Local Roundup for Oregon Cannabis September 7, 2015

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As we approach the October 1st early sales of marijuana from medical dispensaries, more localities are taking up the topic of marijuana.  The most promising thing about these discussions aren’t the outcomes - as many of them are resorting to bans, moratoriums or obstructions to implementing marijuana sales - but instead, the fact that they are discussing the issue seriously.  As each locality takes up the issue, they are highlighting the particular concerns that each city or county faces relative to that particular locality.

While some cities or counties are simply adopting the League or Oregon Cities guidance regarding implementing a ban, others are taking their time and weighing the various options and decisions and attempting to get all the facts before making a decision.  Some cities and counties are even visiting the growers, dispensaries and others within their community to learn more about the industry that they are discussing.

Have you called your local city councilors and county commissioners?  If not, now is definitely the time!

I’m going to run through these fast, but check out the embedded links if you would like to read more.

Deschutes County is considering regulations for marijuana, but a marijuana ban is still possible, according to the Bend Bulletin.

Burns City Council is expected to discuss a ban of retail marijuana and early sales at their September meetings, according to the Burns Time Herald.

Grants Pass has rejected a land use permit for a marijuana dispensary that abuts residential property, according to the Mail Tribune.  Acquiring the permit isn’t the only obstacle, however, as Grants Pass has enacted a ban on marijuana sales and forbids businesses that don’t comply with federal law.

In brighter news, the Salem City Council voted to allow the early sales of marijuana from medical dispensaries, according to the Statesman Journal and OPB reports that Mayor Anna Peterson was the only dissenting vote.

The City of Kaizer discussed marijuana and decided to wait and see what other cities do before making their decision, according to the Keizer Times.  A 10% tax on recreational marijuana was maintained for now, despite being in conflict with the 3% capped passed by the 2015 Legislature.

Medford is considering lifting its moratorium and allowing marijuana in industrial and commercial zones, according to the Mail Tribune.

La Pine is drafting ordinances to ban marijuana; two existing dispensaries would be grandfathered in for medical sales, although they would be prohibited from participating in recreational sales, according to an article in the Bend Bulletin.  The article also reports, “The cities of Redmond, Bend, Sisters, Prineville and Jefferson County have not yet decided whether they’ll consider the local “opt-out” option.”

The City of Madras is favoring a ban, but councilors are looking to become better educated on the topic before making a decision.  They will discuss marijuana at the September 8 meeting, according to KBND News.  Mayor Royce Embanks was reported as indicating that councilors were likely to refer the question to voters, despite being authorized to decide directly without doing so under HB 3400 since 56% of Jefferson County voted against Measure 91.

The Canby Herald reports that Aurora, Canby and Molalla are all considering the marijuana question differently:  Aurora has imposed a $5000 license fee along with zoning and further restrictions to avoid a potential lawsuit over outright banning marijuana; Canby planned an October 7 6:45pm work session to discuss a possible ban; and Molalla is considering a downtown cluster for marijuana businesses.

The La Grande Observer ran two separate articles, here and here, reporting that La Grande will not allow early sales but has postponed deciding on a permanent ban.

Lake Oswego is considering referring a ban to voters and a possible ordinance to ban early sales through dispensaries, according to the Portland Tribune.

Sherwood held a work session with local police to discuss early sales and is expected to further discuss the issue at the September 15th meeting, according to the Portland Tribune.

South County Spotlight reports that St. Helens has postponed revising an ordinance that prohibits issuing business licenses to any business that fails to comply with federal laws, obstructing marijuana businesses from operating there.  This is despite the fact that 58.6% of voters supported Measure 91 in the city.

Prineville is considering the options surrounding marijuana, according to the Portland Tribune.

Map modified from Quickfacts Census from the United States Census Bureau

A complete list of the cities and counties that have currently filed bans with the OLCC can be found online and includes two new cities and one new county this week (Elgin and Baker City along with Wheeler County).

Those to be voted on the 2016 General Election Ballot with a moratorium in the meantime:

  • Douglas County
  • City of Brownsville
  • City of Sandy
  • City of Sutherlin
  • Junction City
  • City of Creswell
  • City of Sweet Home
  • City of Manzanita

Those which will not be voted on and become effective immediately:

  • City of Ontario
  • City of Vale
  • City of Nyssa
  • Island City
  • Umatilla County
  • Harney County
  • Malheur County
  • City of Jordan Valley
  • City of John Day
  • Crook County
  • City of Adrian
  • City of Elgin
  • Wheeler County
  • City of Baker

If you are following your locality on this topic, please send an email with updates on what is happening to [email protected] to help keep us all informed.

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