Ontario prepares for a wave of recreational marijuana dispensaries

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 20:24:58-05

ONTARIO, OR — Fifteen recreational marijuana dispensaries are planning to open up this year in Ontario, Oregon.

This comes after voters approved an ordinance allowing dispensaries within the city limits, however, before voters even went to the polls people started camping out in hopes of getting a license.

In order to get these people out of the cold the city came up with a priority number system starting with the first person in line, but that came with a catch, future dispensary owners were required to own property within the city.

"We did that to prevent fraud," said Community Development Director Dan Cummings.

The Community Development Center held a meeting on Wednesday morning where they asked people in line to submit their application, 12 of 15 did so.

Then the city started accepting applications starting with the highest priority and once their location was identified the city started drawing a one thousand foot buffer around that dispensary.

Buffers were put in to protect residents, dispensaries are not allowed with in one thousand feet of schools, parks, residential areas or other businesses.

The owner of Hot Box farms told us he was pleased with the process and the owner who runs one of two dispensaries in Huntington secured four spots in Ontario.

Cummings expects the first dispensary to open up in two months if the permit process moves forward smoothly.