A budding enterprise: Woodburn's first cannabis dispensary opened up in March

View Comments Treestar, located on Industrial Avenue in Woodburn, claims that 90 percent of product is from small farms

Treestar, the first cannabis dispensary in Woodburn, opened its doors last month on Industrial Avenue.

The location is practically the only spot in Woodburn where such a shop could exist, something co-founder and CEO Orion Dierking discovered when calling up the city to inquire about starting a business.

“I called up the city planner, Jim Hendryx (who has since retired), and he said I hit the jackpot because this is the only location in the city where you can have a dispensary,” Dierking said.

The land, which also houses Northwest Coating Systems, Inc., is actually owned by the longtime girlfriend of Dierking’s father, who operates the Oregon Lavender Farm in Oregon City where Treestar co-founder and COO Ivan Gierer was farm manager.

“I’ve known him since he was 10 years old,” Gierer said of Orion Dierking.

As an adult, Dierking, now 29, became purchasing manager for the lavender operation, and he and Gierer became friends, talking about what it might be like to branch off and form their own business someday.

Both independently had become medical marijuana growers — “Ivan taught me how to grow five years ago,” Dierking said — and, after recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon, they thought about expanding into the retail market.

“It’s a big change to move an operation from medical to recreational,” Gierer said.

A cannabis retail business has stringent regulations, especially regarding size and location. Gierer worked closely with architects to build the facility, which the founders hope will also someday include a grow operation on site, the license for which is still pending with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Other specific rules include who is allowed on site

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