Last Friday I looked up Canna Kitchen, a business that has operated — with a city of Albany land use permit in the form of an approved site plan — for two years on Ferry Street S.W. But now it is caught up in the drive by four city council members to ban medical marijuana dispensaries for up to a year.
It’s not easy to spot Canna Kitchen & Research LLC from the street. No garish signs. I drove by twice before I zeroed in on the address, one in a row of light-industrial shops. Rhea Graham runs the business, which helps people with medical marijuana cards turn their plant material into other products such as ointments, capsules, tinctures and sprays.
Strictly speaking it’s not a dispensary because it does not sell marijuana. Card holders bring in their own product to be converted, and the company says it charges only what it costs to do so. But it applied for an Oregon dispensary license anyway and closed on March 1 pending the arrival of the state’s OK. Meanwhile some helpers have been building a strong room and installing security as the state requires of dispensaries. “It’s as though we were storing gold,” Rhea’s mother remarked.
Councilman Bill Coburn has served notice that he wants Canna Kitchen to be exempted if the council goes ahead and bans dispensaries for a year, which four members said they want to do when they vote on April 9. It may be a challenge for the city to ban some medical marijuana businesses and not others. The council is likely to discuss this at a work session April 7.
From my visit, I came away with the impression that the place may be a bit quirky but that it is absolutely harmless. There is nothing there that warrants any kind of ban. (hh)