HOW REGGAE MUSIC INSPIRED THE VIBE OF THIS DISPENSARY IN OREGON
At Marley Natural, we make an effort to partner with dispensaries that share the same values of community, quality and positivity. House of Leaves in Ashland is the number one cannabis dispensary in Southern Oregon. With the lowest prices on a huge variety of products, House of Leaves’ knowledgeable and friendly staff exists to make your experience affordable and enjoyable.
We had a chat with Joe McLaren, the manager over at House of Leaves who also runs the blog Rogue Agent Photo where he documents live photos of Reggae artists.
How long have you been a manager at House of Leaves dispensary?
I have been working as a manager of House of Leaves since July, 2016, but I’ve been in the cannabis industry since June, 2014.
What is the ethos of the store/dispensary?
House of Leaves in Ashland, Oregon, is the number one Marijuana Retailer in Southern Oregon. Offering the largest selection of cannabis products in the Rogue Valley, House of Leaves’ mission is to provide exactly what marijuana enthusiasts want and need: Excellent & knowledgeable customer service, a plethora of top quality products, and the lowest prices possible.
When did you start listening to Reggae and shooting Reggae artists?
I started listening to reggae music right around the age of 13. I remember working for my uncle digging pools and spas and coming across a copy of Bob Marley's "Legend" album on cassette tape. I remember the songs "Three Little Birds" and "Buffalo Soldier" really striking a chord in my heart and that's how my love for reggae music began.
In 2006, I reconnected with a childhood friend of mine at a reggae festival in Oregon. It was my first time at such an event, but I felt right at home. My friend is a reggae DJ and it was my first time being backstage at a show. As I fulljoyed the vibes, my attention turned to my surroundings. What I noticed were the families... Working Families. Little babies, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, the whole family was there working... for a living. They were hot, they were tired, but they had smiles on their faces and they were happy. At that moment I realized I wanted to be a part of it.
I wanted to help these reggae families and artists spread their message across the world. I wanted to help the world understand what the Rastafari Movement was all about, more than that though, I wanted to show everyone what it was like to be there, in that moment of live musical history, hanging out with the one love reggae family. Before I left home for the show, my wife stuck a digital camera in my hand. She said "Have fun, take some photos, and bring back some epic memories!"
So that's exactly what I did. I came home with over 1000 images of one of the best times of my life... and people I showed told me they looked amazing! That's when I decided to start supporting, promoting, and photographing world class reggae artists live in concert and went after my dream of being a part of reggae history as Rogue Agent Photo.
What was your most memorable Reggae show and why?
My most memorable reggae show has to be Reggae on the River, affectionately known to many as just "Reggae". Every summer, close to where the Humboldt and Mendocino county lines meet on California US HWY 101, a sacred musical destination attracts thousands of people from across the world that are in search of love, unity, and acceptance. Since 1984, Reggae on the River has provided an alternate existence that separates us from life as we know it and shows us life how it could be. The music, the culture, the vibes, the love, the Experience... it's all waiting for you at Reggae.
All photos by Joe McLaren
Reggae on the River dates: August 3rd - 6th, 2017: