Idaho News

Ontario’s first marijuana dispensary expected to open this week

Ontario marijuana dispensary Weedology passed its state inspection and received its license last Friday.

Store Manager Eric Lantz said they began placing orders for products Friday in hopes of getting the shop open this week. They’re not sure what day, but they’d become the first pot shop to open right across the state line from the Treasure Valley, Ontario Community Development Director Dan Cummings told the Statesman on Monday.

“We’re hopefully going to be open by Wednesday ... but Friday is our anticipated opening,” Lantz said.

One last hurdle that could slow the opening: All products must be logged into Oregon’s Franwell Metrc Cannabis Tracking System. Three people will be logging product day and night, Lantz said.

A grand opening is planned in the next couple of weeks at the store, located at 591 E. Idaho Ave.

Ontario voters lifted a ban on marijuana sales last November. Ten sites in the city have been approved for dispensaries, and some have also received approval for producing, processing, wholesale and/or laboratories.

Lantz said he has hired about 30 people to work at Weedology. All will be trained to be “budtenders,” and from there they can move into other jobs running cash registers, overseeing inventory and becoming managers. Budtenders provide information to customers about products and specials. They start at $10-$13 an hour, Weedology’s online job ad shows.

Marijuana of any kind is still illegal in Idaho, but it’s no secret that a large percentage of sales at two shops in Huntington, Oregon, come from the Treasure Valley. Ontario is about 30 miles closer than Huntington for customers traveling from the Boise area.

Cummings said state projections show that Ontario could receive $600,000 to $1 million a year from the tax on pot sales.

DrugFree Idaho created a billboard campaign to thwart what it views as attempts to “normalize the use of marijuana,” the Statesman reported in March.

Public consumption of marijuana is illegal in Oregon, so you can’t just buy it in the shop and then use it in your car in the parking lot.

“Nothing is to be used on the premises. We will have zero tolerance,” Lantz said.

He said the business won’t allow loitering.

Weedology will be a cash-only shop. For those who forget that, there are two ATMs in the building. Its hours of operations will be 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily (last sale has to be done by 10 p.m.).

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