Eric Brown of Sweet Home has gone without medical marijuana to ease arthritic back pain for two months, after the closure of the Going Green Compassion Center dispensary outside of Lebanon.
On Wednesday afternoon, he visited Going Green’s new office at 1225 Commercial Way on the east side of Albany.
“I got my medical marijuana card in January,” Brown said. “This is my first time at the Albany shop. I’ve been keeping my eye on their website, waiting to see when they were going to open.”
He plans to frequent Going Green’s new Sweet Home shop when it opens in coming weeks.
The Albany shop opened Saturday, “As soon as our new license came in,” said co-owner Sarah Whiteley.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Whiteley and her husband, Shawn Aman, had operated their shop near Lebanon for one year before Linn County imposed a one-year moratorium on allowing medical marijuana dispensaries outside of incorporated cities.
“It probably cost us about $40,000,” Whiteley said of the down time.
But she and her husband attended hearings about the issue by the Albany City Council. When the council approved dispensaries, they began searching for available buildings within approved business zones.
“There were a few building owners who didn’t want to rent to our type of business,” she said.
Their new building is larger than the Lebanon site and although they have been open for business less than a week, they are getting five to 10 new customers per day. They had about 1,140 customers in Lebanon and are up to about 1,200 now.
“I’d like to thank the Linn County Board of Commissioners because without their decision, Going Green Albany would not be a reality,” her husband said.
The Going Green Compassion Center offers much of the same medical marijuana and supplies as their old shop, but they’ve added some edibles as well. They have also increased child-proof containers due to the edibles.
Whiteley said some of her customers are already taking their purchases to Canna Kitchen in Albany, where it is processed into salves and oils.
Whiteley and Aman have applied for a refund of the $4,000 state license fee for their Lebanon operation and had to put down another $4,000 for the Albany operation.
They plan to open a shop at 940 Main St. in Sweet Home as soon as that location’s license is approved.
“What’s interesting is that people have created carpools to come here,” Whiteley said of her loyal clientele.
Whiteley said remodeling of the new building began last month and cost a few thousand dollars including new locks and a video surveillance system, required by state rules.
Going Green Compassion Center will host an open house and barbecue from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at 1225 Commercial Way.
Oregon Medical Marijuana cardholders can make purchases as usual, but non-cardholders will also be allowed to tour the facility and enjoy the barbecue.
For more information, call 541-405-8856.
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