Guess which new business in Multnomah Village is multi-generational
If there's a storefront being fixed up in Southwest Portland these days, odds are better than even money it's about to become a cannabis dispensary. Such businesses are a bright spot in a grim picture for small urban retailers and their landlords.
Oregon's Own, the new business on the block in Multnomah Village, is a different kind of dispensary, says manager Peadar Malone (pronounced pad-DUR, it's Irish).
"Compared to other dispensaries we're open, we've got massive big windows with people coming in off the street to see what we're doing, even if they've never been into a dispensary before."
Malone plans to make the most of the parade and carnival atmosphere at the north end of the Multnomah Bridge this weekend to meet the neighbors. Thousands of them.
"We've got a massive plan for Multnomah Days," he said. "There will be acrobatic cheerleaders, glass blowers and live music provided by 'buskers,'" the name for street performers in Malone's native Ireland.
Since he opened Oregon's Own in early June, business has been growing steadily on a week-to-week basis, he says.
"A lot of our customers are 55 plus. They're very inquisitive people who have never been to a dispensary before and you know what they're looking for? Something for pain. Arthritis complaints are common. So are problems sleeping," he said.
"We've got a great collection of oils and tinctures and lotions that we can recommend. Ultimately, we listen to what they're saying and tell them, 'This could probably work for you.'"
The front section of the 3800-square-foot Oregon's Own store at 7881 SW Capitol Highway features a popcorn machine, locally-made custom glassware, Portland Cargo merchandise and products that don't contain THC, the element in cannabis products that give them their kick.
State of Oregon and City of Portland rules apply in the back of the store, where medical and recreational cannabis products are dispensed. Malone says he appreciates the way his business is regulated.
"They (Oregon Liquor Control Commission and Portland Office of Civic and Community Life) have been very supportive and to the point. There's no grey area. Which is really refreshing when you work in this industry. You have to know what you have to do and follow the guidelines and play by the rules," he said.
Malone, who became a United States citizen this summer, grew up in Longford Town in Ireland. His dad still lives there and is active in a national program called "Tidy Towns." It promotes civic engagement with a broom and a hose.
He's brought his father's civic ethos to Multnomah Village. "If there's an issue, we want to take care of it. We're talking about scrubbing off graffiti. I mentioned to my guys,'If you're not busy for half an hour take yourself down the street and clean it up. That's being a pro-active part of the neighborhood," he said.
Oregon's Own was recently certified for home delivery of cannabis products, but the current location, built in 1910, will be home base for the long term.
"This is a beautiful village," Malone said. "We're here to make Multnomah Village better."
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