You might have already heard, but today marks the official opening of Oregon’s recreational cannabis industry, ushering in a new era of legal toking. But, believe it or not, buying pot won’t be the only thing to do around Portland this weekend.

Depending on your stance on recreational cannabis, you can view the weekend’s other events as either complimentary to getting high or as pot-free alternatives.

Cheese sampling at The Wedge can go either way, as can the Handmade Beer and Bike Festival – the two events representing three of Oregon’s other big cultural contributions.

The one event you’d expect to be truly free of cannabis is the Portland Marathon, but given our city’s penchant for inebriated exercise, you’re likely to run into at least one runner who’s puffing more than fresh air.

Recreate safely, all you legal cannabis consumers. And to those hoping for a weekend free of marijuana – good luck. The fresh fall air will surely swirl with wafting scents of Sour Diesel and Blue Dream, the smell of a state making history.

1. Cannabis: Recreational cannabis officially became legal in Oregon earlier this year, but Thursday is the first day anyone can legally buy it. Statewide, there are 203 dispensaries allowed to sell recreationally, with most concentrated in Portland. Expect long lines throughout the weekend, and if you’re new to cannabis, go easy with your first few hits.

2. Handmade Bikes and Beer: Combining two of Portland’s dearest passions, the Handmade Bike and Beer Festival will host 30 bike makers and 12 breweries at Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland. The event started last year as a combination between Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show and Biketobeerfest.  

Saturday and Sunday @ Hopworks Urban Brewery; $10 to $45, buy online

3. The Wedge: Oregon has an excellent craft cheese industry – surprise, surprise – and there are few better places to experience a taste of it all than The Wedge, an annual cheese tasting festival co-organized by the Oregon Cheese Guild and Rogue, hosted by Green Dragon in Portland.

Saturday @ Green Dragon Bistro and Pub; $20 at the door or $15 in advance

4. H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival: Hot off the success of this past spring’s CthulhuCon comes the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, a film-based celebration of the 1920s-era “cosmic horror” writer. Expect a solid lineup of Lovecraftian film, panel discussions and even a Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast. All hail Cthulhu.

Friday through Sunday @ Hollywood Theatre; $20 to $35, buy online

5. Portland Marathon: The big footrace of the season, the Portland Marathon, is finally upon us. Drivers can expect closed bridges and serious congestion, while runners can expect big crowds and high-fives all around. There’s no word on whether there will be a beer garden at the end, but this being Portland you can probably assume there will be.

Sunday at 7 a.m. @ Downtown Portland; registration closed

–Jamie Hale | | @HaleJamesB

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