Home Grown Apothecary – Portland, OR
Randa Shahin, owner of Home Grown Apothecary, is a vivacious woman born in Iraq to a Ukrainian mother and Egyptian father. She emigrated to the United States in 1989 at the age of six, and this past September took three medals for snowboarding at the 2018 New Zealand Winter Games. Can you say “Superwoman”? Shahin’s snowboarding-related bumps and bruises led her to believe in a system of holistic care, incorporating alternative medicine, healthy eating and cannabis into her overall wellness lifestyle. She used this belief structure as a foundation to guide her when creating Home Grown Apothecary. It isn’t just a cannabis dispensary — it’s a place that educates people, helping them avoid the use of pharmaceuticals by dispensing advice, and there’s a full-time herbalist on staff as well who can recommend non-cannabis herbal remedies.
Shahin got her start in the business world working for a snowboarding academy on Mt. Hood. In addition to teaching, she was instrumental in obtaining licenses and completing ADA and seismic upgrades for the facility. This experience helped her gain confidence and propelled her into the cannabis industry. Shahin fought her way through the intimidating “boys’ club” of the cannabis world, ignoring those who told her she’d fail. “If I listened to the people who told me I couldn’t do something, instead of listening to myself and knowing I could, I’d never make it anywhere,” she says. Shahin now loves being involved in a business world full of phenomenally motivated women who support each other and the cannabis movement.
Home Grown Apothecary’s atmosphere is wholly unique. A mural painted by artist Janessa Bork graces the eastern facing exterior of the house-turned-dispensary, and a multitude of potted plants and flowers adorn its front steps. The lobby waiting area is decorated in a Victorian fashion, with original built-in cabinets, a homey fireplace, indoor plants and beautiful lamps galore. You’d never know it, but Shahin personally sourced 90 percent of the decorations and furnishings from second-hand stores and Craigslist. She wanted to avoid the trappings of consumerism while establishing her new shop in an old space.