The Greener Side: Eugene’s Longest Running Dispensary

words by Delaney Rea | photo by Trevor Meyer

When Joe Hopkins moved to Eugene in 2012, Tracktown USA wasn’t his first choice. His family was more drawn to the city of Bend – the snow offered in that part of the state was particularly enticing. However, what ultimately made Eugene the place to go was a different kind of market – the marijuana dispensary market.

Hopkins and his wife, Chelsea, saw a need in the city for a quality provider of cannabis products. That’s why they started The Greener Side, the dispensary that they continue to own and operate. When they started their business, the state legislation hadn’t yet legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Because of this, The Greener Side started out as a strictly medical dispensary. With this license to sell, the dispensary was welcomed by the cannabis-friendly communities of the city. It’s been on the strength of that community that the business has continued to thrive, making it the longest-running dispensary in Eugene.

However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Eugene’s senior cannabis supplier. On May 23, 2013, only months after opening, The Greener Side was subject to a government raid. Although they were authorized to sell marijuana to medical patients by state law, federal law had the jurisdiction to intervene. What began as just another day in the cannabis industry saw the arrival of police, who arrested the entire staff. According to Hopkins, his personal home was also raided, private phones were confiscated and the bank accounts of the business were promptly closed. Hopkins’ wife was released that day, and they reopened their business within the next 24 hours. Though the business itself fought to overcome this obstacle, Hopkins said, “support from the community helped us keep going and kept our fire fueled.”

The legislation passed by Measure 91 to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in 2015 brought relief to the fear of further raids occurring. “We’re extremely happy to be working in the legal market,” Hopkins said. When the new legislation took effect, The Greener side began selling their products recreationally. Soon after, Hopkins saw the customer demographics patronizing his store start to change. 21-year-olds started to come in on their birthdays for their first stop of many. Senior citizens, intrigued by the new market, began purchasing more and more cannabis product, finding it to be an effective medication for many ailments. Hopkins even met a woman who could recall a time before marijuana prohibition, when she had the same freedom to buy that she does now.

Hopkins has seen the normalization of marijuana as a necessary step for the industry since before the days of The Greener Side. Starting out, he decided to change the negative stigma that many people have associated with weed through the actions of his business. Since 2013, The Greener Side has hosted an annual charity golf tournament. This event has raised over $10,000 in the past four years, with the proceeds going toward multiple sclerosis.

As a member of Eugene’s Chamber of Commerce and the International Rotary Club, Hopkins has put his foot in the door of local business to make one thing clear: dispensaries are a credible business model. “It’s pretty awesome that I can go to any Rotary Club meeting in the world now, and I’ll be there for cannabis,” he said. “I can talk about my cannabis openly and proudly now.”

Being the oldest marijuana dispensary in Eugene and Springfield means that The Greener Side has persevered while seeing competitors come and go. While he welcomes the competition, Hopkins recognizes why many of them don’t last, attributing the ongoing success of his business to its commitment to customer integrity. “Changes to the industry don’t affect our protocol,” Hopkins said. Putting the customer first and staying consistent with the quality of the products they offer has earned the business a more loyal following than newer dispensaries that simply follow the latest trends.

Part of the customer loyalty that The Greener Side offers is daily deals that make marijuana consumption more affordable.  “Presumptions are left at the door,” Hopkins said. “When people come in here, they’re all coming in for the same thing. That’s something to better their life.” There are plenty of deals at The Greener Side to help improve customers’ lives. Mondays bring 15 percent off all edible products, and Tuesdays offer 10 percent off any purchase of $40 or over. On Wednesdays, customers can get $5 off the price of The Greener Side’s top-tier strains. Thursdays offer 15 percent off all products based in CBD, the cannabinoid with relaxing effects, and Fridays bring 20 percent off the purchase of seeds. Additionally, The Greener Side has a free membership program that customers can use to get further discounts and win periodically offered prizes.

Ultimately, the successful business Hopkins has built is only the beginning of the company’s potential. On Nov. 10, The Greener Side opened a new location in Detroit Lake, Oregon. Hopkins hopes to next franchise out into the greater Eugene and Springfield area. With an emphasis on customer loyalty, commitment to superior quality and a business model that has proven longevity, the future of The Greener Side looks bright.

