Oregon receives nearly 300 marijuana dispensary applications

2014-03-04T06:45:00Z 2014-03-24T19:07:49Z Oregon receives nearly 300 marijuana dispensary applicationsBy Kyle Odegard, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald

The first day to apply for Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries was Monday, and the state received 289 applications by 4 p.m. as entrepreneurs raced to turn in paperwork.

About 200 of the Internet applications came within the first hour, despite a $4,000 fee.

“If we don’t file today, and other people file, they will only allow so many dispensaries within the city of Albany,” said Kendra Ludahl, vice president of Albany’s Canna Kitchen, 2300 Ferry St. S.W.

Linn and Benton counties each had less than 10 forms turned in on Monday. Exact figures weren’t available from the Oregon Health Authority, which declined to release the numbers.

“The law requires us to keep dispensary locations and the identities of persons responsible for dispensaries confidential. So in cases where there are fewer than 10, we are not releasing the exact numbers,” said Karynn  Fish, Oregon Health Authority spokeswoman, in an email.

The rush to file is because rules prohibit dispensaries within 1,000 feet of each other, and within 1,000 feet of many schools.

The result is a limited number of sites where a dispensary can be located in towns like Albany, Corvallis and elsewhere.

“It is literally first come-first serve, and that is why people are applying today,” said Tom Burns, director of pharmacy programs for the Oregon Health Authority.

Jake Lewis and Ryan Smith filed their application for their proposed Corvallis dispensary, called The Healing Center, on Monday morning.

“Even if someone was within 990 feet of us and they applied first, we wouldn’t be able to do that, so we wanted to make sure we did that as soon as possible,” Smith said.

The pair have leased 2,000 square feet at 300 S.W. Second Ave. and have completed the basic remodeling work needed to operate a dispensary at the site, including security measures required by the new law.

“Now we’ve just got to wait,” Smith said.

“We hope they’ll get back to us in a timely manner and we’ll be able to open soon,” Lewis said.

Burns said that the first approvals could begin trickling out the week of March 17. Dispensaries should not be open before they are officially approved.

Lewis and Smith have established a relationship with Dr. Kathleen Kleinert of Southern Oregon Alternative Medicine, who’s been seeing patients interested in qualifying for medical marijuana cards in nearby office space since December. She’ll move her Corvallis office to The Healing Center as soon as it opens.

The Canna Kitchen, which has been in operation for more than two years, converts marijuana that patients bring in into smokeless remedies. Nevertheless, it was required to register as a dispensary.

And Ludahl said her family didn’t waste any time.

“We’re hoping to be able to continue being here and doing what we’re already doing,” Ludahl said.

And, in addition, if they are approved, they’ll provide marijuana to patients as well.

Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Greg Bechtel
    Report Abuse
    Greg Bechtel - March 07, 2014 6:42 pm
    Albany Alternative Health Solutions officially applied at 10:03am.

    We have tried desperately to get answers from the OHA on when we can open our doors to patients legally (we were open on March 3rd for 46 minutes before getting clarification on "provisional certification"), but the response continues to be "no one is available to answer questions on the medical marijuana dispensary law - email with your questions".

    Meanwhile, patients go without medication in and around Albany.... unless they go to Salem, where several dispensaries are currently operating. Legally so? Not according to Tom Burns of the OHA.

    Our outpatient outreach is specifically prohibited in HB3460 (no delivery). So what are we to do? We played with the idea of opening on this next Monday anyway, state certificate or not, but we've built our reputation around our integrity and adherence to policy and despite the fact that we are losing hundreds of dollars a day and have medication tested and ready to go on the shelves, we must continue to wait.

    It's aggravating, and more than a few tears and profanities have been tossed around in our OMMP Lounge by patients and staff alike. The way the state handled this filing part is horrendously inadequate and damaging to patients.

    To our understanding, an onsite inspection by one of the two certifying officials might be required before we get our certificate. If the first applications won't start "trickling out" until March 17th, are dispensaries who want to follow the law looking at waiting until April to get certification? May? What do the patients do until then who have been already waiting until March 3rd to legally get their medication, as they were told?

    This is a terrible situation for law-abiding dispensaries. Do we KNOWINGLY break the law to ensure patients are taken care of? If we were one of the dispensaries we've complained about all along, this would be a no brainer, but we aren't. Our entire foundation has been our adherence to the law, but now that adherence is a liability!

    While we are and will always be patient centered, we are still a business and being prohibited from taking care of our customers, all while paying the usual bills of a business as though we are, is a death knell for a business. We have money going out the door every single day in utilities, OSHA compliance, construction, testing, payroll, supplies, etc. Until we get the state certificate, we have zero income. We were told March 3rd was the magic day, but when they rolled out the filing, now it's April 3rd? Maybe May 3rd?

    In the meantime, I guess there's always Craigslist for patients...
  2. Happybud
    Report Abuse
    Happybud - March 05, 2014 9:57 am
    This is a great day for Oregon Marijuana Prohibition! Deep down I never really believed that I would live long enough to see this day. I really wish that I had been physically cable of helping out more but I have faith in some of our more physically cable friends.
    "Yesterday the people spoke.... and Today, Somewhere, Some of them, Finally came to their senses and really actually listened......... It's about time"
    Today..... we pass a long burning torch to Jake and Ryan .......take it and run! ***Just always remember to do the right thing***
    Good Luck
    Sending Peace, Love and blessing.
  3. Ray Kopczynski
    Report Abuse
    Ray Kopczynski - March 04, 2014 8:00 am
    And the sun rose today - and the sky didn't fall... Amazing!
  4. Kyle Odegard Staff
    Report Abuse
    Kyle Odegard - March 03, 2014 6:35 pm
    I briefly talked with Greg Bechtel today, and he said they did apply.
  5. Mr G
    Report Abuse
    Mr G - March 03, 2014 6:02 pm
    Albany Alternative Health Solutions - Did they apply?
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