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'Tillamook Burn' might mean weed, not wood

Glenwood Store owner aims to add medical marijuana dispensary

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: JILL REHKOPF SMITH - Kevin Cameron (far left) speaks to about 15 Glenwood-area residents about his proposal to transform the west end of his store into a medical marijuana dispensary.The owner of the Glenwood Store on Highway 6 is applying for permits to open a small medical marijuana dispensary called “The Tillamook Burn” in what is now the west end of his store.

Kevin Cameron’s proposal drew about 15 people to a public meeting in the store last Thursday evening, Feb. 11.

Cameron, who officially bought the store a year and a half ago, said he would be remodeling the whole building, adding a deli with sandwiches as well as making the dispensary a separate entity with blacked-out windows, a waiting room and a separate entrance door and exit door.

He said he’ll start with just four dispensary employees — two security guards and two bud tenders (for the day and night shifts) — but “I really do see it taking off to where I’d have to hire more people.”

Several people wondered about security for the dispensary, including an adjacent property owner who reported that kids would come down and drink on or near his property after buying alcohol at the store. “My big concern is that this is going to escalate that,” he said.

Cameron said he thought the dispensary was more likely to stop those problems since it would be more heavily regulated and required to have security cameras covering every square foot, including the parking lot, as well as a security guard who ensures customers get in their cars and drive away after buying their marijuana products.

While medical marijuana transactions will be much like going to a pharmacy to fill a prescription, Cameron said, a state law gives him the option of also selling recreational marijuana through the end of 2016, at which point he would need to either stop or get a permit to continue.

At that point, he said, “we’re going to definitely take a look at how it’s going. The tax brackets for recreational are much higher.” But if the business is financially successful, he’ll probably pursue a recreational permit, he said.

Now that he’s held the required community meeting, Cameron hopes to apply soon for the appropriate land-use permits from the county.

The timeline for the project depends on how concerned neighbors are about the proposal. If anyone were to file a grievance, there could be two 45-day grievance periods which would slow down construction, Cameron said.

There was a bit of a debate over whether such marijuana facilities cause crime to go up in the surrounding neighborhood. And one woman was concerned that her children would be getting on and off the school bus right at the store.

But Cameron said he doesn’t know whether these people are concerned enough to file an official grievance.

The Tillamook Burn would be the county’s second medical marijuana dispensary west of Hillsboro, after Puff Oregon, located on Highway 26 near Manning.

When asked how his store would differ from Puff, Cameron said it would be smaller “but we’ll have our permits before we open,” referring to how Puff opened before applying for the required county permits.