Oregonians are going gaga for ganja—Just look at ’em lined up in the snow outside of th3 Portland marijuana shops. Or pick up any of the dozens of local rags available across Portland, Oregon, and it’ll look more like a magazine for pot culture than a newspaper about local events.
“It’s happening everywhere,” says Walter Greenlee, a Portland resident interviewed by GRD. “I could probably close my eyes, spin in a circle, and head out in whatever direction and find one the hundreds of dispensaries in about 5 minutes.”
And it’s no wonder, Oregon is still the land supreme when it comes to cannabis culture in the United States. Recently, Oregon has claimed bragging rights to an yet another worldwide weed record.
Marijuana Shops in Oregon
There are now officially more marijuana shops and dispensaries than there are McDonald’s or Starbucks. Folks are used to seeing a Starbucks on every city street and the Golden Arches literally around every corner.
But now, in Oregon, there are more places to buy bud than there are to grab a latté or a cheeseburger. The official number of retail weed stores is astonishing: there are 281 marijuana businesses in the state, total!
Marijuana shops in Oregon are so plentiful that they top the total number of McDonald’s or Starbucks in the state. The website menusim.com, which tracks eating establishments, shows that there are a mere 205 McDonald’s located throughout Oregon. As for Starbucks? Try 248.
It’s not just weed stores that are outshining the mega-icons of American consumerism McDonalds and Starbucks; it’s the culture surrounding them.
Medical and Recreational Dispensaries
Dispensaries cater both to medical and recreational clients. They hold events, “weed tastings,” demonstrations, concerts, and other business-generating operations.
And they’ve seized on both the enthusiasm and the already well-established medical cannabis industry in the State.
“According to Oregon’s Health Authority, there are 281 marijuana businesses in the state due to the fact that there was already a vast network of medical dispensaries there. When legalization kicked in, these dispensaries were able to quickly repurpose themselves as retail outlets.”
This allowed the industry to grow much quicker in Oregon than it did in Colorado or Washington, where marijuana legalization has been similarly lucrative and popular.
In Oregon, there were over 250 medical marijuana shops that were immediately able to sell to recreational customers when recreational use became legalized, while in Colorado there were just 24 retailers open on the first day of legalization — and Washington had only four.
The boom of bud dispensaries is concentrated in the city of Portland, though, with very few retail outlets available in the vast rural regions. Still, marijuana shops are quickly becoming a critical part of the economy and pop culture.