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Marijuana grow sets sights on former Pendleton grocery store

GhostTown Organix asks Planning Commission for permit on Riverside Place
Antonio Sierra

East Oregonian

Published on April 20, 2017 6:33PM

Last changed on April 20, 2017 7:36PM

A Boise company called GhostTown Organix has applied for a conditional use permit to open a marijuana grow operation in the old Prairie Market on Southeast Riverside Place in Pendleton.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

A Boise company called GhostTown Organix has applied for a conditional use permit to open a marijuana grow operation in the old Prairie Market on Southeast Riverside Place in Pendleton.

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On April 20, marijuana’s unofficial holiday, Pendleton’s cannabis industry showed more signs of growth.

The city released the agenda for the Planning Commission meeting next Thursday where the commission will consider granting conditional use for a marijuana grow, a first for Pendleton’s nascent cannabis market.

According to a city staff report, GhostTown Organix, a Boise company, wants to start a marijuana grow at 2515 N.E. Riverside Place, the site of an old Prairie Market grocery store.

Echo farmer Kent Madison is listed as the owner of the property on the zoning application, but he said his only involvement with the project is waiting for the city to issue the conditional use permit so that the sale can be finalized.

“I’m not necessarily supportive of the industry, but I’m not going to stop you if it’s legal in Oregon,” he said.

The application lists Sheri Ramirez as the owner of GhostTown Organix, who did not return a request for comment as of press time.

Oregon Secretary of State records show GhostTown Orgnanix was originally organized in October in Sumpter, a small Baker County town that is one of the handful of Eastern Oregon cities to legalize marijuana sales.

Ramirez filed a new address with the Secretary of State March 1, listing the Riverside site as the new location.

If GhostTown Organix is able to get both city and Oregon Liquor Control Commission approval, it would provide new life to the warehouse-style building.

Madison purchased the building in 2013, according to Umatilla County records, and the property has an assessed value of $328,120 and a real market value of $451,960. Coldwell Banker Whitney & Associates lists the property with a $399,000 price tag and said the building, built in 1972, is 19,050 square feet.

GhostTown Organix’s application states that the business will feature fencing for security and use a charcoal filter to prevent the building from emitting a marijuana odor. The business expects no additional traffic because it won’t be selling a retail product.

GhostTown Organix is just the latest business to try to jump into the marijuana market early after Pendleton voters approved cannabis sales in November.

Pendleton Cannabis opened April 13, becoming the city’s second recreational marijuana retailer. Owner Shawn Pace said his business opened with little fanfare.

“We didn’t make an announcement,” he said. “We just opened the doors.”

Although Pace was reticent to say whether the shop was doing well or not until it hit the month mark, business was brisk on Thursday at the former lube shop.

Having a 25 percent off sale on everything in the store, which includes marijuana, topicals, dabs and glassware, certainly helped.

Pendleton now has two marijuana stores open and two others that have selected sites but are still in the application process, although prospective marijuana shop owner Bryson Thurman is looking to move his proposed location away from Tutuilla Road after he encountered strong resistance from the neighborhood.

Due to Pendleton’s zoning laws, that means that cannabis entrepreneurs are quickly running out of real estate to put a business.

In addition to the state requirement that marijuana business be located beyond 1,000 feet of a school, the Pendleton City Council imposed 1,000-foot buffers for parks and other marijuana businesses.

The commission will meet April 27 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Pendleton City Hall , 500 S.W. Dorion Ave.

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Contact Antonio Sierra at asierra@eastoregonian.com or 541-966-0836.



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