Prospective cannabis business could be housed in Ashland Railroad District

Ashland, Ore. — The cannabis industry in Oregon is continuing to grow.

A prospective business in Ashland hopes to be the first in the city to combine sales with an indoor marijuana farm.

“There’s not really a space like this anywhere in the state,” Luke Olsen said.

Luke Olsen is an Ashland resident and the prospective owner of an indoor marijuana grow and retail facility.

Located on A Street in Ashland’s historic railroad district, Olsen says it would also be a healing and arts center, hosting several different businesses.

“I’d like to see Ashland provide a space that the cannabis community and all of the surrounding businesses can come together and collaborate,” Olsen said.

According to Olsen, one side would be dedicated to growing and selling cannabis, with the other half offering hemp products.

It would include places like a basic spa, a restaurant, a juice bar, and hemp clothing.

Olsen says Southern Oregon cannabis farmers are looking forward to the potential of showcasing their products, but others in the neighborhood have mixed feelings about the idea.

“I’m not sure I feel it’s an appropriate place for it,” Ashland resident Barry Peckham said.

Barry Peckham has lived in Ashland for 44 years.

He knows the history of the building.

“For a while it was kind of like a mini mall and people would go there and they’d have music there and different things so in a sense that would be my preference for something in this neighborhood,” Peckham said.

For him, it’s important the building’s next phase creates jobs.

Olsen says that’s exactly what they would do.

“[It would] definitely bring a lot of jobs and a lot more businesses into this park that are specifically oriented to each other,” Olsen said.

He says that location is ideal because it’s close to other businesses, there’s parking available and the building is already laid out for small businesses to thrive together.

All that’s left, is the lengthy process to get approval.

“The city has to approve the site plan review. And then once they give their approval then our land-use compatibility is approved and we can submit that to the OLCC. Then they put us in cue for licensing which is a six to eight month process right now,” Olsen said.

If all is approved, Olsen expects the dispensary to be open next April with the indoor grow put in place soon after.

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