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New pot store a first for Forest Grove

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Shango became Forest Groves first official marijuana-related store when it opened on Pacific Avenue last Saturday, March 12.The first medical marijuana store in Forest Grove — Shango on Pacific Avenue (just east of the ReStore) — held its grand opening last Saturday, March 12. Owner Adrian Perte has already been operating another Shango in Hillsboro along Highway 8 since last summer.

Backers of another medical marijuana dispensary have been considering a site near Safeway, but city officials did not know the status of their plans.

Tonight, Wednesday, March 16, a public meeting to discuss the possible opening of a marijuana industrial grow operation in the former Matsushita building in Forest Grove will be held at Echo Shaw Elementary School in Cornelius at 6 p.m.

Since last summer, when recreational marijuana became legal and a temporary ban on medical marijuana was lifted in some cities, the fledgling marijuana industry has been sprouting all over western Washington County.

In Cornelius, City Manager Rob Drake said a man approached a city planner about zoning laws and confirmed they would allow an indoor marijuana grow operation (no retail involved) on Highway 8, just east of Coastal Farm and Ranch.

The man has not yet filed an application, Drake said.

The city has gotten other calls about possible marijuana stores but most of the proposed sites violate the state mandate prohibiting such businesses within 1,000 feet of a school, Drake said.

In Gaston, a man who wants to buy Gaston Feed for an indoor grow operation is still waiting to be licensed by the state, according to Gaston Feed owner Dave Rohrer.

The Gaston City Council was set to pass a ban on marijuana-related businesses at its meeting last Wednesday, March 9, but councilors decided to wait until next month.

Gaston Mayor Tony Hall said they wanted to first gain a better understanding of how such a ban would affect the city’s ability to benefit from taxes on marijuana-related businesses. If the council votes to pass a ban, the issue will go on the November ballot for voters to make the final call.

In Banks, a man who wants to manufacture marijuana edibles has met with the city planner but hasn’t taken any further steps, said City Manager Jolynn Becker.

Elsewhere in Washington County, Puff Oregon, a medical marijuana facility on Highway 26 near Manning, opened last fall without the required county permits but has since submitted a Type II Development review application for a retail marijuana facility. It continues to operate while awaiting permit approval.

On Highway 6 near Timber, a proposed medical marijuana dispensary called the Tillamook Burn recently held a community meeting at the Glenwood Store, whose owner wants to renovate the store to create the dispensary. No applications for county permits to create the store have yet been filed, according to Melissa De Lyser of the county’s Land Use & Transportation Department.