Another pot shop opens in Columbia County

FruityBud

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At the start of this month, Cora Dreyer was in the midst of planning to open a medical marijuana club in Rainier when she learned one had just popped up in town So she took her idea down the highway to Scappoose.

Last Wednesday, on April 20, Dreyer, her husband Kristen and friend Debbie Haines, all from Rainier, opened up the county’s second pot shop, a pseudo-dispensary that seeks to give medical marijuana cardholders a simpler way to obtain the drug. It’s called the Big River Cannabis Club. Right now there is only one patron who signed up for the monthly $20 membership to the club. But Dreyer hopes word will soon spread.

“We are trying to help people,” said Haines, who is in the process of becoming a Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patient. Dreyer already holds her card and will be working in the back where the drugs are located.

Like other such pot shops popping up across the state (see March 30 Spotlight edition, “High hopes”), the Big River Cannabis Club, located at 50416 Columbia River Highway, operates similar to a medical marijuana dispensary. But dispensaries are illegal in Oregon. It is legal, however, for cardholding patients, like Dreyer, and growers, to supply other cardholders with the drug.

They can’t legally buy or sell the pot, but can accept donations to reimburse the actual cost of growing the pot.

At displayed costs of $10 a gram, the “donation” prices hover around the common street value.

Dreyer said she thinks the club will be a big hit in south Columbia County as there are plenty of OMMP cardholders living here.

As of April 1, 2011 the state reports there are 678 OMMP patients in Columbia County and 39,774 across the state. An overwhelming majority of cardholders — 36,000 — got on the program for “severe pain.”

The interior of Big River is brightly painted with pastel colors and the small waiting area is still void of decorations except for a white plastic chair. Both Dreyer and Haines were wearing matching green shirts Monday made by Haines that read, “Grow your own dope, plant a man.”

Soon the pair, who met while working as housecleaners four years ago, hope to finish decorating and installing the security system.

“We want people to feel comfortable,” Haines said.

To join the club you must pay the membership fee, have an up-to-date OMMP card on file and be over 21.

Big River Cannabis Club

What: Offering medical marijuana cardholders access to the drug as well as various food products containing THC.
Where: 50416 Columbia River Highway, Scappoose
Hours: M-F, Noon to 7 p.m.
Donation price per gram: $10

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