County and City Officals in Oregon Act to Ban Dispensaries
– a MERCY Report | April 20, 2014
Medical marijuana moratoriums in 71 Oregon cities
April 15, 2014 -
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — At least 71 Oregon cities have moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries and more than 40 others are considering one.
The Legislature allowed local governments to impose a one-year ban, if enacted by May 1.
The League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties pushed for the legislation. They provided The Oregonian with the list of cities (http://bit.ly/1ilEdwo ).
The legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, Rob Bovett, says some cities and counties will want permanent bans on marijuana dispensaries, but others just want more time to see how the state-regulated system works.
Among the cities that have not imposed moratoriums are Portland, Bend and Eugene.
City of Lebanon's current policies prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries
February 19, 2014 -
Because federal law outlaws all uses of marijuana, medical marijuana clinics are not legitimate business entities, according to current city of Lebanon business regulations.
Mayor Paul Aziz asked Walt Wendolowski, community development manager and interim city manager, and Tre Kennedy, city attorney, to explain the city’s stance on medical marijuana clinics at the council’s meeting on Feb. 13.
Aziz brought the issue to the council after he received a press inquiry about medical marijuana dispensaries in Lebanon.
Those types of dispensaries violate current business registrations for Lebanon, Wendolowski said.
“We looked at the issue of marijuana dispensaries, and every new business in town is required to have a business registration — it’s not a license — in the process of doing that, they indicate what they are doing is not violating state or federal law,” Wendolowski said. “Until the the federal law changes, the possession and sale of marijuana is still illegal, and so at this juncture, it would be awful hard for us to sign off us on a business registration to allow this particular type of use.”
Coburg decides to ban medical pot vendors
Saying they didn't have time to study how to regulate dispensaries, councilors favor a moratorium
... 4/9/2014 -
COBURG - Tuesday night, it was Coburg's turn.
Like other cities across Lane County and the state, Coburg weighed in on whether to impose a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders.
Cities have shown themselves not of like mind on the issue - some opting for the ban to give them more time to figure out how they want to regulate such establishments. Others have chosen to forgo a moratorium, sometimes out of concern that a ban could put them at an economic disadvantage to neighboring communities that would be welcoming to such new businesses.
On a 5-1 vote, the Coburg City Council voted in support of a ban, reckoning that it didn't have adequate time to determine how to properly regulate dispensaries.
"I'm not opposed to the uses of medical marijuana," said Councilor Jerry Behney, who supported the moratorium. "I'm just a little cautious with the speed at which we have to make these decisions and not having any other input."
Councilor Sharyl Brannon-Abbasapour voted against imposing a moratorium.
"I've talked to some business people, I've talked to citizens, neighbors - basically what I heard from the citizens is that it's inevitable," she said of the state's move to allowing dispensaries. "I had only one person say that we should have a moratorium."
Despite its approval, the moratorium may only be a formality.
"There's not any indication that I have that anyone is looking to Coburg to open a medical marijuana facility," Coburg city attorney Milo Mecham said during the meeting.
Throughout the discussion, several councilors expressed a desire to wait and see how cities who have not passed a moratorium decide to regulate the new industry.
"It gives us the opportunity to learn from others," council President Ray Smith said.
No one testified at a public hearing before the council's discussion and vote on the ordinance authorizing the moratorium.
Coburg's and other cities' votes have come in anticipation of a May 1 deadline for municipalities to impose the temporary moratorium on dispensaries that state lawmakers allowed during the recently concluded legislative session. The moratoriums, where approved, will expire on May 1, 2015, although cities can adopt shorter ones.
The cities of Florence, Junction City and Oakridge also have approved one-year bans, while Lane County, Springfield and Veneta have decided against imposing moratoriums.
Creswell appears to be leaning toward a ban but won't take final action until April 21. Dunes City will vote on the matter Thursday; Cottage Grove on Monday; and Lowell on Tuesday.
Eugene has not scheduled a discussion before the May 1 deadline.
Pot dispensers are not 'dealers'
"Pot dealer ban"? What kind of headline is that? Pot dealers are banned everywhere ("Pot dealer ban: 1 maybe, 1 no," April 7).
The moratorium is about medical marijuana facilities, a solution to what has been an ongoing problem: Many patients are unable to grow marijuana and, even with a medical marijuana card, have nowhere to obtain it.
When I worked for Compassion Center I saw time and again that doctors would sign for a patient to get a card - mostly newly diagnosed cancer patients - and, not being a "pot" smoker, the patient had no idea where to get the medicine. That's why the medical marijuana law was passed.
The Register-Guard needs to stop acting like a tabloid. It's unbecoming.
