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Recreational pot will go on sale locally Oct. 1

Retail sales from existing dispensaries will be limited until well into next year

FILE PHOTO - Medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell up to a quarter ounce of dried marijuana beginning Oct. 1. They also can sell plants and seeds.Legal pot will be a lot easier to come by nine weeks from now at shops in the Beaverton and Tigard areas as well as across Oregon.

Owners of several medical marijuana shops in Washington County said that they likely will sell limited quantities of marijuana to customers who are at least 21 years old beginning this fall. That came following news that Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday signed into law a bill from the Oregon Legislature allowing dispensaries to get a jump on retail pot sales.

“We’re definitely interested. ... We just need to see what the details are,” said Patrick Learned, who opened The Stone Age dispensary in Beaverton’s West Slope neighborhood in the spring. “It’s definitely a limited market right now.”

A fuller range of marijuana products, including edibles, won’t be available until the full retail sales program takes effect well into next year, unless the buyer has an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card.

In the meantime, adults without medical cards will be allowed to purchase a quarter ounce of dried marijuana (flowers) per day from a state-licensed dispensary beginning Oct. 1. They also can grow their own by purchasing plants or seeds from a seller approved under the same program.

Judy LaParne of The CDC (Cannabis Delivery Company) in the unincorporated Metzger area near Tigard and Nyah Kiley of Growing ReLeaf near Beaverton are among other medical dispensary owners who are strongly considering offering retail sales this fall. They said that adding retail likely will help them serve their first priority, customers who have a medical card, by helping their businesses stay afloat in an increasingly competitive business.

Kiley, whose shop just east of Highway 217 was one of the earliest to open in Washington County, said the Portland-area market already was saturated even before being inundated by dozens of new dispensaries that opened in recent months, as entrepreneurs saw medical sales as the best pathway into potentially more lucrative recreational sales.

“It’s ridiculous, really, right now,” he said.

Blooming Deals just off 158th Avenue in Beaverton and The Green Planet on Southwest Canyon Road east of Beaverton also plan to sell marijuana to any customers who are at least 21 starting Oct. 1.

There are two existing dispensaries near the Tualatin Valley Highway corridor in Aloha, and additional dispensaries are in the works elsewhere, including along major roadways in the King City and Sherwood areas.

Douglas Lanphere and a partner, who previously sought a location on Southwest Canyon Road, have a new application pending with the city of Beaverton for a storefront on Southwest Walker Road across the street from the Sunset Lanes bowling alley.

Their business plan includes a dispensary called Green Mart, which still needs state approval. Lanphere said the retail side of the marijuana operation would include sales of what he hopes will be one of the widest selections of plant varieties and seeds for people who want to grow their own marijuana.

An affiliated business, Green Oregon Enterprises, will sell hydroponic and organic gardening supplies that customers can use to grow marijuana or other plants such as garden vegetables and seasoning herbs, Lanphere said.

“We’re going to service everybody,” Lanphere said.

Oregon voters last November approved use of marijuana by people 21 and older which took effect July 1 but came with a variety of restrictions limiting possession amounts and locations. However, customers without a medical card currently have no legal way to buy the drug. The temporary legislative patch helps address the issue and cut into an existing black market while a broader rules-setting process continues through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Dispensaries will be able to sell marijuana tax-free until a 25 percent tax takes effect on Jan. 4 of the coming year.

It’s unknown exactly how much consumers will pay for legal marijuana in October, or after taxes kick in three months later. Kiley at Growing ReLeaf thought dried flowers might run $40 to $75 for a quarter ounce, depending on grade. Lanphere of Green Mart/Green Oregon hasn’t set prices either, but estimated that immature plants potentially could sell for $15 to $20 apiece and people are allowed to buy up to four.

Supply and demand will further define the young marketplace and intense competition likely will knock some stores out, several sellers said.

“It’s a business like any other and we are at the very beginning,” said LaParne of The CDC. “All of us are trail blazers and we’re taking a mad risk.”


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