Green & Grub: A Pairing Guide

words by Skyla Patton | photo by Sierra Pedro

Picture this: it’s date night, and you’re taking your significant other out for a night on the town. You pick the best five-star restaurant in town, settle down in your window seat and the waiter hands you a pairing menu. One side depicts the most delicious food you’ve ever heard of, and the other is photos of huge, mouth watering… buds?

Well, it may be awhile before fine restaurants let your light up at the dinner table, but there’s no reason why you can’t get ready for that day by practicing at home. Check out these suggestions for successfully pairing your green with your grub.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the components of the strain’s terpenes and aromas to fully understand what flavors will best match up. Terpenes are the naturally formed compounds in the bud that gives it it’s unique smell and flavor when smoked. These compounds are also found in most foods, which explains why identifying the smell and flavor would make a more successful pairing! Pay close attention to these details in selecting which strains you want to puff on while making your grocery list for the evening.

The art of pairing different marijuana strains with different flavor palettes works similarly to the pairing of wine and food. The strongest aromas and flavors of each wine are connected to the complementing aromas and flavors of food to make a delicious combination that best suits each other. Each flavor and aroma is meant to enhance that of the other, and there are two ways to do this: congruent pairing and complementary pairing. Congruent pairing is accomplished by combining two items with similar traits, like smoked cheese and a dark wine, whereas complementary pairing is combining two items that add to the other, like coconut and lime.

Use Your Nose

Buds often give off some pretty intense aromas. Even someone who is less familiar with the world of weed can usually catch hints of different flavors after taking a good whiff of a new strain. If you’re not sure what exactly you’re looking for, head over to a dispensary and ask a budtender on staff. They’re usually more than willing to lend an expert hand and they can help you differentiate between a sweeter bud and something a little more spicy. Let these initial impressions guide you, and try not to think too hard about it. It’s not as complicated as it can feel at first! If a strain has strong hints of blueberry, scoop up some vanilla frosting and blueberry cupcakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Or, if you’re more interested in the complementary side of pairing, combine that blueberry aroma with a slice of angel food cake and fresh fruit sprinkled on top. A few strains that will inspire and get your inner chef pumped are Blue Cheese, White Russian, Chocolate Chunk and Berry Kush.

Pay Attention to Titles

While some strain names are less than helpful to the uneducated eye, like Alaskan Thunderfuck or Golden Goat, most titles will give you a very good indication of what to expect when smoking them. Strains pick up their titles from the flavor they put off, the aroma both as a bud and as smoke and occasionally from physical appearance. This is especially true when the name has an obvious connection to a flavor or specific food product. It can be a huge help in matching it with the perfect snack! An easy example is Tangie, a strain produced from sativa that is rich with the scent of citrus and tropical fruits. Now, focus on the citrus and think about what you would put lemon or lime on; sprinkled over roasted chicken, mixed into a fresh quinoa salad or served with an ice-cold pina colada. All of these things and more, would make for a delicious aftertaste to a few puffs of this strain. A few popular strains that are easy to identify are Peaches and Cream, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Kush and Pineapple Express.

Have Fun With It

There’s really no way to go horribly wrong when it comes to smoking your favorite bud and cooking delicious food. It’s important to do your research and put effort in when trying new pairing matches, but above all, your enjoyment of both the green and the grub is what’s key to having fun with this experiment. Play with flavors you already know you like, or go for a standard classic of Girl Scout Cookies and a tall glass of milk. Personal preference should always take priority over following the rules. Pairing a strain that you know you don’t enjoy to try and make snickerdoodles taste better won’t be any fun for you or the snickerdoodle! The possibilities are endless, so make sure to have fun with it.

Our Top 5 Pairing Examples

  • Chocolate Chunk and Brownie Sundaes: A chocolatey combo will satisfy the sweet tooth craving in everyone with an indica strain rich in cocoa flavors and a classic dessert with a melting scoop of ice cream on top.
  • Blue Cheese and Buffalo Wings: This easy indica-heavy pairing is great for a date night dinner at home and makes for a delicious meal of spicy, juicy wings and a creamy cheese flavor to complement it.
  • Lemon Kush and Apple Pie: This hybrid dish is perfect for dinner parties, combining the sweet smell of citrus with a fresh apple pie smothered in whip cream to create a killer dessert everyone will love.
  • Pineapple Express and Roasted Ham: The granddaddy of complementary pairings, the sweet taste of pineapple sativa will wow the crowd when combined with savory smoked ham fresh out of the oven.
  • Orange Haze and Mandarin Chicken Salad: A great dinner for one or even appetizer, mandarin chicken salad can only get better with the addition of sweet orange sativa.

