Dispensary Feature: Portland Best Buds

Ganjapreneur recently toured the Portland Best Buds dispensary, one of the latest ventures to pop up in the famously community-oriented St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.

Doubling as a cannabis dispensary and local art gallery, Portland Best Buds strives for quality above all else — a quaint, neighborhood-centric location, personable and friendly budtenders, and, naturally, a hand-picked selection of some of Oregon’s finest cannabis strains.

The store was easy to find, and we found parking available on the side of the building. If that fails, however, there’s also ample street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. The sidewalk bustled with foot traffic, many of them shoppers from the massive New Seasons grocery store located directly across the street.

“We want to be more than just another pot shop,” dispensary owner Paul Pedreira explained as we met in the Portland Best Buds waiting room. The walls here were lined with colorful paintings by a local artist. A note on the wall shared a message discussing the various pieces, and offered contact information for the artist featured that month. The artist on display during our visit also worked for the dispensary as a budtender — now that’s an encouraging work environment.

The walls in Portland Best Buds are lined with top-shelf cannabis selections.

As we perused the selections, we were very impressed with the many varieties of high-quality cannabis on display. It was clear from the options, and from the amount of information the working budtender could share about each strain, that a lot of thought went into the products stocked at Portland Best Buds. Paul explained that it was a group effort: each strain was openly discussed by the employees before the dispensary would agree to carry it, and that general quality was the #1 factor in every such decision. After several whiffs of tantalizingly attractive offerings, it was clear their method has been working.

Flashy, hand-written labels list strain names, cannabinoid content and a brief description for anyone unfamiliar with a particular strain.

The only drawback worth mentioning is that their emphasis on perfect pot comes with a price. So if you’re looking for some mediocre product for $5 to $8 per gram, look again. Prices range from about $12-$16 per gram and there is an ongoing special available, where three pre-rolls of high quality flower cost $10.

Other offerings at Portland Best Buds include infused edibles, beverages and other goodies.

PBB has no aspirations to become known as Portland’s next big cannabis emporium. And it should be obvious that, unless you have legitimate medical concerns (or if you’re Snoop Dogg), you should expect to pay an extra buck or two if you want to really push the boundaries of quality Oregon cannabis — which is what PBB is all about.

And we are happy to report that if you do have legitimate medical concerns (i.e. a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program) then your prices at PBB will be 25 percent lower — and that discount will never go away, Paul explained. Even if regulatory officials ultimately decide to meld the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries, PBB will honor OMMP cardholders.

Vape pens and cartridges are also available.

As an institution of St. Johns, Portland Best Buds strives to offer as much as possible to the local community, which appears to have graciously and enthusiastically accepted the cannabis retailer. The dispensary is now an ongoing participant in monthly First Thursday events, in which art galleries across the city host open houses in celebration of local artists.

This antique freezer was rescued and refurbished from PBB’s original location. It currently stores infused beverages and other perishables.

It was a bumpy road to reach this point, however. During the dispensary’s earliest months, complaints from an uptight neighbor uprooted the business from its original location and sparked a long and expensive process of moving to a different, nearby building, Paul said. We walked to the old location, which was only about four blocks away. Even after such a short distance, the area was significantly more residential than the shop’s current, bustling location on Lombard St. To learn more about the story behind his struggle, check out our recent interview with store owner Paul Pedreira, in which he shares his experience battling against efforts by city and state officials to shut down PBB in a series of sweeping, regulatory blows.

Portland Best Buds also offers a selection of cannabis clones for consumers who are interested in starting their own garden.

While it was a painful and unfair moving process, it appears to have ultimately worked in PBB’s favor: the shop is now located on one of North Portland’s main thoroughfares, a brand new New Seasons grocery store has opened up across the street, and Paul said that sales have quadrupled since relocating.

Harlequin — one of PBB’s high quality, CBD-rich strains.

We can happily recommend that anyone who is looking for truly top shelf Oregon cannabis — or anyone that is of-age and interested, who finds themselves in the neighborhood — should definitely check out Portland Best Buds. It’s well worth your time and consideration. Check out their website at www.portlandbestbuds.com or stop by for a visit in person at 6313 N. Lombard St. in Portland, OR.

And thank you Paul for the fantastic tour and for sharing your excellent strain choices with the Portland community.