Luther, OK —The rumor about a cannabis grow operation going into the old Dollar General location on Ash Street in Luther is accurate.
The Town of Luther’s Planning Commission and Board of Trustees recently approved an application for someone to lease the 51,311 square foot retail space and fill the former shopping aisles with marijuana plants “to be sold to dispensaries for medical purposes.”
The applicant lists a Tampa, Florida, address and an area code from Kansas. Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority records show that phone number associated with a couple of other grow operations in Webbers Falls, OK.
Empty for nearly five years, and on the market advertised as an “ideal cannabis location” for at least a year, buzz about the activity at the property surfaced this week. The location is between the Sonic Drive-In and the Luther Mill & Farm Supply on Ash/Luther Road just south of Route 66.
Since 2016, when the Dollar General relocated to its present location on Highway 66, we’ve wondered and dreamed about what might go in there. Facebook threads surfaced once in a while with commenters wishing for a bowling alley, auto parts store or anything that will bring some retail variety and jobs to Luther.
Anyone serious about getting the property likely had to balance their business plan and potential revenue against the property value of about $600,000, according to the Oklahoma County Assessor, and all of the other costs to start a business and deal with a building that’s been empty for so long. That’s a lot of bowling shoe rentals or car parts to sell to make it work. And apparently a lot of cannabis.
The applicant wrote that the size of the building is “ideal for operations, great location for marketing and sales.”
The OMMA website lists 25 cannabis grow operations in the 73054 zip code for Luther. It’s worth a little trip down memory lane and the Luther Register archives, to way back when medical marijuana became legal in 2018 and a new industry sprung up in the state overnight. Then, town leaders had an interesting time adapting and the Town eventually got sued for denying a grow permit to a business on the rural edge of the town limits. Concerns, at the time were about security, heavy traffic and whether the passersby would smell what was growing inside.
The lawsuit eventually went away and that grower got its license, and the cannabis chronicles in Luther died down as the state adjusted to the new industry. It’s telling that this grower’s application, to operate on the main drag into Luther, was approved without fanfare or protest.
The application said the grow business will not affect traffic but will benefit adjacent properties and/or the Town of Luther with “tax revenue, building upkeep and community relationships.”
No word yet on whether the new grow will sell to Luther’s only cannabis dispensary, The Highdy Hole.
Remember when WalMart came, and left Luther? Read here.