By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The site seems auspicious for owners Matt and Meghan Walstatter. The Hollywood store was one of the first in Oregon to sell alcoholic beverages after Prohibition ended in 1933.
“We could not have planned it better ourselves,” said Meghan Walstatter. “We are advocates for medical marijuana and the end of marijuana prohibition, so it’s an honor that we are opening our dispensary in a building that has such a rich history in the state in terms of the end of alcohol prohibition.”
The couple’s support comes from Matt Walstatter’s experience in using medical marijuana to deal with an extreme gastrointestinal illness.
“Without marijuana as medicine, I may have literally wasted away,” said Walstatter, who is a medical marijuana card holder. “I went from 170 pounds to 120 pounds in about four months, and no doctors from OHSU to the Mayo Clinic could figure out what was wrong with me.
“Without marijuana helping me maintain an appetite and keep my food down, the extreme nausea and vomiting that I was suffering all day, every day, would have ruined my life and my chances of being a business owner in Oregon.”
Because of his own experience, Walstatter said, he believes it is important for card holders to buy their medicine in a friendly, safe environment.
Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 1998. However, the legislature didn’t outline lawful distribution methods until late last year. Dispensaries may apply to the Oregon Health Authority for a license after March 3. They must meet many requirements, including security, record-keeping, testing and labeling, Walstetter said.
“It is very important to us that we do everything by the book and are fully compliant before we apply for our official license in March,” said Meghan Walstetter. “We are committed to being a leader in this industry in Oregon as a whole and in our community in Portland, and that means that we are taking the regulations very seriously.”