Dispensary admitted into Corvallis Chamber of Commerce puffs along

The difference one year has made for High Quality, a dispensary admitted into the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.


Jess Hume-Pantuso

Brock Binder, owner of High Quality, poses inside the dispensary on December 5, 2022 in Corvallis.

James Kelley, News Contributor

For years, the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce put off admitting medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries into the organization for clerical reasons.

Fearing backlash from its members and from the greater Benton County community, admitting dispensaries posed a risk to the chamber. Part of the concern was that it had never been done before.

That is, until Jan. 2021, when High Quality, a locally owned dispensary was accepted. 

Founded in 2014 by Brock Binder, a former agricultural business management student at Oregon State University, High Quality has always had a headstrong mission to be involved in the community and network with other like-minded local businesses. 

“Our approach has always been education through integration,” Binder said. “We really wanted to position ourselves to be a resource, so we initially established ourselves with the city council and the Chief of Police at the time.”

The dispensary has aimed to be a non-intrusive and respectful resource for adults looking to imbibe cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, Binder explained.

He started the dispensary after encouraging his mother to use cannabis as a medicinal pain reliever and seeing her depart from the prescription opioids she had relied on for back pain. After studying physical therapy, he realized that a medicinal approach can sometimes be more effective in quick and long-lasting pain relief, and moved forward with this idea by starting High Quality.

The dispensary’s community engagement officer, Trevor Griesmeyer, has worked as a business liaison for a few organizations in the past, including an insurance company and another dispensary, and knows the value of business networking through organizations like the chamber of commerce.

“I saw the value of being involved with the business community here and identified the chamber as a great avenue to further business endeavors but also to remove the stigma that cannabis has,” Griesmeyer said. “We’ve opened people’s eyes to other options when it comes to medicinal aspects, therapy, and helping their body and wellbeing overall, and being involved in that organization we have people coming through the door that maybe wouldn’t have stepped foot in a cannabis dispensary in the past.”

According to the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce’s official website, benefits of being admitted to the chamber include being connected with other similar-minded businesses and professionals, access to public forums and community involvement, inclusion into the chamber’s substantial business directory and many other resources that make a big difference for companies like High Quality.

Simon Date, the current president and CEO of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce said that after High Quality’s application was received in December 2020, there was much debate among the chamber members. 

“In terms of backlash, we did have some,” Date said. “It was from a few significant parties, but when we talked through the reasons we might accept them, most people were happy.”

However, much of the trouble for admitting High Quality had to do with banks and clerical issues. In the past, the chamber has had a difficult time placing deposits into banks after accepting payments from organizations that were not federally funded. Because High Quality was not federally funded, this represented a problem for the organization.

Nevertheless, the chamber took a stance. 

“We spoke with our board, and we went back and forth with different folks about it, and we said you know what, these guys in Oregon are legally conducting business, so why can’t we take them on as members?” Date said. “This isn’t 1978 anymore.”

According to Date, if you are a legal business in the state of Oregon and operating in the Corvallis-Benton County area, there should be no discrimination on the part of the chamber based on the type of business you run. 

“The reasons we brought them in were to support them as a business. Part of our slogan is, ‘we are for all businesses,’” Date said. “Whatever your view is on it, they are a legally running business and we should be able to support them.”

High Quality has been a member of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce since January 2021 thanks in part to the efforts of Date, Griesmeyer and Binder. It is located at 1435 NW Ninth St. in Corvallis.

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