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House of Leaves in Ashland.

House of Leaves scores with customers

House of Leaves was among the earliest cannabis shops to open in Ashland after voters ended prohibition of the long-popular plant.

It does business in a converted house on North Main Street, and it merchandises just about anything you could ask for in a very small space, with a knowledgeable and easygoing staff.

While some shops seek to overcome pot’s long illicit history with sparkling clean environments that look like pharmacies, House of Leaves just keeps being what it is, kind of like your local mom-and-pop shop but for weed.

“We sell everything — bud, smokable, vape, cartridge, edibles, gummies, tinctures, all THC or all CBD or combinations, which usually gives better effect,” says manager Ricky La Ve, as he explains an albedo inhaler (atomizer) to customers.

He points to a plaque awarded to the shop by Leafly, the noted cannabis website, which labeled House of Leaves one of the top 10 dispensaries in Oregon. They got 4.8 out of 5 stars, with such comments as, “I love House of Leaves! The cartridge selection is the biggest in the valley and the prices are ON POINT. Lucas was a super friendly and knowledgeable budtender who was super helpful. Recommend this place to anyone wanting a good dispensary experience :)”

Prices are a hot topic of conversation, as there are so many growers that supply is outpacing demand, says La Ve. “Prices are coming down, especially flower because there are so many producers now. People just cannot believe it. A year ago, we had to pay twice what we pay now. It’s a buyer’s market. We’re selling $2 a gram for ‘daily.’ It goes up to $15 for better stuff.”

Shopper Tyler Bartlett says of the store, “It has a great location. The selection is a big one, and you can buy all the pieces and parts right here. You can learn a lot here from budtenders.”

A rewarding part of the job, says La Ve, is being able to teach people how to use product for pain, healing and sleep — and the gratitude they express.

“Working here in Ashland, so many people come in for health reasons. The town has an aging demographic. It makes me feel I’m in an industry that gives back and improves quality of life,” says La Ve.

“We have regulars and build this rapport over the months as we discuss product and what they get from it. The best demand is for pre-rolls — no mess to clean up, no sticky fingers, just easy to use.”

If the job has a downside, he notes, it’s the large number of rules and the OLCC compliance officers who can drop in at any moment, fine the business or workers, even close it down, but “it’s a necessary evil. It’s a new thing and will even out.”

House of Leaves is at 488 N. Main St., in Ashland. You can shop on their website and order before you come in — or call 541-488-6776. They also have a shop in Medford at 259 E. Barnett Road, 541-816-4204. The owner is Mike Lisk.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

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