VIENNA, Mo. – With legalized recreational marijuana now available for dispensaries to sell, many wonder what ripple effects this will bring.

In the small town of Vienna, Missouri, business is growing.

“Over the course of the next 8 or 9 weeks, these plants will get about this tall,” said Ben Fredenberg, the director of cultivation for OG Yields. “We’re really start to develop the flower that everyone knows.”

Marijuana is grown inside OG Yields for medical and now, recreational purposes. As demand increases for their 30-plus strains, they have it down to a science.

“We let the buds grow a little more, ripen up, and then we come in and we cut the plant at the base,” Fredenberg said. “We hang it upside down to dry, and then we go through a process we call bucking, which is basically just breaking these flowers from the stem.”

Thousands of plants mature from seedling to fully blossomed flower, which contains THC. It gets trimmed and packaged, and 2,000 pounds of marijuana products are then ready to ship.

“We don’t know what pesticides or spray are on the black market, here everything is stringently tested,” said Nick Rinella, CEO of OG Yields. “So by the time it hits the dispensaries, you know you have a safe, tested product that you can enjoy.”

The 18-acre facility has been operational since 2020. They provide products to their three dispensaries, including Hippo’s, which has one in Chesterfield, as well as more than 70 other dispensaries throughout the state.

Roughly 10% of Vienna’s population was employed. These workers are making about 20 percent more than the average job in town.

“There’s an opportunity for us to expand and to pull in additional employees from the area,” Rinella said. “So we could potentially double our employee count in the next 12 months.”

Tax money from sales benefits cities, many of which are bracing for a wave of new dispensaries looking to take advantage of a new market.

“It’s extremely exciting to see from the beginning to where it goes now,” Rinella said. “We’re pumped up to see what the future is going to hold.”