The Potland is a dispensary like none other in Oregon. There’s no walk-in storefront or showroom – only a small doorway with a humble sign on it marks the online and delivery-only dispensary. There’s a lot of moving pieces to keep a business like this going and it could seem overwhelming to most, but Jake Granger has it covered with his deep background in hotel and restaurant management. All those years in the hospitality industry gave him the skills to organize, motivate and keep his crew moving forward.
What’s your background in Cannabis and how did you find the plant?
I’ve been smoking and using Cannabis since late high school. My parents smoked, so I was around it early – although I didn’t smoke with them until after I graduated. l started growing in the medical program in Washington shortly after finishing school. I grew for several patients while I worked in restaurants and hotels during the day, learning that industry too. In 2011, my wife wanted to finish her degree at San Diego State University, so we moved there from Spokane. I actually took a break and stepped back from Cannabis and growing then – I was focused on my career and supporting us. That, and it was a new city to me and I didn’t know anyone at the time, so it didn’t feel safe to be involved right then. Over time, I managed to meet the right people and build up a network. When my wife graduated, we decided to get back into Cannabis. In 2015, we opened a medical dispensary called Seaweed and we offered delivery. Once California passed recreational use, we wanted to get licensed for that – but the rules made it far too expensive for the average small business owner. We started looking at other states that would be more affordable, and that had regulations that would allow us to open a store … we eventually settled on Portland and moved up here. We applied for a license in 2017 and the whole licensing process took almost two years to get through. We finally got signed off in the beginning of April 2019. Around then we decided we wanted to sell, but unfortunately that deal drug on for a year and a half, and didn’t work out. In the end, we kept the license and opened the store we are in now about a year ago.
Where did the idea for The Potland concept come from?
It came about because it was hard to find a location in our area that worked with the OLCC zoning regulations. There are rules and regulations about dispensaries not being too close to another shop or within 1,000 yards of a school, and this location worked out. As far as I know, we were the first to ask the OLCC for a delivery-only dispensary. There really wasn’t a precedent for that, so it took some time for the state to make sure it could be done within their rules.
Where does The Potland deliver to?
For recreational orders, we can deliver to anywhere with a Portland address inside the city limits. For medical cardholders, we can deliver in the city and to the surrounding metro area like Beaverton and Gresham. Some of the towns outside of Portland opted out of Cannabis sales or don’t allow recreational delivery, but I have seen that changing and now some of those towns are talking about allowing delivery in the future.
What are your plans for the future of The Potland?
There’s so many irons in the fire right now. We have a new location opening on the first of May on Dekum Street that has a walk-in store. There’s a couple of great spots to grab a drink and eat right next door, like Tough Luck and Ranch PDX Woodlawn. We’ll still have the delivery service, but once that location is open people can come in and shop – or they can still use our delivery service. We’ve also been developing our own in-house brand of solventless extracts and edibles with some very talented people. I can’t say who yet, but they are well-known in their fields [and] I’m excited. I’m also currently working on a big project in New Mexico. The state allows Cannabis consumption [lounges] and we acquired a 35-room hotel and restaurant that we’re remodeling and converting over to a Cannabis-friendly destination. There’s also an old gas station attached that will be our on-site dispensary. So we have several exciting things happening that will unfold this year.