It’s official: Albany’s Canna Kitchen Research is open for business, and owner Rhea Graham is thrilled with the reception her marijuana processing shop has received.

“It’s been fantastic,” Graham said Saturday, describing Friday’s first day of business.

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She said 12 people signed in Friday, indicating they are interested in being members. The kitchen is set up like a club as a way of restricting access to registered Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders.

All the attention so far has been positive, Graham said, with no protesters or angry letters.

Albany’s Canna Kitchen works like this:

Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders bring in their own cannabis. The drug is assigned a number and processed into a smokeless product in an edible or topical form, then returned to the customer.

The kitchen is not in the dispensary business.

Instead, explained Kendra Ludahl, Graham’s daughter and sole employee, cardholders bring in their own medicine and then, after processing, take home their own medicine.

They pay only for processing. For example, an OMMP cardholder may bring in, a quarter-ounce of marijuana and have it converted into one of seven smokeless options for $35.

Most products are made by cooking the marijuana “slow and low” — at low temperature for about a week — in a Crock-Pot.

For conversion of half an ounce into two items, the cost is $60. Prices go up with the amount of marijuana to be processed and the number of products it’s made into, with a full ounce converted into four items for $120.

For now, Albany’s Canna Kitchen offers marijuana conversion services for glycerin tincture, honey tincture, butter, coconut oil, cooking oil, salad dressing and grapeseed oil capsules.

“If somebody wants something else, we’ll definitely research it and see if we can,” Ludahl said.

A former cigarette smoker, Graham described inhaling pot smoke as “horrible” for your lungs.

All of the products offered by Albany’s Canna Kitchen sidestep that problem. Ludahl and Graham think the capsules will be the most popular items due to their ease of use.

“One capsule and you can function all day pain-free,” Ludahl said. Two at night ease the pain and help you sleep, she added.

She puts a drop of the glycerin tincture under her tongue when she is having an asthma attack.

“It opens up the bronchial tubes,” Ludahl said.

Graham wasn’t aware of any similar businesses in Oregon.

She said one important step Albany’s Canna Kitchen takes is washing the marijuana. Spider mites and powdery mildew are very common in medical marijuana, she said. Pesticides, too, even on plants the grower claims are organic.

“The water looks like coffee when we are done with it,” she said. “People are afraid it will wash the THC off, but it is not water-soluble.”

Graham anticipates hiring additional employees, and the women think their unique service is poised to take off.

“We had orders before we even opened,” Ludahl said.

The business is at 2300 Ferry St. S.W., Suite 1, and is open from 11 a.m to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The phone number is 541-981-9078.

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No “usable” marijuana is kept onsite, Graham said. The cannabis being cooked in the Crock-Pots when employees are not present would be useless to thieves as it is no longer smokable but not yet in product form.

Source: Medical marijuana processing business opens