Top Hat Express
11916 SE 22nd Ave. Ste. B, Milwaukie
Interviewed: Nancy Hunter, Co-Owner
Top-Selling Strain: Super Lemon Haze
Top-Selling Concentrate: WHO? Cartridges
Top-Selling Edible: WANA Sour Gummies
How and when did your dispensary start up?
In 2015, out of our own medical needs and desire to help others to access this wonderful product.
What’s the story behind the name of your dispensary?
We have a very large family. About 25 years ago some uncles of ours flew into East Grand Forks, North Dakota where our family was living at the time, to visit our dad. Nightly, when everyone was getting ready for bed, dad would ask the uncles if they would like to go wear a “top hat.” I remember this time vaguely, but the older us kids got, the more often it would happen. Relatives would visit, and they would go “wear a top hat” at the end of the night with dad. When us kids grew up we were invited to do an expert hike through hell’s canyon with our dad and uncles one summer. We went out through this canyon and the very first night the meaning of the “top hat” was discovered. It meant smoke a joint! Coming from such a inconspicuous code word growing up, the cat was now out of the bag. The rest is history, and Top Hat Express was born.
What does your dispensary offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else?
The best, caring family experience.
How has the cannabis industry changed since you have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go?
It has changed from a hidden commodity to access for all aged 21 and over. I would like to see retail cannabis businesses under same regulations as other retail business so that we, too, may pay our bills and put food on the table for our families.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this industry as a dispensary? Biggest joys?
The biggest challenge is the time-consuming day-to-day struggle to keep up with ever-changing regulations and immense amount of compliance “paperwork.” The biggest joy is being able to provide jobs and access to a natural medicine that doesn’t have the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
What is the one thing you want patients to know about your dispensary?
We work with integrity.
If someone wanted to open a dispensary and get their feet wet in the industry, what advice or counsel would you give them?
Be prepared to need a great deal of financial backup and an ongoing huge amount of time investment.
What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?
Provide knowledge and access to a natural medicine without pharmaceutical side-effects. Even purely recreational customers receive medicinal advantages. For example, relaxation after a stressful day, aid with sleeping and eating, aid with focus and motivation and so much more.