A Saturday ribbon cutting ceremony signified a new place in the mainstream business community for cannabis stores in Corvallis.
High Quality became the first cannabis store to join the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce Saturday and workers celebrated with staff at the Chamber during the ceremony in front of their new location at 1435 N.W. Ninth St.
Trevor Griesmeyer, budtender and community specialist at High Quality, said it’s a full-circle moment for him more than two years after an ill-fated attempt to get a different cannabis store, Beaver Bowls, in the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce in 2018. Griesmeyer said he’s excited to work toward breaking down the stigma surrounding cannabis stores.
“I have a dream of introducing the business community to the shop,” he said. “From a physical standpoint, coming in and actually seeing that it’s a clean and regulated and organized business that does provide a lot to the community through education about cannabis and what it has to offer — but also through the taxes that go to our community through the sales of our products.”
Griesmeyer said the mission of High Quality to make a positive impact on Corvallis and be involved in the community, something he said has long been a goal of his.
“I grew up here,” Griesmeyer said. “My parents were very involved with the community and it’s just something I’ve always been a part of.”
Griesmeyer said that drive to give back stuck with him, and felt High Quality and the Chamber of Commerce share that drive.
“I believe in giving back to the community that you live in,” Griesmeyer said. “Finding a way to do that through the work that I’m doing — I believe strongly the Chamber was an avenue that we can go that gets us involved in the business community.”
Griesmeyer said a second attempt at joining the Chamber was a no-brainer after new leadership took over and he was surprised by the lack of resistance. Griesmeyer gave Simon Date, Chamber of Commerce president, a lot of credit for his support in the process.
Date said he didn’t really question it, wasn’t even aware of the Chamber’s existing rule against cannabis stores joining and was pleased with the Chamber’s open mind about changing the rule that excluded cannabis stores.
“It’s exciting,” Date said. “There is a huge amount of opportunity for us to help a business like this out. I think peoples’ attitudes, certainly in Oregon, have changed.”
Date said not every member of the Chamber was on board with the decision, which Date said he understood, but the board felt it was important to support a local business in a booming industry.
K. Rambo can be contacted at 541-812-6091 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter via @k_rambo_.