Hotbox Farms, one of Oregon’s largest marijuana dispensaries, is a name to remember as many states near recreational legalization for marijuana. Started by high school friends, Steven Meland and Jeremy Breton, Hotbox Farms is a vertically integrated cannabis company located in Ontario, Oregon. Their story is not just a great example of how far great entrepreneurship can go, but also the positive impact dispensaries can have on communities.
It all started with Breton’s passion for growing cannabis. Although recreational use was not quite legalized in Oregon, Breton was growing for the medical industry until he decided he wanted to start growing cannabis for personal use. At a time when Oregon was inching closer to legalizing marijuana for non-medical cultivation, Breton contacted Meland for help to get full credentials to be able to sell legally. By 2016, the duo received all licenses, and HotBox was launched, becoming one of the first dispensaries to get licensed for recreational marijuana in the state of Oregon.
When first preparing to open up the dispensary, both Breton and Meland wanted to get as close to the Idaho border. They settled on Huntington, Oregon, a small town with only a population of 353 people at the time. However, before Hotbox could officially open its doors, the people of Huntington were to vote on whether the town wanted to permit dispensaries. The result was a dead tie and the winning vote went to the mayor, who luckily voted yes.
Hotbox was one of two dispensaries allowed near the Idaho border and was able to serve a population of around 1,000,000 people, with “1,200 to 1,500 people lining up each day.” Soon enough, HotBox became one of Oregon’s highest grossing dispensaries. The company brought in 3% tax for the local city, and helped the city earn $1.2 million