In the fall of 2016, Aaron and I road tripped for three weeks in our 88 Ford Ranger from Bozeman, Montana, with the idea of seeing the Washington and Oregon coasts and visiting our friends along the way. As we drove, we also decided to add another theme to our trip!
We were driving to Seattle that day. It wasn't until we crossed the border from Idaho into Washington that it even crossed our minds... "Oh, isn't weed legal in this state?"
Yes, cannabis can be legally bought and possessed for medical AND recreational use in the state of Washington. How cool! "I wonder.. where is the nearest dispensary..?"
With my phone in hand, I opened Google Maps, typed "dispensary near me" and soon enough we were at The Green Seed in Moses Lake, Washington.
Aaron and I had each been to dispensaries before, but it had been a while. A security guy checked IDs at the front and waved us through. It was really exciting to walk in and see marijuana of all forms being sold behind glass counters. Flower (bud), cookies, candies, vape cartridges, salves, creams.... it goes on. We walked out of there with a 10 pack of caramel chewy candies, at 10mg of THC each. (The law/regulation in Washington says that recreational edible treats must be packaged at a maximum of 10mg per serving, and can only be sold 100mg at a time/per day.)
That day then went like this: we ate some caramels, realized we were driving straight into an oncoming historical storm, were way too high to deal with it, then booked a hotel room which was kind of a big deal at $80 (and we had been sleeping in the back of our truck for free for over a month at that point.)
The storm ended up not hitting Seattle as bad as all the weathermen and weatherwomen thought and the rest of our trip was pretty enjoyable.
Aaron and I hit up all the touristy spots here - the Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, ate Dim Sum in the International District, etc, but we also stopped at The Green Door.
In the industry, when you buy the plant as-is, it's called "flower," and this was the first time I bought flower knowing the strain and potency. The bud-tenders were extremely informative and helped us pick a few strains. You can see their entire menu of goods online.
We bought the Green Crack for an energizing day high while road tripping and exploring the city, while the Blueberry Kush was for relaxing at the end of the day. Also, it really did smell like blueberries!
We left Seattle via the ferry to Bainbridge Island.
We weren't expecting to stop anywhere, but we saw a sign on the road and decided to check it out! Paper and Leaf was definitely a boutique style dispensary. There was a table of books all about marijuana, trendy lighting from the ceiling and all the products were grouped by brand and displayed on the wall, framed with led string lights. This is were we bought some Lemon Sours packages at 5mg a candy.
On Highway 101 just past the turn off to Port Townsend, we couldn't NOT stop at the cute and colorful train-turned-retailer.
Discovery Bay Cannabis was definitely the most unique store we went into! We had yet to try the "relaxing" edibles, so there we bought Mr. Moxley's "relaxing" cinnamon mints. The budtender told us this meant Indica strains were more prominent in making these mints (as opposed to the energizing mints made with Sativa blends.)
This place was apparently the town where Bella and Edward's vampire love story happened. Forks, Washington has an economy that really used to depend on timber, but now the vampire tourism actually brings them more money. (Wikipedia.) Aaron and I opted for the newer attraction - the only dispensary on the West End, Cannabis Coast. The budtender there was a big guy, who insisted the 80mg cannabis sodas were awesome "because they get you so fucked up." He was hilarious and recommended that we try the Headband strain in a pre-rolled joint. That definitely sounded more my thing than the 80 mil drink!
From there we enjoyed the rest of the Washington coast, heading South towards Portland, Oregon.
There are many, dispensaries you can go to in Portland, although I did learn that Oregon laws were slightly different than Washington laws. Like one person can buy up to 15 milligrams of edibles per day, and this information is logged in a state-wide system.
Serra was a trendy dispensary, located on the hip street of Belmont in Portland. The product display was fancy, somewhat similar to a jewelry or knife store. Can I compare those?
This dispensary had a very clean, educated and sophisticated feel to it. Each strain of weed had a card that indicated on what level it was between mellow and strong, to what extent it was a head or body high, and what general feeling or effect it could give. For example I got this picture of the Key Lime Pie strain...
Despite their beautiful and fancy displays, I bought infused puppy chow for the night! I guess I was feeling nostalgic!
We also paid a visit to Terpene Station where one of Aaron's friends was working at the time. We bought our first electronic vapor pen here. A little more low key but still with plenty of selection.
Aaron had some good friends in the small town of Coos Bay on the Oregon coast, so we stopped here for a few nights. Aside from taking walks on the beach and visiting the dock to buy fresh crab for dinner, we also, obviously, visited a dispensary, Herbal Choices. I'm sure weed here is great, but I bought a lemon cookie and it was only mediocre on all levels.
Next and last stop before we left the state was in Bend, Oregon. Here for whatever reason we stopped at two places: High Grade Organics, which felt cozy and clean, and Diamond Tree, which felt like we were in the lobby of what used to be a bank. We bought a couple strains of flower, a THC salve, and another electric vape pen since this was the last chance we were going to get before heading back to Montana.
So what do you need to know about buying Cannabis before going to Washington or Oregon?
On Leafly you can read about specific strains and the effects you might feel from each. Generally Sativa strains are energizing and stimulating, while Indica strains are relaxing (in-da-couch).
Start out small, especially with the edible treats. Find your dosage by consuming only 5 milligrams at a time and waiting 1 hour between each dose. Being too high isn't fun for anyone.
It is not legal to take cannabis products outside of the state in which you bought it. Washington weed is not legal in Oregon, and vice versa. It is also illegal to buy cannabis products for anyone other than yourself. Just so you know.
You still can't smoke in public so if you do, don't be seen.