Three times a week, the employees at Plantae Health’s Bend dispensary gather for a morning ritual — 45 minutes of yoga to start the day.
The shop owners, Jocelyn and Andrew Anderson, recently opened the doors for anyone interested in about a half-hour of downward-facing dog and crescent moon poses starting at 7:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Plantae started out as a medical marijuana dispensary, as did most other retail cannabis shops in Bend, but it still emphasizes the health and wellness aspect of the business, Joceyln Anderson said. It also helps that free yoga brings in people with no experience in a marijuana store to see for themselves, she said.
The sessions are free of charge and led by an instructor, Tim Hays, a medical marijuana consultant at the shop with prior experience as a wellness specialist at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Vail, Colorado, he said. Hays said he’s a certified personal trainer with a specialty in yoga. Hays said he’s practiced yoga for 26 years and has taught it for 10 years.
“I do not subscribe to any specific style or modality,” he said Feb. 17, “I deal in a broad range.”
The sessions take place on the hardwood shop floor, a recently renovated space that was previously a yoga and martial arts studio, said Kristen White, Plantae general manager and yoga practitioner. No cannabis products are present in the room; they are removed from the counters each night and returned after the yoga session but before the store opens next day. Practitioners must be 21 or over to attend.
“Anything that the (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) and the (Oregon Health Authority) have to say about that usage of space, we follow their mandate to the letter,” Hays said.
Yoga in the shop outside of business hours would not violate a marijuana retailers license, if the license holders adhere to state regulations, said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission Recreational Marijuana Program.
That means that consuming cannabis on the premises is prohibited. Hays said he does not endorse the use of cannabis in conjunction with yoga, anyway.
“I definitely do not encourage that,” he said. “Yoga is about balance and movement, bending forward and standing up. Not that I mind, or turn people away or it’s frowned upon. The practice will work better for you if you save the cannabis indulgence for afterward.”
Using the store space for a yoga session made sense, said Jocelyn Anderson, who said she was a regular swimmer in college. Obligations to the company she and her husband founded keeps her too busy to carve out time for swimming these days, but yoga is something that fits into her day, she said.
White said the room will accommodate 10-20 yogis, but the store may schedule more sessions if they prove popular. The class already attracts 10 to 12 participants, she said.
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