Living the dream


Renee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.

Share this article!

Renee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot. As soon as the state’s voters made the commercial sale of reefer legal last year, she started working on a business model to take advantage of the new market created by voters. She is calling her yet-to-be-launched enterprise Smuggle Oregon. Tag line: The Marijuana Dream Store.

Spears thinks others new to the business will get in because of their love of the product. For her, the attraction is creating a business plan that bests the competition. “I don’t necessarily want to be the first legal business to open. I want to be the one to do it right. There’s no established industry right now, so there’s a great opportunity to do something new and unique.”

There’s no legal industry, anyway. As Spears notes, there’s an existing black market that a newcomer to the trade can draw upon when setting up a legal marijuana-based business. “As long as they don’t have a truly serious criminal record, I’d consider working with someone with a record,” she says. “These people know the business.”

Spears envisions a complete line of marijuana-based products, from the smoking stuff to comestibles, lotions, herbal remedies and even sexual lubricants and gels. Hemp products are in the plan; she intends to create stores that feature products by local artisans that are associated with marijuana use. “There will be tie-dye,” she promises. A real estate professional, Spears understands the importance of store location. For now, she’s got her eye on downtown. “I want to target the tourist market, and tourists go downtown,” she says. Spears is also planning a Hawthorne Avenue store targeting the district’s hipster crowd.