Burnt River Farms retail store, located at 1055 N.W. Washington Ave. by Love’s Travel Center. (Submitted photo)

ONTARIO — Two marijuana retail shops are open in Ontario and more are on the way.

Burnt River Farms joined Ontario’s cannabis scene Thursday, Aug. 8. According to Ontario Community Development Director Dan Cummings, the store opted for a quiet opening.

“Things have gotten a little better every day,” said Shawn McKay, co-owner of Burnt River Farms. McKay estimates that the store, located at 1055 N.W. Washington Ave. by Love’s Travel Center, is now stocking nearly 200 products. With all that variety, the basics remain the most popular. 

“Flower seems to rule the show,” McKay said. “People really want to buy weed.”

Burnt River Farms is one of the few dispensaries that opted to put up a new building for its business.

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McKay said the building was constructed with both customer experience and security in mind. The wood-paneled building features a ring of windows around the top that provides natural light so customers “feel like they’re shopping in any normal store,” while avoiding security issues that may arise from ground level windows, according to McKay. 

Treasure Valley Cannabis Company is also building its own store. The retailer plans to break ground in southeast Ontario in early September, according to the company’s marketing director Chase Muromoto.

“If you look at the lot now it’s just an empty space,” Muromoto said. Treasure Valley Cannabis, which also operates a cannabis farm, plans to have a window in the retail space so shoppers can peer into an adjacent grow room. 

Muromoto said the company doesn’t want to be a “gas station dispensary” where “you walk out with weed and never understand where it comes from.” 

Having growing experience might give new dispensaries an edge on Weedology – the first marijuana retailer in Ontario that had several weeks to build a customer base without any competition. At least, that’s what McKay of Burnt River Farms hopes.

“We’re a vertically integrated company,” McKay said, meaning that the company is also a marijuana producer and processer. Burnt River Farms grows cannabis in Huntington. Employing a “farm to market” model that McKay says is “unique to the cannabis industry,” Burnt River will carry its own products in addition to products from across the state. 

McKay says that 25% of the flower and 10% of the oils at the retail location are Burnt River Farms products. Because of the team’s experience at every step of the process, McKay said, the retailer and its 50 retail employees can better educate customers accordingly.  

Treasure Valley Cannabis also plans to carry products from its own farm. 

Hotbox Farms is also expected to join the Ontario cannabis scene soon. The building, located at 325 N.E. Goodfellow St., has been under remodeling since the beginning of the year. The company has operated an outlet in Huntington.

Have a news tip? Reporter Isabella Garcia: isabellagenterprise@gmail.com or 541-473-3377.

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