OREGON: Inside the earth-toned, pungent confines of Sweet Relief Natural Medicine on Commercial Street, a brisk business is going quite smoothly, according to owners Gary Reynolds and Oscar Nelson.
The two opened Sweet Relief, Clatsop County’s first licensed medical marijuana dispensary, four months ago between a nail salon and a mortgage center on Commercial Street in downtown Astoria. They’ve recently been joined by the Farmacy in Uppertown, an eclectic partnership of locals and Seattlites that opened less than two weeks ago along Marine Drive.
The two dispensaries and Astoria represent the start of a new medical marijuana industry serving nearly 600 Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders in Clatsop County and visitors from afar. All other cities in the county have enacted moratoriums on dispensaries. Warrenton’s, Seaside’s and Gearhart’s last until May 1, while Cannon Beach’s expires Nov. 1.
“We’re really seeing how many people needed this,” said Reynolds, a construction contractor who turned to medical marijuana to help with pain. Sweet Relief, he added, has about 620 unique customers — a term often interchangeable with patients — who’ve been using the dispensary since it opened May 5. The traffic to the store has worked out to about 34 people per day, consistently, over the last several months, said Nelson, a former financial planner and also owner of Astoria Indoor Garden Supply.