 

 

Live Life WYLD

words by Sierra Pedro and Kelsey Tidball | photo contributed by WYLD

Have you ventured into the wonderful world of edibles yet? Whether you’re already an edibles fan or you have yet to try them, you’ve got to hear about one of the best edibles companies in the Pacific Northwest. WYLD, an Oregon-based cannabis company founded in January 2016, makes edibles so elegant and tasty, you’ll think you’re eating something from a gourmet candy store. WYLD specializes in gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates and gummies that are delicious, sweet and adventurous. The company was founded by born-and-raised Oregonians Aaron Morris and Rene Kaza, who are both UO alumni, and Chris Joseph, a PSU alumnus. WYLD’s products are perfect for the Pacific Northwest spirit. Take them hiking, give them as gifts or get some for yourself for a relaxing night in. If you haven’t tried edibles yet, you’re definitely going to want to try these. We promise they’ll become a new favorite treat.

Sold in over 400 stores across Oregon, WYLD products can be found wherever your heart may take you. Their gummies are made with real fruit and packaged in an elegant and unique prism-shaped box perfect for carrying on a hike or any other outdoor adventure. Each box comes with ten pieces of candy in a convenient, child-proof airtight container. These edibles are great for beginners and experts alike. When first trying these products, WYLD recommends starting with a ¼ or ½ dose — these gummies are specifically designed at a small 5mg dosage to help WYLD enthusiast find the perfect amount that works for their system. Remember to consume in small amounts to begin, you can always take more later!

WYLD currently offers gummies in raspberry, marionberry, strawberry and pomegranate flavors. We recommend trying their newly-introduced pomegranate 1:1 gummies for a wonderful, tart and tropical taste with a balanced blend of 5mg THC and 5mg CBD per serving. These bad boys were just launched in October, and we’re absolutely WYLD about them! If you’re looking for a product to help you wind down, reduce stress and sleep better, try the strawberry CBD-enhanced gummies. If you love all things PNW, try the indica-enhanced marionberry gummy. This classic, Oregon berry taste paired with its relaxing effects are sure to help you wind down and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. What we love most about these products is that there is no cannabis flavor lingering around, only amazing sweet, tart and fresh fruity flavors. Looking to explore or get things done? The raspberry sativa gummy is the perfect, uplifting adventure buddy! Are you more of a chocolate kind of person? Their white chocolates are perfect for on-the-go, and they’re price-friendly, too! WYLD’s products range from $3 to $24. Chocolates come in ten-pack or single-serve options. They are sure to provide a wonderful taste of a classic fruit and cream combination. Try the blood orange white chocolates for a sweet, sativa-enhanced experience, the indica-enhanced peach white chocolates for a relaxing experience, or the strawberry hybrid white chocolates for a more traditional taste.

By now, your mouth is probably watering and you’re wanting to run to the nearest dispensary to pick up a serving or two of these treats. Visit wyldcanna.com/findus for WYLD’s interactive map to find a store closest to you and to pick some up for your next party, event, or night in with friends. Don’t wait too long — a WYLD adventure is waiting for you. #LiveLifeWyld

Website: wyldcanna.com

Instagram: @wyld_canna

Facebook: /wyldcanna

Exceptional Edibles: Gourmet Treats For Your Next “Retreat”

words by Anna Glavash | photo by Trevor Meyer

It’s important to know cannabinoid profiles when choosing between the different types of edibles out there. Some are THC-dominant, others are all CBD and some contain both, with 1:1 ratios or a variety of other proportions.

When most of us think of edible cannabis, we think of the psychoactive effects of THC. But there are many other ways CBD, a non-intoxicating, therapeutic cannabinoid can behave in the body. We visited Moss Crossing, recent winner of best dispensary in Eugene Weekly, and talked to edibles cannasseur and budtender Jessie Daher about her favorites and when to eat them.

“For me, getting into edibles was the key to unlocking a better lifestyle and quality of life in general. I had severe insomnia for years that was feeding into other chronic pain issues. Once I got that handled, I realized what deep sleep felt like. Now I use edibles every night,” says Daher. So how can we know what to expect from these different products? “1:1 products are amazing for insomnia and chronic pain. THC and CBD work together synergistically to promote relaxation and healing in the body. You can’t go wrong. CBD in particular is preventative, and a lot of people don’t realize that. They think CBD is just to treat a problem. It’s actually better to prevent one. It’s one good way to lower inflammation and decrease cortisol [a stress hormone] in the body long term,” says Daher.

