a 20% discount (which happens to be the exact percentage of the combined state and local tax).
This tax-free equivalency makes cheap products even more affordable. Personally, I’ve found several gems at the $15-per-seven-gram-quarter tier, and spending just a little bit more bumps shoppers up into a level of quality that belies the price increase in a big way.
Last but not least, Today’s Herbal Choices stocks a ton of extracts and concentrates—as well as a more limited line of topicals—bringing to market already inexpensive shatters such as Hush’s standard and Degenerate lines of BHO for a few bucks less than the competition.
Cannabliss & Co. at Firestation 23
Specialty: Flower deals by the ounce
Address: 1917 SE 7th Ave.
Centrally located on the outskirts of Portland’s Inner Southeast Industrial District and occupying a decommissioned fire station, Cannabliss & Co. sells a wide range of quality cannabis, all of which is priced at or below $9 per gram before tax.
Some of the most inexpensive flower in the city shares shelfspace with celebrated Oregon cultivators like Heroes of the Farm and Pistil Point, and everything sees a big price break when you max out your daily purchasing limit to buy an ounce. $6 grams of herb that lacks in neither character nor potency are bulk-priced at $50 an ounce and up, and $9 grams of top shelf sell for as low as $3.50 a piece when you buy 28 of ‘em in a $99 zip.
Also relevant to your inner deal-hunter, the upper tier sees rotating, strain-of-the-moment discounts, while on Tuesdays customers enjoy 10% off across the shelf.
Coupled with a friendly neighborhood feel and a staff that’s happy to chat, Cannabliss should be an easy place to find a deal that satisfies.
Specialty: Processor-direct retail means high-value concentrates
Address: 2123 SE Division St.
Though Southeast Portland retailer and extract manufacturer Portland Extractsdoes offer budget products on the concentrate side of their menu—hello, $10 grams of way-decent BHO; and I miss you, $11 live resins—I consider them to be a value shop.
That is, while prices might not always be the lowest in town, what you get for your money tends to outperform competing products at the quality dimension.
Portland Extracts is able to pull this off by making on-site their flagship oils and eliminating third-party barriers to retail—holding both processing and dispensary licenses within one building. This gives Portland Extracts a ton of flexibility in terms of the product range they’re tooled to introduce: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the shop’s $5 concentrates created using B-grade materials, and their more recent foray into A-grade inputs from Boring Weed Co. is resulting in mouthwatering collabs.
Additionally, when I last visited Portland Extracts, in stock were 12 varietals from the aforementioned Boring Weed Co.—a recreational offshoot of the famed Oregon medical garden Real McCoy Farms that consistently delivers some of the finest ornamental flowers in the state.
From growers to extraction and beyond, a focus on quality is apparent across the showroom at Portland Extracts, regardless of price—even when those prices happen to be below the city’s averages.