Interview: Carrie of Leif Goods in Portland, OR

In this age of modern cannabis, there’s no reason to compromise your nutritional or ethical beliefs. Not when companies such as Leif Goods are making cannabis products without preservatives, coloring, or high-fructose corn syrup and with ingredients that are fair trade and organic/sustainable when possible.

We chatted with Carrie, who founded Leif Goods with husband Jody in Portland, OR, about why they started creating cannabis products, the challenges (and joys) of operating in Portland, and where to find the best grilled cheese in the world.

How did the idea for Leif Goods come about?

Jody, my husband, and I saw a need in the marketplace for high-quality, great smelling and tasting products that would fill an existing gap: The company was created out of necessity many years ago when some of our favorite topical products were no longer available in medical dispensaries following various rule changes in Oregon.

We didn’t want to compromise and decided to instead create our own topical balm from cannabis oil that we, as medical patients, were processing ourselves. We infused the oil into a unique formulation that we made to our specific likes and needs. From there, we added edibles to our product line and grew our creations over the years from there.

How has Leif Goods changed from day 10 to now?

In the early days, it was simply an experiment and a bit of a hobby. It wasn’t supporting us financially. So despite the fact we took it very seriously, it was still a bit of proof of concept. These days, it is a fully functioning business that takes up our full energy and employs others full time. And now it demands deeper strategy, more attention to business challenges, and prioritization that wasn’t there in the beginning.

What are the inspirations behind your products?

We typically find inspiration in our own five senses! A craving for a flavor combination, a desire for something unique, a need for something more elegant, or simply something a little more lighthearted and fun. We both have creative backgrounds, so inspiration is a constant as we naturally gravitate toward innovating products that encourage a really exciting experience. In addition, we are inspired to make something completely new for our consumers that offers an alternative to the usual suspects.

What are the main challenges in operating a cannabis business like yours in Portland?

Portland has been notoriously tough on cannabis businesses. Finding a kitchen that fits the city’s requirements is extremely challenging. The fees involved are also a little higher than locations outside of the city of Portland. That said, being close to many of our retail partners, having restaurants and markets to find inspiration and ingredients, and being able to enjoy the city easily (and be close to home) is priceless.

Any significance behind the sailing motif and name Leif?

The name springs from the concept of Leif Erikson, a (friendly) viking and explorer. Cannabis is all about being a pioneer right now, so this historical figure represents our forging new paths into an unknown world. As a viking, Erikson sailed the high seas in his trusty ship, with the fun play on words being ideal for a tag line.

What is the near and long-term future for Leif Goods?

Our short term goals for Leif Goods include expanding to dedicated retail partners throughout Oregon and launch several new products to complete our Junk edibles line. Further down the road, we plan to look toward expanding into other states and bring our products to more cannabis foodies.

interview with leif goods

Favorite strains for personal consumption?

Anything high CBD – AC/DC, Cannatonic, Harlequin

Favorite local Portland-specific food item/snack/dessert/beverage?

So many to choose from! Eb&Bean local organic frozen yogurt, fast casual pasta at Grassa, the best grilled cheese in the world at Roman Candle Baking (to name a few).

Favorite local outdoor spot?

Walking through enormous trees in Columbia Park, the big pond at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, anywhere with a clear view of Mt Hood.

One thing that’s always in your fridge?

Eggs, the most versatile food in the world!

Favorite recipe that’s always a hit?

Posole with green chile

Something you wear that’s totally emblematic of your personal style?

Shiny bronze tennis shoes 🙂

Thank you, Carrie!