ONTARIO — Just off I-84 near the Idaho/Oregon border, a new store is opening its doors, and taking the title as the first pot shop stop in Ontario.
"The excitement and just the nervousness is all there together, but all we can say is we're ready to move forward and make Weedology something it should be;' it's something that we can all be proud of in Ontario and something that can really be beneficial to a lot of people," said general manager of Weedology Eric Lantz. .
Views on cannabis vary, but regardless, Ontario's Chamber of Commerce says there's quite an economic impact associated with this new store.
"I think there were 20 employees lined up here today, and if we have 10 dispensaries and you get each of them have 20 employees, that's 200 additional jobs for a town of 10,000, so that's pretty huge," said Ontario Chamber of Commerce CEO John Breidenbach.
Some of that financial boom is likely even heading into Idaho. The majority of the employees are from Ontario, but a handful commute from Idaho. As long as they have a valid Oregon marijuana workers permit, they're eligible for a position. But management says they plan to stay local as over 650 people have applied for jobs.
"We're going to be able to grow and make these positions more resourceful for people, and as we get larger and as we get to the place we'd like to be, I think this just a large impact to all the dispensaries and the cannabis industry can bring to Ontario and Malheur County in general," said Lantz.
As the employees gear up for the big day, 3% of their sales will go towards the city.
"We have a lot [of product]," joked employee Stephanie Lang.
"We are here just to educate, so you guys can recreate and medicate," said Lantz.