Idahoans Flock to Cannabis Shop on Oregon–Idaho Border

Published on July 29, 2019 · Last updated July 28, 2020
(Brickclay, wellesenterprises/iStock)

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Idaho customers gave a new cannabis shop just across the Oregon–Idaho state line a booming first day in business.

When the store called Weedology opened this past Friday, customers from Idaho had been waiting in line for more than three hours, the Idaho Statesman reported. A large number of license plates in the parking lot were Idaho plates.

Weedology's location near the state line — and right off Interstate 84 — means now some Idaho residents will have to travel 15 minutes or less.

Marijuana is illegal in Idaho, but it’s legal in Oregon. It’s illegal to transport marijuana into Idaho as well, but that didn’t seem to be stopping customers who were eager to see what the store in Ontario, Oregon, had to offer.

Afton Cardosa, an Idaho resident who said she uses marijuana both medically and for pleasure, arrived at 7 a.m. and waited in line until the doors opened at 10 a.m.

“It’s something that we’ve been wanting and pushing for, and they finally heard the people and let us have it,” Cardosa said of the store. “It’s opening day. I didn’t know if there was going to be a party going on or long lines. First dispensary opening in Ontario, of course it’s going to be a long line.”

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For some time, Idaho residents such as Cardosa who consume cannabis have been traveling 1 ½ hours or more to the nearest Oregon dispensary. Weedology’s location near the state line — and right off Interstate 84 — means now some Idaho residents will only have to travel 15 minutes or less.

Nearly 200 customers were served in the first three hours of business on Friday, said Weedology’s general manager Eric Lantz.

“It's new to Ontario but not to Oregon. I'm not too worried about it.”

“We were kind of hoping for a softer opening, to get ourselves in order. But you know what? We are so excited to see this because we can step up,” he said. “It’s everything we wanted this to be. We are ecstatic for where we’re at right now.”

Payette County is as close as Idaho gets to Ontario, but Sheriff Chad Huff told the Statesman that his office has no plans to change its current enforcement policies.

“We’re not going to do anything different. We’re just going to continue to enforce the Idaho statues,” Huff said. “I haven’t planned on putting anyone else on. … It’s new to Ontario but not to Oregon. I’m not too worried about it.”

Ontario could receive up to $600,000 to $1 million a year from the taxes on marijuana, according to Ontario Community Development Director Dan Cummings.

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