BEND, OR -- Marijuana users celebrated the first day of recreational pot sales Thursday, many by visiting a local dispensary for their first legal purchase. Levi Vannoy, co-owner of 5th LMNT on the north end of Bend, tells KBND his store saw a big jump in business. "It has been a steady flow of new patients – recreational people and medical patients, also. It’s been about 10 to one, in favor of recreational; they’re very excited to be able to buy legal cannabis."
Without a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Redmond, Brandon had to travel to Bend to shop. He was one of those excited customers at 5th LMNT. "I [had] seen that we’re allowed to come in at midnight, and I was thinking about it, but I decided to wait until I woke up. I knew what I wanted before I got here. Then I [saw] on the screen it’s the cheapest one here, so I’m pretty excited about that."
Vannoy says his staff answered product questions from nearly every customer. "Some questions are like ‘I want something to help me relax in the evening.’ In that case, we suggest an indica which is more a slow you down, relaxation type of cannabis. If they come in and say ‘I need something to get me going and help me do my housework.’ We suggest a sutiva, which is more a pep-up type of cannabis."
Joe, from Bend, didn't have to ask too many questions. "The first time I bought pot was in a hallway in Greenwich Village before a Fillmore East concert, that was the first time. And, it’s come a long way, and it’s good to see! It’s healthy, I think." He tells KBND, "It’s pretty happy and it’s good to see how laid back it is. It’s kind of fun that it’s laid back and it’s just open. People who smoke pot are cool and just laid back, and yet it’s a business."
The store only allows a small number of customers behind the closed door of the product area, and Joe and fellow customers were willing to wait 20 minutes or more, for their turn to shop.
At 5th LMNT, Vannoy says he doesn't think this uptick in business will last forever. "I believe it will taper off some, there are just a lot of patients waiting on October first and uh, they’re coming in to see. It’s the first time they’ve been in a dispensary and they all seem pretty happy."