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Nov-30-2018 20:20printcomments

Herbal Remedies Dispensary Has Deep Oregon Roots

An exclusive interview with Jered DeCamp, owner of Herbal Remedies LLC.

Jered DeCamp
Jered DeCamp, Herbal Remedies owner, has been a cannabis advocate for most of his life.
Photos: Bonnie King, Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - Herbal Remedies Dispensary is housed in an understated block building between McDonalds and the Shutterbug in South Salem. Don’t let the outward appearance fool you. Inside, the sharp design with a woodsy, northwest feel is instantly impressive.

Entering one of the largest showrooms around, the products are easy to see, the menus easy to read. Budtenders welcome you in the door.

The store’s aesthetics are a reflection of its Oregon roots, and the products available are top-notch, in keeping with Oregon’s long-lasting marijuana reputation: it’s the best.

BONNIE: Jered, tell me how you got started in the cannabis industry.

    JERED: “Well actually, I didn’t picture myself where I am today. In fact, I started off on the wrong foot.”

Jered got busted at 18 for (marijuana) distribution. After that, he promised his grandmother he’d never do anything to land him in trouble again. Then, his grandfather got colon cancer and he asked Jered to grow medicine for him. Jered didn’t want to disappoint his grandmother, so they had a family meeting, and agreed that he should began growing- legally.

    “In the beginning of OMMP, medical growers were allowed to be reimbursed for their excess by medical patients. The idea of owning and operating a dispensary was not something I wanted, it was too complicated, and seemed high risk to my family. I just wanted to grow medical for patients.

    “I was mentored by some of the Oregon “old guard”, who taught me how to farm cannabis.”

He met author/activist Jack Herer in 2000 at Conde’s Cannabis Carnival, and Jack explained the history and value of hemp. He says that was life changing.

    “It was an honor. From there, I learned a lot from Jack Herer’s book, “Emperor Wears No Clothes”. That explains everything about cannabis prohibition, and what’s behind it. To say that it is an important book is an understatement.”

It wasn’t long before Jered and his brother Brandon were opening a dispensary of their own.

    “We evolved with the industry. My network of friends and family became vendors and business owners. It was almost a natural move for us to open a store.”

In 2012, they opened the first Herbal Remedies, on Center & 17th. They were in that location about a year, when the city enacted a temporary ban on dispensaries, shutting them down for a year. They spent that “down time” re-grouping, growing legal medical cannabis and helping patients.

They also prepared for the future. They bought a building and improved it. Eventually the ban was lifted, and on June 25, 2014, Herbal Remedies opened on South Lancaster in Salem. It was Jered’s birthday.

    “By the time we opened the Lancaster store, we’d put everything we had into it.”

They embraced the cannabis business, filling their shelves with products of local Oregon vendors and farmers, and raising funds for the needy, like Salem Pediatrics at Christmastime.

    “We knew the store had great potential. We were right. Once we were established, we averaged $10,000 a day in sales.”

A successful business, indeed. In the first year, they made $4 million in sales, with a $2 million profit margin.

BONNIE: What sets Herbal Remedies apart from other dispensaries?

    JERED: “No holds barred truth. Our budtenders care. It’s not ‘just a job’ for them, they believe in the products we sell. They believe in the positive qualities of cannabis.

    “My store is the type that your grandmother can come into, even if she’s right-wing republican with massive preconceptions about cannabis use. She can get an education. We will listen to her. One of our budtenders will give her the time to explain what and why it works.

    “Cannabis isn’t the cure for everything, but does it help with many ailments? Yes. Has it saved lives? Yes.

    “Other retailers may tell people what they want to hear, push certain products etc. We’ve got rules. If any budtender lies to a client, they’re fired. We have earned our reputation for knowing what we’re talking about. Plus, the owner is on site. I think our clients appreciate knowing that.”

The Power of an Invisible Boundary Line

They were in place about a year and a half, then “the vote” happened.

In November 2016, the failure of Measure 24-405 meant sales of recreational marijuana in unincorporated Marion County were barred. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing, had there been no businesses adversely affected. Unfortunately for Jered and Brandon DeCamp, their location at 340 Lancaster Drive NE was outside Salem city limits.

Sitting on the east side of Lancaster Drive, the Herbal Remedies building was six properties from the county line. Physically, it appeared to be in the city, but technically was outside of it. They stayed open temporarily, but for medical patients only. They lost the majority of their sales.

    “It was a real hardship. Losing that location after the vote was devastating.”
But the vote was over. They had to close. Sell the property. Move on.

BONNIE: What was it like, pulling up stakes and re-establishing Herbal Remedies?

    JERED: “Tough. We knew the new location would be an uphill climb in the beginning. Our main client base was several miles away, and competition had increased.

    “The location at 3940 Commercial St SE opened in April 2017. Once we opened, out the gate, we were bringing in about half the daily sales, but we were on our way.”

BONNIE: What can you tell me about your product line?

    JERED: “We are a weed-based shop. Primarily, we carry Oregon products. We strive to support Oregon businesses, so we promote Oregon first.

    “Oregon farmers have a great reputation for decades of quality cannabis. I’ve been around the nation, going to events, I know national-level people and the overall feel of the country is: Oregon has the best weed in the U.S.”

BONNIE: What do you see for the future?

    JERED: “I want to open more stores. Definitely open a lounge, hopefully in the near future.

    “The biggest thing is community. We are a cannabis community, and I'd like to see it grow stronger. It's our responsibility to share what we know with others, including our politicians.

    "Herbal Remedies tries to bring out the best in Cannabis for our clients. This is my life, my dream. I love it.”

Leaving the building, I noticed the customers as they exited. Happy faces. People sharing information and comparing their choices. And it occurred to me, that’s just not something you witness everywhere.

That positive experience is yours to be had. Herbal Remedies is open every day 9a-10p. Check them out here: herbalremedies503.com

#HerbalRemediesDispensary #OregonCannabis #CannabisDeClassified #PotShopStops #MarijuanaIsSafer

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©2018 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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