SEASIDE — The first few months have mostly been about survival for the business located at 84834 Hwy 101 in Seaside, a junction near where Hwy. 101 and Hwy. 26 merge. The prime location provides a fresh influx of customers from three different directions peaking during the summer. But by September, the heavy traffic and hordes of tourists are largely absent. Facing a bleak beginning, sales have been strong according to Patrick Maher, owner of Cannabeach Junction.
“We started at the end, the tourist season was about over,” Maher said regarding their September start. “But we’re not doing too bad.”
The business joins Cannabis Nation, Highway 420, Oasis Cannabis and Tsunami Marijuana among the established marijuana stores in Seaside.
Keeping up with customer demand regarding certain strains and maintaining a consistent quality can be a challenge, particularly those relying on fewer growers and resources in more isolated coastal areas. Fortunately the business has been buoyed by a base store, Cannabis Corner in Portland, which Maher first opened in October 2016.
“We acquire a lot of our products from our facility in Portland,” Maher said. “We have a wholesale facility that supplies a lot of what the shops down there can’t get.”
Among the unique offerings are Doggie Cookies, a heavy-hitting hybrid strain and Golden Goat, a sweet-smelling variety known for it’s inspiration. The biggest challenge, however, isn’t the isolation, but catering to a different customer base compared to more metropolitan places like Portland.
“The customer base is completely different compared to our store in Portland,” Maher said. The difference largely centers around the method customers choose to consume their cannabis. In Portland there is a bigger demand for cartridges of concentrated cannabis oil, used for vaporizer pens whereas coastal consumers still embrace a more traditional approach favoring flower and edibles. Managing the inventory between two stores with different demands has been a balancing act for Maher.
While a majority of customers seek cannabis for themselves, more are exploring relief options for their fury companions as cannabidiol (CBD) infused dog treats become more common. Cannabeach Junction in Seaside is among the few stores that carry the treats, with some customers already swearing by their success.
“I give her one treat or the CBD drops and she calms down and relaxes,” said Leslie Mobley, still holding her dog ‘Sugar Pie’ after exiting the store on Monday, Dec. 18. Mobley used the treatment on her dog the past two years for travel related anxiety. The treats are also used for other ailments according to Maher.
“It’s mostly for older dogs that have bad arthritis and a lot of pain,” Maher said. “It helps soothe the pain.”
Maher once operated a car lot and ran a wrecking yard before turning his attention to cannabis, a move he believed would take a lesser toll on his body.
“Cannabis just attracted my attention and I steered away from the other things I was doing and I dedicated my time toward expanding my business,” Maher, 52, said. “It was my age to be honest.”
Keeping up with the evolving regulatory environment of the industry is one of the biggest challenges for the family-run business, a task undertaken largely by Maher’s wife, Darcy.
“It’s a full-time job just keeping up on all the compliance issues,” Maher said. There aren’t any immediate plans for expansion on the coast, but Maher isn’t ruling out the possibility in the future.
“We’re going to explore our options,” he said.