Dispensary owner to run for representative
Brie Malarkey, owner of two cannabis dispensaries in Jackson County, has decided to run as the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives seat now held by Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte.
The 41-year-old Shady Cove resident said, “I figured there were so many seats unopposed, and I definitely have opinions and thoughts that I wanted to share.”
A lifelong Oregon resident, Malarkey owns Breeze Botanicals, which has locations in Gold Hill and Ashland, and has developed a seed-to-sale operation for the medical and recreational cannabis industry.
Malarkey said three main issues are important to her in her run for House District 55: safeguarding natural resources and being good stewards of the land, protecting individual rights and freedoms and fighting for the rights of small businesses. House District 55 encompasses much of northern Jackson County but includes parts of Deschutes, Crook, Klamath and Lake counties.
She said she supports sustainable logging and agricultural practices. Malarkey said she has lived her whole life in Oregon and considers logging an important part of the community, but she said Oregon needs to find the right balance to preserve this important industry while also making sure the forests remain healthy.
“Humans have a hard time thinking beyond our immediate impacts,” she said.
She said she supports personal rights, including the right to health care, spiritual and religious practices, education and civil rights.
Health care should expand beyond the services offered by traditional Western medicine and include other alternatives, including midwife services, herbology, acupuncture and cannabis, she said. Malarkey’s business offers herbal treatments as well as various cannabis-related products used to treat ailments.
“Most medicine doesn’t leave a lot of room for alternative treatments,” she said.
As a business owner, she said she wants to fight to support small businesses and will look for ways to encourage more business development in rural counties to the east. She said expanding agriculture to include hemp production is one avenue that many rural counties could embrace. Malarkey said she formerly ran a dairy farm and pig farm.
She said she would continue to push for other economic opportunities for Southern Oregon and will fight to protect craft industries, push for fair taxation and develop a more equitable system of regulations and government oversight.
Malarkey said she hasn’t run for political office before, other than being junior class president at her high school in Newport.
“I’m a real person,” she said. “I’m not the Barbie doll of politics. I’m a real woman who has a lot of passion and interest in Oregon.”