Recreational cannabis has been sold legally in Oregon since October 1, 2015; since January 1, 2017, dispensaries have been required to apply for and receive licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. In early January, the Portland Business Journal reported* that the OLCC had received 1,907 recreational marijuana license applications in 2016, and that the total number of licensed retailers had more than doubled in 2016, from 99 to 260.**
One of those green rush beneficiaries is Serra, which opened its first store in Portland in 2016 and which now operates a second Portland store as well as one in Eugene, home of the University of Oregon.
The stores have been praised for their high-end aesthetics (“The most sophisticated cannabis dispensary in the city, if not the country: – Wallpaper. “When you leave Serra, the feeling is similar to leaving Anthropologie: slightly numbed by the curated beauty of the place, a sense of being underdressed, but without the guilt of paying too much for something you'll ruin in one smoke sesh” – the Potlander, which is not a typo). And the verbal identity is similarly bar-raising: no “leaf” pun, no 420 variation, no “green,” no “bud,” no “Mary Jane.”
But where does “Serra” come from, and what does it mean?