First, about the name: that's SERRA, as in Richard Serra, the American minimalist sculptor born 1938, not Doris Day singing, "Que Sera, Sera" in 1964.

In light of decades—or rather, in the black light of decades of hole-in-the-wall head shops, stuffed floor to ceiling (crammed "ass-to-elbows," as we say in my family) with the likes of Middle-Earth-inspired figurines, the whole gamut of tchotchkes and whimsical pot-chkes, Portland's SERRA is delightfully spartan. Actually, no: gallery-like is more like it.

photo: SERRA

And to better appreciate what makes SERRA's minimalist approach such an exciting and challenging prospect, consider this piece. It's called Square Necklace—go figure, right—but perfectly balanced; nothing more, nothing less; simply lovely.

Then again, what gives? There's no green leaf, no green cross, not even a peace symbol, so what's this tiny necklace have to do with cannabis? Aside from the fact that it's sold in a cannabis shop? Nothing. And everything.

The question is why wouldn't a cannabis shop carry a selection of products purely for the sake of sheer beauty and/or great design? Why shouldn't an upscale cannabis shop attract and surprise you with a range of unique merchandize, like any other chic boutique? Go figure is right.