A “High-5” for the Cannabis Community

A local dispensary that smokes out the community with more than just weed

Written and Photographed by Daniel Friis

4/20 Edition, 2023.

From the outside of High 5 Cannabis in Eugene, OR, it looks like a weed wonderland. The green and yellow painted walls with large cannabis leaf emblems, and the weed-themed jail bars that line the windows with thousands of planted sunflowers scream pothead extravaganza.

But inside these warehouse-like walls exists several other interests, memories and awesome memorabilia that makeup one of the layered dispensaries around Eugene.

High 5’s co-owners, Roger Howard and Bradley Cook, have owned the dispensary for five and a half years.

“I grew weed on the medical end before this, so when everything went legal it was the way to go,” says Howard.

Upon entry, guests immediately walk into a room lined with photos of beautiful outdoor scenery and nationwide landmarks taken by Cook who has a strong passion for photography. The theme of the room changes frequently, but the imagery doesn’t stop there.

Adjacently, the main budroom displays dozens of photos of blues artists and concerts on the walls like Bobby Rush, Shemekia Copeland, Curtis Salgado and much more.

“I didn’t realize how much of a thing blues music was, but it’s neat watching people walk in because we get all walks of life,” says Sydney Combs, a budtender and manager for High 5 Cannabis. “We’re down the street from a bar, close to a Harley Davidson shop, so getting quite a few people is interesting.”

Combs has been working at High 5 for just over two and a half years when she moved here from Idaho. She’s worked in other sales positions before but admits not being as informed about the cannabis culture in Idaho where the laws surrounding its use are rather strict.

As Combs alluded, the dispensary’s location is another reason for its uniqueness. Just off the Interstate-5, High 5 Cannabis embraces constant travelers. They have a large map of America on one of their walls with hundreds of pins corresponding to where some of their customers have traveled from. Next to the pinned map, hundreds of guests with foreign passports have signed their names and corresponding countries in permanent marker. The store stashes aside its hefty collection of foreign currency like pesos and euros.

“It took just four months to get 39 states, and in seven months we had all 50 states plus about 60 different countries on there,” Howard says.