Ontario’s first marijuana store opens this week

Weedology will be the first recreational marijuana retailer to open in Ontario this week. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)

ONTARIO —Weedology, Ontario’s first dispensary, is scheduled to have a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 25, according to store manager Eric Lantz.

The recreational marijuana retailer has been in the works since Ontario voters repealed the local ban on the retail sale of marijuana products late last year. In early January, the city started accepting conditional use permit applications for weed entrepreneurs.

Dan Cummings, Ontario community development manager, currently has 14 applications from 10 operators. Weedology is the only store fully licensed to open, winning the race to be Ontario’s first dispensary, although Burnt River Farms LLC is close behind.

Cummings said Burnt River Farms LLC just received its city certification Tuesday, July 23, and is awaiting approval from the state. Two other dispensaries, Hotbox Farms and Chadcore Holdings 2 LLC, are in construction and one, East Lane Holdings LLC, has been approved for construction, but has yet to obtain its permit.

After receiving licenses from both the state and the city last week, Lantz said Weedology has been in contact with its various suppliers to get product on the shelves as soon as possible. With flower, edibles, tinctures and more being shipped “almost overnight” from Bend and Portland, Lantz hopes to have the store ready for sales for the ribbon cutting at the store Thursday.

The dispensary has been in development since January when the location, 591 E. Idaho Ave., was announced and Lantz started reaching out to vendors. For the past three months, the store has been building an employee pool of 27 budtenders and product managers.

That timeline has left some eager customers in suspense. Lantz said that people visit the closed store constantly.

“It’s every day,” Lantz said. “Tens and tens all day. It’s a wide range of people.”

Lantz makes a point of mentioning the variety of people who are excited for the shop because the stereotypes that surround marijuana users.

“We’re trying to present an education-based sales approach and break the stigma,” Lantz said. The team hopes to educate customers about the options for marijuana consumption beyond smoking. Because of that, customers can expect a lot more than bud on the shelves.

“You name it, we’re looking to stock it,” Lantz said. The menu may be limited in the beginning as the Weedology team learns what the community is looking for, but the store plans to expand its offerings quickly, including following the necessary steps to sell medical marijuana in additional to recreational.

News tip? Contact reporter Isabella Garcia at [email protected] or 541-473-3377.