Retreats CBD Gummies by Willamette Valley Alchemy (Eugene) $19

  • CBD
  • 3 gummies per package
  • 24 mg CBD, 1 mg THC per gummy

These tropical gems are nothing like Haribo Bears. Made by hand right here in Eugene with real fruit purees and no artificial ingredients, they come in passionfruit, grapefruit, and strawberry flavors with blueberry launching soon. Retreats are “one of the strongest CBD edible products out there. They’re great if you tend toward anxiety or want to prevent inflammation,” Daher says. There’s also a THC version if you want psychoactive effects. Each batch is strain-specific, kind of like a single-origin coffee or chocolate bar, except Retreats uses locally-grown flower.

Mr. Moxey’s Mints CBD Herbal Pastilles by botanicaPORTLAND (Portland) $30

  • 5:1 CBD : THC
  • 20 Mints per tin
  • 5 mg CBD : 1 mg THC per mint

For the proper people. “Not only are they discreet, easy to take with you and tasty, you’re not going to have the psychoactive effects either.” These are perfect thing if you’re a microdoser and want to pop one or two at the end of your long day to unwind. With a 5:1 mg ratio of CBD:THC, the effects are very subtle. Mr. Moxey’s Mints won first place in the 2017 Dope Cup for the CBD Edible category. Find out why.

Junk Marshmallow Bon-Bons by Leif Goods (Portland) $24

  • 3:2 CBD : THC
  • 9.4 mg CBD : 6.8mg THC per bon-bon
  • 6 bon-bons per box

Vegan marshmallows. Covered in chocolate. Topped with chocolate salt. Yes, the salt is infused with chocolate. Far from junk, these are the ultimate indulgence. The near-equal ratio in this product makes it a favorite among those with complex medical issues, but it’s also great for anybody looking for a balanced high.

Leif Goods Peanut Butter & Jelly Organic Chocolate Bar $24

  • 1:1 THC : CBD
  • 42 mg THC, 47mg CBD per bar
  • 10 servings

The golden ratio (and maybe the golden ticket too) can be found in this chocolate bar. It’s truly amazing how much it tastes like a PB&J sandwich. The secret is the strawberry powder sprinkled on top. Chocolate is also a quick way to get results. “It’s a vasodilator, so it helps your system absorb the cannabinoids a lot faster,” Daher explains.

Cinnamon Maca Almond Butter by Lux (Bend) $17/27

  • THC
  • 500 mg per jar
  • Available in a 6.5 oz or a 1.27 oz. jar

Want to keep the good times rolling on a backpacking trip? Just toss this jar in your bag. With a malty, butterscotch flavor, Maca is a powdered root. According to Lux, the Incas used it for strength and stamina, and this THC formula will make your hike all the more enjoyable. Imagine cookie butter that tastes like graham crackers, but good for you. Yes, you can consider this a health food. Lux already took home first place for Sweet Edible in the 2017 Dope Cup. It’s delicious right off the spoon, or if you’re snacking, why not add some to sliced apples or toast, or drizzle on a smoothie or granola bowl. Though it’s tempting, we don’t recommend eating the whole jar.

Piqmiup Tea in Lemon & Jasmine Harmony Sativa Blend by Upward Cannabis Kitchen (Portland, OR) $14

  • THC
  • 5 mg each
  • 3 tea bags

There’s not much a cup of tea can’t cure. Daher says these are another good option for microdosing and a good way to get THC into your system quickly. Piqmiup comes in several blends including indica and hybrid. They’re made with looseleaf tea, other herbs like lavender and cannabis distillate, which is flavorless. Sativas are more energizing, indicas are calming, and a hybrid is, well, somewhere in between.

Magic Number Ginger Beer (Bend) $5/$7/$9

  • THC
  • 3, 10, or 25 mg per 12 oz. bottle

Daher says people can’t get enough of these drinks, which are a favorite among the edibles crowd. Why? Because they’re super affordable and get into your system a bit faster. What’s not to love? The best part is that the mg marks on the 25mg bottle show you where to stop drinking to control your dose. We’ve heard these make amazing floats, and yes, Moss also sells medicated ice cream. Cheers!