Richard Montoure, down from Seattle, has started a new life and believes that the business of medical and recreational marijuana will be his future.
“This can be a life changing industry for the area,” said Montoure from his new port warehouse and recently licensed Good to Grow medical marijuana dispensary.
“We run delivery service at the moment, but hope to hold a Grand Opening on April 20.”
For those with valid medical marijuana recommendations, delivery service is available daily from 12 –8 pm until the walk-in dispensary opens.
Entrepreneur, previous residential contractor and medical marijuana investor, Montoure is hoping to bring jobs along with being in the forefront of the marijuana industry that has its legacy in medical marijuana for Washington State.
Montoure, a medical marijuana recipient himself, started using the herb as medicine after 15 years in the contracting industry.
“During the housing recession things started to change for me, and it was close to the same time that I was starting to be introduced to medical marijuana as a business,” he said.
The ability for medical patients to grow their own plants proved to Montoure that he had a knack for growing the plant, and seeing others working in the industry, he started taking his growing and carpentry skills and applying them together.
“I had started my first garden in the same office building as my contracting company in Seattle. But it was not well received. I next moved to Snohomish but the landlord was having financial difficulties and I had to move my garden again. A friend had mentioned Raymond to me, that the Port had some available buildings and were accepting recreational marijuana producers and processors. He wanted me to help him with a grow room, as I started making those for people as well, and found a much better atmosphere for the new industry in Raymond.”
Montoure was very impressed with the attitude of Port staff and the local attitude about the marijuana industry. But it would be a text message from his landlord in Snohomish that would push him to make the decision that would set him on a new path. “The message said that I had to vacate the property due to the bank foreclosing on the landlord, the plants had to go.”
In a matter of a few days, Montoure had weighed his options, contacted the Port, and worked on a contract to lease his current building. “I have relocated to the area and have had my license to operate for a few months, we are just now at the point to open up this facility for medical marijuana and I believe I am the only dispensary for a 30 mile radius.”
Montoure and his Good to Grow staff, who are currently volunteers learning the business and are in hope of a permanent position, will find out what the customer base is very soon.
“I really have no idea how many medical patients will wish to join the collective garden,” he said.
One of the major differences between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is that on the recreational side there are currently three levels to the operation: producer, processor and retailer. With medical marijuana, a “collective garden” can serve as all three functions for their patients.
“A collective garden consists of at least three medical card holders. Each has the right to grow up to 15 plants at a time. The collective garden, like here at Good to Grow, allows those who do not have the ability or space to grow their own medicine, to join together under one roof and create a collective garden to service the patients.”
Good to Grow is currently harvesting and delivering a couple of different strains to area patients, and has drawn a lot of attention both from the locals and even some of those at the higher end of the medical marijuana movement. Montoure notes that he has visitors all the time, especially the media…”We have nothing to hide, we are compliant with all the laws and are here to help a new industry.”
Montoure is very open about what he is doing in the Port, and believes that this area, the Port of Willapa Harbor, may just be the place that is ground breaking for the industry.
“I am expecting a visit from the people at Diego Pellicer, who are interested in what I am doing down here.”
Diego Pellicer recognized as the first national premium marijuana, is in part, Jamen Shively, Founder & Executive Director of Diego Pellicer, Inc., a former Microsoft Corporate Strategy Manager.
“This area has been in the national news, based on the industry, in the past weeks. People are starting to show up.”
With the current stop to at least one piece of Washington legislation, Senate Bill 5887, which looked to merge recreational and medicinal marijuana, at least in part, did not make it to a vote prior to the legislature adjourning. The Bill will have to wait and be re-visited in the next session, as last minute amendments, believed to be around the point of taxes, killed the bill prior to a final vote.
For some on the medical side of the marijuana issue, they believe legislation like 5887 will hurt the patients currently being served by the industry. But for investors like Montoure and the Good to Grow collective, he thinks it is just a matter of time before the industry will merge and is preparing for that eventuality.
“It makes sense that the two systems will merge, but it will not happen over night. It may happen in a year or two. And I think that in five years the entire system that we see today will have changed and fully implemented.”
With this in mind, Good to Grow is keeping space available for the I-502 roll-out and hopes that at least in the beginning, the facility will grow for both sides of the market.
“As long as we keep separation of the two different systems, we should be able to furnish both recreational and medicinal users with a plentiful supply.”
Local city, county and port entities keep checking with the new facilities as the business is introduced into Pacific County, to ensure that current regulations and requirements are being followed.
“We just had people in from the county, and we were told we were “Good to Grow.”