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Rolling in green? Bend businesses prep for legal pot


The countdown to July 1 is on and Bend businesses are gearing up for a blooming industry: recreational marijuana.

“There are definitely more people who are interested in growing marijuana,” Bend’s Indoor Garden Station owner Ashley Beaudoin said Friday. “We’ve noticed more of an influx of your average baby-boomers coming in, saying, ‘Hey, I’m ready to start, where do you start?”‘

For starters, wait until it’s legal for recreational use –on July 1, households will be able to keep up to four marijuana plants grown out of public sight. Adults over the age of 21 will be able to carry up 1 ounce of marijuana, and keep up to 8 ounces at home. Consumption will not be allowed in public.

Beaudoin said she’s not only excited to help people start learning about growing, but also ready to bring the conversations out in the open.

“People don’t usually come in and be very specific on what they want because there is that shroud and that stigma,” Beaudoin said.

She said because of the stigmas attached to marijuana, she and her husband have worked hard to create an atmosphere that is comfortable and safe for both medical marijuana patients looking for supplies, and other gardeners whose interests might revolve more around orchids and tomatoes.

November’s voter-approved Measure 91 legalizing the plant has helped.

“There’s absolutely more questions” about marijuana from customers, Beaudoin said. “A lot of them have already taken the steps to move forward, so when July hits they’re ready to rock.”

But what do you need to get started?

First of all, growers will need to get their own seeds or clones; those can’t be purchased legally until at least 2016.

As for space, Beaudoin says look no further than indoors or a greenhouse — the High Desert climate isn’t kind to outdoor marijuana grows.

And be prepared to pay. Beaudoin said $300 can get you started with the basics.

“Lighting and ventilation — once you’re in control of your environment, you can grow anything indoors,” Beaudoin said.

As for water and heating costs, Beaudoin said four plants won’t add much to utility costs.

“It’s like running a dryer,” she said.

After you’re done growing marijuana, you’re not done shopping: you’ll need accessories to smoke.

Bend head shops told NewsChannel 21 sales have spiked since Measure 91 passed.

“Definitely new customers, lots of new customers,” said Puff Puff Pass owner Mark Rotunda. “The older people have come around.”

Legally, employees at Puff Puff Pass will tell you they sell water tubes for smoking tobacco, but that message seems to come with an invisible wink.

“Come on, who actually smokes tobacco out of this?” Rotunda said, pointing to a bong.

He hopes when July comes around, his employees will be able to start calling products what they actually are.

“We still have to say it’s for tobacco use only, so it’s hard to help people,” Rotunda said. “Especially with the vaporizers, the people who haven’t used them yet need to know how they work.”

It’s an industry ready to leave the shadows and expand beyond medical patients — eager for the green light on a new market and a new era.

“Everyone’s counting on July for this great cloud to be lifted,” Beaudoin said.

To familiarize yourself with all the rules for legal recreational marijuana, you can visit the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s webpage on the topic:

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