• Abby Stoddard, PharmD,MBA

Portland Dispensaries - Accessibility and COVID-19 Adjustments

This month's post started about accessibility and turned into much more

In recognition of National Multiple Sclerosis Month I set out on a tour of the accessibility of Portland dispensaries. In early March, when it was still safe to do so, I met many great providers who have the needs of clients with varying levels of mobility in mind, and snapped some photos to document my visits.

A few short weeks later, however, the importance of cannabis medicine access has shifted into a whole new light as the COVID-19 outbreak escalates. Cannabis providers across the state have been working hard to keep their spaces safe, clean and open. Regulators at the OLCC have also responded, and on March 22nd granted temporary privileges for cannabis retailers to offer curbside delivery. This is a positive change for not only the safety of budtenders and their clients, but also for the accessibility of cannabis medicine across the board.

So - we visited dispensaries initially to talk accessibility in the context of multiple sclerosis, but the current situation has heightened the issue of accessibility for all. We have followed up with those providers (electronically) to see how they are adjusting to continue to provide care to amongst the COVID-19 outbreak. I hope you and your family are safe, healthy and secure during this time. We'll be sharing with you every opportunity we can to remind your legislators, regulators, and policy makers that access to cannabis medicine is essential.

Stop 1: Bridge City Collective (SE Grand Ave location)

Who We Met: Budtender Nicole

What We Saw: Open, bright, easily maneuverable sales floor

Tight spots: On-street parking was scarce, paid parking in adjacent lot

Options to limit in-person contact: Currently offering in-home delivery from both Portland locations

Bridge City Collective Website

Stop 2: The People's Dispensary

Who We Met: Shawnta, Budtender and Inventory Manager

What We Saw: Beautiful art gallery space in front room, open sales floor in back

Tight Spots: No dedicated parking, but good on-street options

Options to limit in-person contact: Currently accepting phone orders and offering curbside delivery

The People's Dispensary Website

Stop 3: Oregrown

Who We Met: Budtender Crash

What We Saw: Open sales floor, space to move between display cases, places to sit and take a break

Tight Spots: Extremely challenging on-street parking

Options to limit in-person contact: Offers in-home delivery with special discounts for those over 60 years old, also offers curbside delivery

Oregrown Website

Stop 4: MindRite

Who We Met: Florence, Stephen and team

What We Saw: Cozy lobby area, accessed with stairs but with handrail, ramp with handrail leading back to sales floor

Tight Spots: Another parking challenge, but staff have tips to offer if you call ahead

Options to limit in-person contact: Now operating with pick-up/curbside delivery only

MindRite Website

Stop 5: Pure Green

Who We Met: Budtender Grover

What We Saw: Huge bright, open sales floor

Tight Spots: This one has parking! Spots are parallel along the side of the building, but reserved for customers

Options to limit in-person contact: Pure Green began allowing only one client per time in the store, and announced it will be closing on March 25th until further notice to protect its employees and community. We had a great experience there, we hope to see them on the other side of this crisis.

Pure Green Website

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