Recently, the Ganjapreneur team got to tour the newest Harborside Health Center cannabis dispensary, located in Portland, OR.
The original Harborside opened in 2006 in Oakland, California and has played a significant role in establishing standards for dispensaries and consultative care. The Oakland location was the first in the nation to support education for seniors, veterans and families with severely ill children; first in the country to offer CBD-rich medicine; and the first to treat children with Dravet syndrome. The dispensaries, led by cannabis thought leader and activist Steve DeAngelo, raise the bar for quality cannabis medicine and customer service in every city they open in.
The dispensary in Portland is cheerfully painted, welcoming and has plenty of free parking. The waiting room is warm and the greeting staff are quick to smile and ask how they can be of service. A second door leads to the dispensary itself which is immediately invigorating.
So often dispensaries are dreary affairs that feel claustrophobic and instill a feeling of distrust. Not so at Harborside. The high ceiling, elegant lighting and soothing furniture caused us to stop a moment to just soak it all in. This is clearly a destination dispensary built to make the statement that their meds are reliable and well-considered.
As your eyes scan the room, their array of clones pop out bright green under fluorescent lights, giving the whole room a pleasant glow. One of the coolest aspects of this dispensary is the long glass topped table displaying all of the flowers that are no longer in stock.
Not only is it simply delightful to view all of the strains gone by, but it is visually arresting to become aware of the sheer variety of medicine that has come through these doors. Always bringing in the best medical growers have to offer and the recent coolest strains too, the display case reminds you why Harborside is a world leader.
The case showing what was available on the day we visited was packed with excellent expressions of some of our favorite strains and many that we were not familiar with. The nice, tight and colorful nugs looked like they had fallen out of a magazine even though it was simply their daily stock.
Everything was lab tested as well to ensure potency for accurate dosing. The budtender on duty was exceptionally knowledgeable in both botany and health care and provided excellent feedback for us. They also carried an array of edibles, tinctures and concentrates in really well-designed packages, increasing confidence in the products.
The dispensary manager Chris Helton came over to say hello and answer questions — what a sweetheart. Chris’s calm and warm demeanor made everyone feel welcome. He even put our conversation on hold to walk over and make sure newly arriving patients and customers were feeling welcome and served as well. Chris let us know about their positive relationship with the neighboring community and the free community pea patch out behind the dispensary. He has worked hard to make sure that Harborside would be a good neighbor to the existing shops who were a bit concerned about having a dispensary in the neighborhood. Now, everything has come together and the locals see the new dispensary as a welcome addition.
We have become fans of the Portland Harborside cannabis dispensary and look forward to our return visit soon. If you would like to learn more about founder Steve DeAngelo’s vision for compassionate care, you can listen to Steve’s appearance on the Ganjapreneur podcast.
Visit the Harborside Health Center:
5816 NE Portland Hwy
Portland, OR 97218