Ontario, OR – A camp has formed near the Ontario community development center, it’s potential marijuana dispensary owners who are getting in line in case the voters approve recreational cannabis dispensaries in Oregon.
“We honestly didn’t expect people to be standing in line at this point,” said Steven Meland who owns Hot Box farms a dispensary in Huntington thirty miles west of Ontario. “We just wanted to get in line when we saw somebody else start the line.”
Last week the Ontario city council approved new buffers that would require potential dispensaries to be a thousand feet away from each other, 500 feet away from residential areas and in designated commercial or industrial zones.
This goes along with buffers already put in place that prevent dispensaries from being a thousand feet away from schools and parks.
“On a map, it takes out about 97-98 percent of the area in Ontario,” said city council member Norm Krume. “They are fighting for land, it is first come, first serve so it is not like a new Star Wars movie, this is millions of dollars at stake.”
Keep in mind that voters still have to decide on whether recreational dispensaries will be allowed within Ontario city limits when people go to the polls on Tuesday, however, if this resolution passes it is likely this camp will be here until January when the resolution becomes official.
The livelihood of Hot Box Farms is at stake, the Huntington dispensary sees a lot of customers from neighboring Idaho and with Ontario sitting right on the border this market will be huge for the marijuana industry.
“We are going to have a lot of overtime,” said Meland. “We still have to run our shop but we also have to pay people to keep our spot in line.”
The city also has to be ready if the resolution passes and that is why they have started putting in buffers after listening to public testimony over the last month.