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The Freedom Market Kelso   

The core values of their medicinal background is always what keeps this mission thriving.

Don’t let the inconspicuous building fool you – nestled along the Cowlitz River, the charm is what’s inside. The genesis came in the medical days when Kathleen Nelson’s friend had a daughter suffering from an undisclosed mental illness and took her own life, so it meant everything to name the original store after her, called Miranda’s. When the transition began to go to recreational, they were afforded the very first license in Cowlitz County and one can certainly imagine that it came with Miranda’s blessing. The core values of their medicinal background is always what keeps this mission thriving.

Creating Solutions

Having the first license led to becoming a flagship store for the WLCB (Washington Liquor Cannabis Board) as one of the prototype shops to navigate the implementation of regulations. What’s developed is an operation with the right degree of reverence for the legal system by way of real experience. After all, practicing good business isn’t a problem when there are no surprises – equating to a slight advantage when providing a qualified Cannabis buying experience. And go figure … this ballast has proudly never incurred a violation. See, it’s not that hard to keep good people happy when you follow the rules.

Like Water

With a parking lot overlooking the beautiful Cowlitz River, you’ll feel the flow of forward momentum when stepping inside. Check out the heady cabinet with the beautiful glass that acts as the focal point of the room. The building has been everything over the years – once a flower shop, fried chicken restaurant, produce market, pizza parlor, and probably a few others – and if these walls could talk, they’d tell you that they are happier than ever housing Cannabis. With a rustic vibe, the warmth comes not from the chilly river outside, but from the folks who share a passion for what they do. In the foyer, it’s fun to check the wall map with tons of pins from people all over the planet right here in little Kelso. Here, it’s all about the vibe, not the flash – old school and respect.

Staff Picks


Mama J’s Apple Fritter Candy

Skord Hidden Pastry Brandon

Heavenly Buds Orange Nerds Skylar

Gold Leaf Durrburger Alex


Kronik Bruce Banner #3 Candy

Aloha Friday Lava Flow Brandon

Gold Leaf x Polar Icetracts Diamond Tips Skylar

Bacon’s Buds Falcon 9 Alex


Bodhi High Tangerine Diesel Candy

Two Heads High C Brandon

MFused Blueberry Space Cake Skylar

Dabstract Area 509 Alex


Dank Czar Smarties Rosin Candy

Constellation GMO Brandon

Gold Leaf x Polar Icetracts Animal Sherbert Skylar

Dank Czar Pineapple Express Rosin Alex


Cherry Doozies 2:1 CBG Candy

Johnny Vanella RSO Brandon

Pioneer Squares Pineapple Crush Skylar

Smokiez Blue Raspberry Alex

Photos by @fwold_photography

About Mike Ricker

The first time Ricker smoked weed was at a Santana concert at the age of 12. He then followed in his footsteps as an award-winning radio personality who became notorious for offering a stage for bong toking listeners in 9 different markets over 20 years. In 2016, the Cannabis industry came calling and the rest is history.

This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue of Northwest Leaf.

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