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Dispensary generates money for Gold Hill

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, June 12 2014 at 6:05 PM, Updated: Thu, June 12 2014 at 10:50 PM

Gold Hill, Ore. -- After only four days of business, Breeze Botanicals the medical marijuana dispensary in Gold Hill has already generated hundreds of dollars for the city.

The managing owner, Brie Malarkey, said business is going strong.

"We've been getting 60-75 transactions a day," she said.

Those sales are translating to money for Gold Hill. City councilors have required a five percent sales tax on any medical marijuana product.

"We've collected on average $100 to $150 a day in the five percent  sales tax," said Malarkey.

Despite some residents' concerns that a dispensary would increase crime, the sales tax from Breeze Botanicals is earmarked
for public safety.

"We are trying to figure out funding for increased law enforcement," said Rick Hohnbaum, the Gold Hill City Manager, over the phone.

According to Hohnbaum, the city currently has a half time officer but is for right now relying on the dispensary as their only funding source to make their half time officer full time next year.

"It will cost us between 70-75 thousand for a full time community service officer," said Hohnbaum.

He said it would be even more for a full time sworn Jackson County deputy.

Malarkey said some of her patients don't necessarily agree with a sales tax on cannabis.

"If their doctor had prescribed Oxycontin or another pharmaceutical there's no tax on that," she said.

Regardless, Malarkey is just glad to be up and running.

Meanwhile, officials at the City of Gold Hill are hoping success for Malarkey's business will mean more money for public safety.

It won't be until next April or May that the Gold Hill City Manager said he expects a budget committee to okay increased law enforcement. 

Hohnbaum said it all depends on how much money they get from sales at Breeze Botanicals.

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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