The Green Planet, a small chain of marijuana retail dispensaries with locations in Milwaukie, King City, Beaverton and others, has opened their newest store at the former Top O Hill Restaurant between Canby and Aurora.
If they’re not workshopping the motto “High On The Hill” — they’re doing something wrong.
The store — which first opened last February, just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, selling only cannibidiol, or CBD, oil and products while awaiting OLCC clearance and licensing to sell recreational marijuana — has faced enormous challenges.
Its initial opening was delayed by the unexpected death of one of the company’s three owners and founders, Justin West, in July 2019.
Then, there was the aforementioned pandemic (you may have heard of it) and the impact it had on state licensing and certification.
If that wasn’t enough, the store finally opened for recreational marijuana sales on Friday, Feb. 12 — hours before one of the most destructive ice storms in state history pummeled the region.
“We had to close early because of extreme weather conditions to ensure our staff got home before the road conditions got worse,” said Miranda Murray, co-owner of The Green Planet and West’s surviving spouse. “The power outage and the weather conditions kept us closed until we got a generator with enough capacity to run the store on the 19th.”
The lights came back on a couple days later, and Murray says the new store has been rocking ever since.
It’s the first dispensary near Canby (which prohibits both medical and recreational marijuana sales, by voter referendum) or Aurora — the city council of which voted last year to allow them but has no takers as of yet.
Most of their clientele seems to come from Canby, Murray noted.
“Tons of customers from Canby who are happy to not have to travel to the next town to get their supplies,” she said.
For decades, Top O Hill was a beloved local diner — particularly for residents in the vast rural areas surrounding Canby and Aurora. The restaurant closed in 2016 after 90 years in business when the then-owner retired.
The Green Planet team purchased it the following year for approximately $600,000, according to county records. The historic building needed lots of work, Murray said, as the new owners transformed the quaint, homey interior into a modern showroom with a wide-open floor plan.
“It was a complete overhaul,” Murray told The Canby Current. “The building had been neglected for far too long. As far as the design of it, we strive to keep things as similar to other locations as possible.
“The idea was that no matter what location you are at, you’ll find the same great products and prices at each of the stores. Keeping them as similar as we can will help ease customers who visit other locations with a familiar feel.”
All three of The Green Planet’s owners grew up in Oregon City and Canby, Murray said, and were proud to be able to open their first store in an area they still hold dear.
But for this particular location, West and Murray have an even more personal connection.
“My late husband and I had our first date there,” she said. “I was working in Wilsonville and he lived in Woodburn. We decided to meet there and grab some food. That was over 20 years ago.”
Opening this store without him was “bittersweet,” she admitted.
“He was alive when we purchased and completed the renovations,” she said. “But the OLCC took longer than we hoped, and I had to open it without him. I hope he’s proud of me. We should have been able to be there together.”
Murray said The Green Planet strives to offer an atmosphere for both customers and employees that is welcoming and safe for all.
“It’s not just a business to us,” she said. “It’s a family. We are all coworkers in this company. No one stands above any other. From the budtenders, to the managers, to the corporate staff, and to the owners. Where we go, we go together. We all help each other out.”
The Green Planet-Canby is located at 25496 South Highway 99E and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
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