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Rhody dispensary has new ownership posted on 07/02/2018

Michael Budd and his wife, Cheryl, were in Oregon last year in search of finding the right marijuana business to acquire.

The pair rented a car and drove around the state, but couldn’t find anything.

Fate intervened, however, as the pair missed their flight back home to Indiana and in the extra day they were here, got a call about the Mt. Hood Rec Center in Rhododendron as a possible match.

Budd drove up to the mountain, met the staff and made a deal that afternoon to purchase the business. He and his wife caught the next flight back home, bought an RV and drove back to the Mountain to run the dispensary, now named the Mt. Hood Cannabis Company.

“About the only mistake I made was I didn’t realize Oregon didn’t have sales tax,” Budd said, noting that he could have saved money on the RV purchase. “I was very lucky. It’s a wonderful business, our customers are wonderful (and) I have a great staff.”

Budd, who had an advertising agency in Indiana, noted that they’ve basically stayed out of running the business since they took over last December, focusing on marketing, community engagement and augmenting what the staff does without changing what they do really well. That includes one employee who was named “Budtender of the Month” recently by Oregon Leaf.

Budd has found about half the business comes from locals and half from tourists and the dispensary offers a range of products that appeal to all of them.

“We try to keep a real wide selection of moderately priced products for our local customers,” Budd said, adding that revenues are derived equally from edibles, concentrates and flower. “We provide a discount for all local residents all the time.”

Budd is also looking to expand offerings, with the addition of six green-friendly tiny houses that will offer tourists a chance to tour a working farm and enjoy a cannabis-infused meal.

The first tiny house is already on site, while Budd hopes to sell five more to investors and split the revenue with them.

The Mount Hood Cannabis Company is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, at 73410 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron. For more information, call 503-622-4272 or visit www.mthoodrec.com. A store menu is available at www.leafly.com.

Garth Guibord/MT

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