OR: Two New Marijuana Dispensaries Planned In Hood River

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Hood River's roster of marijuana dispensaries may soon grow to six.

Two formerly vacant buildings will become retail cannabis outlets, according to business proposals submitted to local planning departments.

A marijuana dispensary on the Heights, Evergreen Hood River, is nearly remodeled and set to open soon, its owners announced on Facebook.

Another dispensary - name yet to be determined - is planned for the former Fruit Tree building on Westcliff Drive, where a prominent Colorado franchise is expanding into the Oregon market, along with a companion location in northeast Portland.

Evergreen Hood River, located at 1408 13th St., was licensed this year for recreational sales by Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Formerly, the agency's database labeled the business as medical-only.

Evergreen's crew has remodeled a single-family home next to Ten Speed Coffee with a rustic pine motif and an ADA-accessible ramp. It will be the first marijuana dispensary in the Heights Business District.

"We've been working hard to transform this 100-year old house into a lovely retail cannabis shop," Evergreen Hood River said in a Sept. 20 Facebook post. "It's been quite a process, but as the work is coming to an end, we are very excited about the result."

The owner is Ryan Linder, of Portland, according to a site plan review application okayed by the Hood River city planning department. Planners approved a change of use for the property, from residential to commercial, in March.

According to a narrative attached to the site plan, "The owner does not propose to increase the building area, or change its character. The historic nature of the home will be preserved."

The store will operate with one or two staff on site during normal business hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the narrative states. There will be no growing or processing of marijuana on site, just sales. OLCC prohibits marijuana use on retail premises.

The business is planning to have its soft opening "soon," though the final date wasn't announced by press time.

A sixth marijuana dispensary, at 4140 Westcliff Drive, will also require an extensive remodel. The former Fruit Tree building will get decked out with a modern "hipster" look.

Luke Ramirez, owner of Denver-based Pete's Premium Cannabis, is the new Westcliff dispensary owner. He estimates - by rough approximation - remodeling will take 120-150 days, and the business could open its doors in early 2017.

Ramirez, who has been involved in the cannabis industry since 1996, said he's excited to become a part of the community in Hood River.

"The first time I got to Hood River, I fell in love with it ... (I thought) I've got to make something happen here, so I have an excuse to hang out here," Ramirez said.

The Westcliff location will be tucked just beyond the city's urban growth area - about 250 feet outside, explained Hood River County senior planner Keith Cleveland.

The Fruit Tree building, formerly an Asian restaurant, has been largely vacant for years. It most recently hosted the Hood River Warming Shelter, in 2015. Hood River Shelter Services is currently determining its location for this winter.

Plans aren't final, but Ramirez said the company is considering putting its own logo over the existing Fruit Tree sign, which is visible from Interstate 84 - one of the first sights encountered by drivers heading eastbound.

The business doesn't yet have a name, but Ramirez said he's open to suggestions from Hood River locals.

Marijuana tax coming

Early retail sale of cannabis was legalized in Hood River County in October of 2015. A tax on the product, however, will take effect soon.

A sales tax on marijuana will be phased in during early 2017 - a 17 percent state tax, and an up to 3 percent rate imposed by local governments, under condition that those jurisdictions get voter approval to implement the tax.

Hood River City Council voted earlier this month to put proposals for a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales on the November general election ballot.

"Money collected shall be allocated toward public safety and education," the ordinance states, though details regarding the programs that revenue will fund aren't finalized.

Voters will decide whether to implement the tax on Nov. 8.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Two New Marijuana Dispensaries Planned In Hood River
Author: Patrick Mulvihill
Photo Credit: Patrick Mulvihill
Website: Hood River News
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