High Quality becomes first marijuana dispensary to join Chamber of Commerce

High Quality is the first marijuana dispensary to be added to the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce. The dispensary originally started out as purely medicinal, but has now moved to selling recreational marijuana as state and national legislation evolved.

Jeremiah Estrada, News Contributor

High Quality has now become a part of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce as the first medicinal marijuana dispensary, after joining the organization this past January.

The business was founded by Brock Binder in 2014 who wanted to provide medical marijuana as an alternative to people. He studied agricultural business management at

Oregon State University. 

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After, Binder went on to intern at Can! Research center in Corvallis, Ore. working on a study at the economic feasibility of becoming a marijuana producer in the state of Oregon for his thesis. He leveraged the study to raise funding to start High Quality.

“I watched my mother suffer battling lower back challenges,” Binder said. “She was born without cartilages in her lower spine so she had to resort to her doctor’s recommended prescription of opioids being oxycodone and vicodin. I wanted to find a solution for her that could help her cope with that pain.”

High Quality joining the Chamber of Commerce allows the business to have an opportunity to educate people about cannabis and to have more involvement in the Corvallis business community. 

According to Trevor Griesmeyer, High Quality community engagement officer, they reached out to the chamber with the idea in Dec. 2020 and received support from them about becoming a new member.

“It definitely was a goal of mine to kind of bring the cannabis industry into a portion of the business world where it normally hasn’t been seen in the past,” Griesmeyer said. “The Chamber is just a perfect avenue that matched what we’re looking for within our community and a way that we can be further involved.”

Businesses that are members of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce have many benefits such as visibility, access, ongoing training and education, networking, low-cost advertising opportunities, advocacy and money-saving discounts and free resources. Their mission is to serve, lead and represent the business community and advance its interests for the good of the entire community.

Chamber of Commerce president Simon Date said High Quality is a legitimate business just like any other business and should be given the same opportunity to be part of and be promoted by their organization. According to Date, a dispensary was not able to join the chamber in the past due to the regulations with banks about paying for membership fees through just cash. Those accounting processes have been changing over the past several years allowing High Quality to come into the organization.

Date said this gives the chamber the opportunity to diversify their newer categories with newer types of businesses. Dispensaries are fairly young compared to restaurants that have been around for many years.

“It’s nice for people to see that we truly do care about all businesses in the community,” Date said. “We’re excited, they’re certainly gaining acceptance in the community now, certainly in Oregon. and I would say most

of the nation.”

Griesymeyer said he sees being a part of the Chamber of Commerce as a way for High Quality to give back to the community and gain more exposure. They are now able to participate in various programs and community events that happen in the city.

Becoming a part of this organization allows High Quality to be offered as a resource to those in need.

“Being deemed an essential business last year allowed us to stay afloat and be an aid for those in need,” Binder said via email. “This included providing funds and space to assist ‘It’s On Us Corvallis’ to provide food to those in need; as well be a central  drop off location for supplies for those displaced during the wildfires at the Benton County Fairgrounds.”

According to Binder, High Quality’s community values include human connection and building relationships along with providing the proper medicine. After moving the store to a new location, the business started to maximize what they can provide by seeing more customers and offering more amenities.

Binder explained that their plans are to keep hearing the needs of the city and to keep furthering their footprint. They want to continue being a resource of education on plant medicine and advocating for mental health in Oregon.

“We hope to continue to contribute as much as we can and add as much value [as] we can to the city,” Binder said.