GREEN BOX

To succeed in Oregon’s cannabis industry, you simply cannot have enough perseverance. Budding entrepreneurs will need to navigate the myriad of regulatory agencies, and have patience for the mandatory inspections that happen with all the speed of a sleep-deprived blind sloth on opioids.

So when Adrian Wayman had his “Aha!” moment about playing a new role in Oregon’s cannabis industry, he knew it would take a serious time commitment to make it happen. Countless meetings and letters later, his dream is about to become a reality.

It began in 2015, when Wayman was working at local dispensary Panacea. Adult use sales had just begun in Oregon. Wayman realized there were underserved sectors of the cannabis community, such as those with disabilities, seniors, people without easy access to transportation, and folks with busy schedules—not to mention those with concerns about discretion in acquiring their newly legal cannabis.

Part of Wayman’s job was to stay up to date on regulatory and compliance issues, and while doing so, he came across a temporary rule that allowed for retail home delivery. Thus, the idea of Green Box was born.

“I’ve always been a fan of the subscription box model,” he told me recently. “Receiving a personally selected collection of cool monthly things that I would not normally buy, or even know existed, has always appealed to me. I decided I wanted to share that experience with others, using cannabis.”

He and his fiancé Ryan (now husband) came up with the name and took all the appropriate steps in securing their domain, social media profiles, and registration with the Secretary of State.

Then came the meetings. So, so many meetings.

Those temporary rules did allow for home delivery, but they capped the amount any delivery vehicle could transport at any one time to $100 worth of product.

So Adrian began attending every Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) meeting, and testifying whenever possible. He sent letters to each OLCC commissioner, explaining why the $100 limit would not allow delivery services to be profitable and sustainable, then recruited friends to submit written testimony on the matter as well.

The rule changes were released months later, and the amount of cannabis products that delivery vehicles could have on board was raised to $3,000. Success?

Not so fast.

The City of Portland had rules in place that prohibited delivery of adult use cannabis by recreational retailers. So Wayman began lobbying all manner of city officials—commissioners, former mayor Charlie Hales, and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s director and staff. One of the things Wayman emphasized was that allowing delivery services in Portland offered an entry into the industry for small businesses. “A traditional dispensary costs $250,000 to start up,” he explained, “which I simply don’t have. Nor should I need that much to start a small business in Portland.” Last December, Portland City Council voted and approved a new license category for home delivery services.

So how does Green Box work? Members go to the website (pdxgreenbox.com) and create a detailed profile regarding their cannabis likes and dislikes, their favorite flavor profiles, dietary restrictions, and other information. This allows Green Box to curate a box of custom cannabis products. “We are working with top shelf producers in all areas—growers, extractors, edible and topical makers,” Wayman says. “We seek out businesses that practice organic and sustainable practices, and want our members to feel confident about the quality of products they receive.”

Boxes will cost between $150 and $250, though Green Box assures members that the value of the enclosed products will be higher. Customers can select from a variety of delivery plan schedules, ranging from one month to three, with the ability to skip a box at any time. Every six months, Green Box will donate 10 percent of its profits to four area non-profits that subscribers have voted upon.

Deliveries can only occur to a dwelling within the city of Portland, such as an apartment or house, and the person who ordered the box must sign for it as well. But anyone in the US can order a box as a gift for an individual in Green Box’s service area, which means Aunt Doris can skip your traditional birthday sweater this year.

pdxgreenbox.com