Weed Aficionado Magazine posed some burning questions to Medford’s Fireside Dispensary. Their response revealed an intense passion for cannabis. The retailer is at 4149 S. Pacific Highway.
WAM: Fireside first opened its doors in 2015. Since then, with all the changes in the industry, do you feel that recreational use of marijuana has helped your business or hurt it?
FSD: Recreational cannabis has been great for our business. For people to be able to experience cannabis in a retail establishment is a big step forward. It’s a great opportunity for us to change the stigma surrounding “marijuana” — by giving adults the opportunity to look more closely at cannabis and to speak with an experienced “bud tender” who can better help them understand their choices. Customers want to have selection, as well as products in which they have an understanding and confidence. Retail cannabis is helping to build that bridge in society, making pot more “mainstream” or normal.
WAM: What would you say is the biggest attraction at your location?
FSD: We put a lot of time and thought into what our customers would want when we designed the store and its functions. The size of our store is something I know the customers enjoy. You won’t feel crowded into a small room when you come to Fireside. We have three registers here that help us serve customers more quickly. We only purchase products from the best producers and processers in the state. That is incredibly important. We know that people recognize the difference between average cannabis and craft cannabis. We have been blessed to meet and work with very talented producers throughout the state, selectively purchasing the product you will find on our shelf. In fact, we proudly display the name and logo of the producer with each product.
WAM: Based on Oregon’s new stricter pesticide testing, do you feel that the marijuana in your store today is better than in 2015-16?
FSD: I feel that having increased testing standards is incredibly important. I want to know that everything we sell is safe to enjoy. And that (standard) is completely achievable. Our industry, as a whole, should not want to compromise the confidence the public places on us. We should all support a system that proves our integrity is more valuable than money. Caring for our society is what this is about — not just money.
WAM: Do you see an increase or decrease of medical patients this year because of recreational use? What’s your opinion on that decision from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission?
FSD: Here is one common misconception that I have noticed: People think that if you’re a recreational customer, you’re just looking to get high. That you’re only truly “medical” if you carry a medical card or are an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholder. Cannabis isn’t only medical if it’s treating some prescribed purpose. Cannabis provides a broad range of uses, from treating an issue or ailment, to simply enhancing your sense of well-being. People in general live happier, healthier lives if they are able to unwind and de-stress. Our society as a whole will benefit from having a healthier option for what is more broadly accepted in our society — alcohol and prescription drugs. Society just needs to become enlightened.
WAM: As this industry grows and improves, what changes are you most looking forward to in the future?
FSD: Interstate commerce and international business. We are blessed to be living in the beautiful state of Oregon. Once we have our chance to share our joy of cannabis with everyone else, I have no doubt that the state of Oregon and all of us will do quite well. Much like beer and wine, enjoying the cannabis products we produce will bring customers from all over the world.
WAM: Your lobby is stunning! Do you think Oregonians will ever be able to enjoy your products in that lobby one day soon?
FSD: There is movement in that direction — not only to consume at a dispensary but also to promote events, much like beer and wine festivals. (Places) where producers, processors and retail stores can come together and share with the public (are) coming.
WAM: Based on your location, what do you see your customers wanting more of in the future?
FSD: Selection. That’s what makes us successful — good selection. One way the consumer is going to benefit from this recreational market is the free market. That always benefits the customer. It creates a market driven by imagination and innovation. At the end of the day, the customer sets the market. The ones who will be successful are the best of the best — the most talented producers, processors and retailers. Like Fireside!