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Pot giveaways planned in Phoenix, Ashland

Cannabis giveaways in Phoenix and Ashland will kick-start the first day of legal recreational marijuana for adults in Oregon.

Breeze Botanicals in Ashland and Top Shelf Wellness Center in Phoenix are both organizing events July 1 where excess marijuana from patients will be handed out.

“It was a flower that was meant to be shared from the minute it was put on this Earth,” said Top Shelf owner Wade Hall. “I can’t wait to share it.”

Top Shelf, at 205 Fern Valley Road, plans to hold a “Share the Flower” giveaway where one-gram packets of marijuana — enough for a couple of joints — will be handed out from noon to 5 p.m.

Breeze Botanicals will hold its “Free the Weed” event on the patio at 1526 Siskiyou Blvd., in Ashland, from 2 to 6 p.m.

July 1 marks the first day that pot can legally be shared or consumed in Oregon by anyone 21 or older. An adult can have up to eight ounces of dried marijuana flowers at home or one ounce in public. Up to four marijuana plants can be grown per household.

Pot may be legal, but it can’t be sold in Oregon yet. The Legislature Tuesday approved Senate Bill 460, which would allow recreational sales of marijuana Oct. 1 through medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill still requires Gov. Kate Brown’s signature.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will regulate sales of recreational marijuana, maintains a website called www.whatslegaloregon.com that provides information about what you can or can’t do under Oregon’s new marijuana laws.

Throughout the state, but particularly in Portland, events are being held to celebrate the legalization of pot following similar efforts in Washington, Colorado and Alaska. A pot giveaway was scheduled for midnight on the Burnside Bridge in Portland. A July 3 event called “Weed the People” in Portland costs $40 and attendees will be able to sample marijuana products inside a building. The Jackson County giveaways aren’t charging any fees and aren’t allowing anyone to sample cannabis products at the events.

Hall said adults will need to provide identification before excess marijuana from patients is handed out. Noticeably intoxicated people will not be able to receive any cannabis, he said, and no smoking or consuming of marijuana products will be allowed. Anyone who doesn’t have a medical marijuana card will not be permitted into the back area of Top Shelf where medicine is dispensed, Hall said.

The giveaway will provide one gram of a strain of marijuana called Williams Wonder crossed with Purple Trainwreck. Hall said “Willy’s” is known for its pain-relieving qualities. He said the kind of high you could expect should be euphoric and energetic.

Employees of Top Shelf will be on hand to answer questions about consuming marijuana, he said.

Phoenix police Chief Derek Bowker said he has very few concerns about Top Shelf’s pot giveaway.

“They only concern we have, and we really don’t see an issue with it, is that everything that goes on tomorrow is within the law. As long as he doesn’t sell it, it should be OK.”

Bowker said Top Shelf invited the city manager, city planner and himself into the facility and has explained everything he plans to do.

“We’ve never had any problems,” he said.

Officers on duty July 1 will perform extra patrols in the area of Top Shelf to make sure everyone obeys the law.

“We hope everybody’s responsible with it,” he said. “At this point, it’s no different than alcohol.”

He said he also wants to make sure marijuana is kept away from children.

Brie Malarkey, owner of Breeze Botanicals, said her dispensary will not be giving anything away, but patients who will be in a patio area nearby will hand out small amounts of marijuana. She said she is recommending one gram or less.

“For me it’s just exciting because people can share,” she said. “People don’t have to feel like criminals.”

Malarkey said she’s hiring security to make sure everyone follows the law and that all attendees are adults.

She said patients will hand out edibles such as hard candies, cannabis oil and marijuana flowers, including varieties that go by names such as Afghan Kush, Sour Diesel and Queen. Tinctures and elixir samples will also be available.

Malarkey said some patients may bring starter plants give away.

Malarkey said she will sell T-shirts and herbal teas (without cannabis) to help pay her expenses for the event.

A master herbalist will be on hand to help guide people who are looking for natural remedies.

A free raffle will also be held that will provide up to five cannabis items, Malarkey said.

“We're excited to help all adult Oregonians celebrate their new freedom to cultivate, medicate and recreate with cannabis in the state,” Malarkey said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

Wade Hall, owner of Top Shelf Wellness Center, will be giving away marijuana Wednesday from his Phoenix dispensary. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch
Marijuana products are displayed Tuesday at Top Shelf Wellness Center. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch