The Portland Canna Connection
August 21, 2012 | Home
by Angela Fairless
My dear friend and fellow activist Leia and I are touring the various clubs, shops, collectives and other patient resource centers in the Portland-Metro area (and beyond in the future) to report on them for you here on LR. The Portland Canna Connection‘s owner Nate Little and I sat down to chat about the emergence of these clubs and like most of us Little recognizes HWY 420 as the pioneer in setting up lounges and the like here in Oregon, though “The World Famous Cannabis Cafe” is best known as the first as it received more news coverage. Leia and I attended their 1-year anniversary last August, read that article here.
Little has now been running the Portland Canna Connection for about a year and a half and he says he feels “pretty safe.” He isn’t offended by being called a dispensary but recognizes that under ORS they are not legal and prefers to call his place a “lounge” though he says its more like a “resource center.” “We don’t charge a monthly membership fee,” and Little said that his books show little profit, “especially on meds” and he seems to be even more confident in his attorney’s advice saying that his lawyer is a former prosecutor. Maybe its the years Little spent growing in his garage previous to all of this that makes this up front business version feel so much safer. Maybe its his business model, the Multnomah County factor, or maybe its just the strain he’s smoking! Either way, he seems to feel settled and secure.
One thing that is different about CannaConnection is that they are a regular, for-profit business. Many of the patient resource centers are non-profits but since the failure of M74 a variety of new models have emerged, each with its own style and sense of security. First and foremost upon approaching CannaConnection you notice that it is open to the entire public (not just OMMP cardholders) and is more like a smoke shop with lots of colorful art. Only if you first sign their disclaimer (every place has something different) will you then be escorted upstairs to the “OMMP-Only Lounge.”
Sitting on one of many leather couches I reach for a magazine to use as something to write on and in true stoner fashion out of “The Art of Mary Jane” Magazine falls a pile of flakes on my lap…someone used this mag to roll a joint, and in that sense its just like a living room. I mean, you have a hash bar in your living room right? In addition to their slew of couches, tables and great reading material they have a community bulletin board with promotions from the likes of M80, and MAMA’s posted on it. Then there is the “flower counter,” or where you go to buy things and they have it all it seems! Of course your not buying anything, your reimbursing a grower for what you get and Little says his reimbursement prices are very reasonable never going above $9 per gram and rarely, if ever, do they carry outdoor.
Little says that %80 of their meds are tested, using GreenLeafLabs, “We have 5-7 different concentrates right now and try to carry Rick Simpson Oil as often as possible.” Little says he produces the RSO himself and has (like Leia and I) had a hard time measuring and packaging it perfectly but realizes it is worth it. His RSO is produced in the same fashion that Rick Simpson promotes in his video Run From the Curewhich uses Naphtha and has caused a bit of controversy in Oregon where many producers are now using only food grad alcohol. Little says in response that Butane is also extremely toxic but we use it because all of that substance is extracted and the same goes for RSO and naphtha. “If your producing it right then your extracting all that naphtha out just like butane with BHO.”
Little has a small crew of about 4 people he trusts and he takes them to vend occasionally at places like the OGF Cup and the upcoming Hempstalk Festival. They have also been offering Yoga classes which are free and open to the public. You can find them at 1515 SE 46th Ave and visit them on the web at theportlandcannaconnection.com