Collective Awakenings – Portland, OR
Entering this eight-year-old establishment is pure, unadulterated pleasure. The trunk and limbs of seven types of trees are grafted into an organic installation that beckons one to the front desk, while a painted mural adorns the back wall of the store. Gorgeous, hand-crafted light fixtures by local artisan Hail Mary hang throughout; buddhas and amethyst crystals are found tucked into product displays and atop cabinets, counters and shelves; reclaimed wood is used throughout on the floors, walls, ceilings and benches. I so enjoyed the ambiance of this space — I wanted to pull out my computer and hunker down for a day of writing.
Beginning as a medical dispensary, there is a distinct focus in this shop on cannabis’ medical uses. Having been at the forefront of the industry for so long, only tried-and-true products worth the shelf space and budtender approval are on offer, including Leif Goods, Lunchbox Alchemy, elbe’s edibles and Luminous Botanicals, to drop a few names. The flower is displayed movie theater-style, behind handcrafted and artistically designed cabinets dreamed up by the owners. Their amazing array of products is so well-known in the cannabis community that many dispensaries will actually send customers to Collective Awakenings for specialty items and advice.
The people behind the scenes and at the front of the shop at Collective Awakenings are a diverse and well-represented group of individuals who exude knowledge and warm, welcoming vibes. Creating a destination shop for cannabis consumers was the owners’ ultimate goal, which has proven to become a reality. Talking with Aligra, one of the shop owners, I was inspired and in awe of this cannabis advocate and dispensary owner who also happens to be a mother of two, a former nurse and tax accountant, health coach, photographer and all-around everything to everyone. She hires and educates staff members who are genuinely interested in bringing the benefits of cannabis to those in need, or customers merely desiring a fun buzz.