CHERYL K. SMITH
I wanted to share comments on the two earlier RG posts that I posted;
RG: Rural pot moratorium tabled
disavour * 2 hours ago
The BCC is a public embarrassment and Jay "Mr Burns" Bozievich stands out as the lead bottom feeder. Pat Farr ponders over the "harm" dispensaries may cause while Sid Leiken whines over "crappy legislation" that didn't provide tax revenue. Good, taxing medicine for the sick is disgusting and I can't wait for the election to dump the ultra conservative cabal - especially Bozo.
RG Editorial: Don't rush dispensaries
disavour * an hour ago
The RG continues to fuel the issues of criminality and serving the phony "public concerns" while leaving OMMP PATIENTS out of the picture. For six months cities and counties knew what was coming but only now do they voice their concerns and drag their feet.
That is THE story RG; cities and counties in Oregon are intentionally delaying safe access to legal medicine with hollow lies over fear and loathing. Shame on the antiquated relics who deny others their right to improve their quality of life while anticipating the advertising revenue from dispensaries. No wonder the readership of this yellow rag is in decline.
Pot dealer ban: 1 maybe, 1 no
Springfield decides not to place a moratorium on medical dispensaries; Creswell leans toward a ban
... 4/8/14 -
Two more cities in Lane County weighed in Monday night on whether to impose one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders - and municipal officials continue to be all over the map on the issue.
In Springfield, the City Council decided against imposing a temporary ban on retailers who sell medical marijuana.
In Creswell, three of four councilors voted to support a moratorium - although final action won't be taken until a special council meeting on April 21.
The actions come as a May 1 deadline looms for cities around Oregon to impose a temporary moratorium on dispensaries that state lawmakers allowed during the recently concluded legislative session. The temporary moratoriums, where approved, would expire on May 1, 2015, although cities can adopt shorter ones.
Already, the cities of Florence, Junction City and Oakridge have approved one-year bans. Lane County and Veneta considered but decided against imposing moratoriums.
The City Council in Coburg is slated to decide tonight; Dunes City will vote on the matter Thursday; Cottage Grove on Monday; and Lowell a week from today, April 15.
Eugene has not scheduled a discussion before the May 1 deadline.
In Springfield on Monday, the vote was 5-1 against a moratorium. Councilor Sean VanGordon, who favored a one-year ban on dispensaries in downtown and 90 days elsewhere in the city, voted no.
The decision still allows the council to adopt local regulations on where dispensaries can locate and when they can operate.
The city staff had recommended a moratorium of at least 90 days, noting that it can be difficult to impose local regulations on dispensaries that already have opened.
But a majority of councilors felt comfortable enough with the rules that the state has imposed on the dispensaries to allow them to stay open. Two dispensaries have received state licenses to open in Springfield.
Mayor Christine Lundberg, who votes only in the case of a tie, said a moratorium would have sent a message that Springfield opposes the dispensaries.
"I don't want to do something that is based on a fear and based on something that we don't understand," she said. "This is a new area for us."
More than a dozen people, including dispensary owners and medical marijuana patients, testified at a public hearing before the council's vote. All but two speakers urged the city to pass on a moratorium or approve a short one.
Supporters said Springfield would lose out on new jobs and tax revenue if it imposed a moratorium because patients could travel to dispensaries in Eugene. It also would impose a hardship on patients who are homebound, they said.
Springfield resident Kris McAlister, a medical marijuana patient, said he is concerned that a moratorium could force some patients to turn to illegal methods to obtain marijuana or other illegal drugs.
"This is our problem," he said. "We need to fix it. We need to care for our people."
But Springfield resident Dan Larsen worried that allowing dispensaries may bring crime and other problems to the downtown area that city leaders have spent years cleaning up.
He said it makes sense for the city to impose a moratorium and watch what happens in other communities that don't enact one.
"There's no rush to rush into this," he said. "These people aren't going to be denied their products. They can go ... across the river."
In Creswell, a final decision was delayed because, under the city charter, an ordinance can't be declared an emergency and thus go into effect immediately unless the council approves it unanimously on a first vote.
At a subsequent meeting, however, an emergency can be declared with a majority but non-unanimous vote. The council was seeking to declare an emergency in order to make the May 1 deadline for imposing a moratorium.
On Monday, council President Jacob Daniels voted against the moratorium idea.
"I think that from a public safety standpoint, having a dispensary in a commercial building that's heavily regulated by the Oregon Health Authority is actually better for the community than having distribution coming from residential homes," Daniels said.
But Councilor Adam Pelatt, who voted in support of the moratorium, said more time is needed to figure out how to implement the best set of regulations.
"Nobody should think this should be an anti-pot thing," Pelatt said of imposing a moratorium. "We're only asking how do we do this right. We have not heard enough from the citizens of how do you want it."
Councilor Holly Campbell voiced her concern about the potential consequences of dispensaries within the city limits.
"We're a small town and these types of things have great ramifications," she said.
Mayor Dave Stram and Councilor Jacob Daniels were not at the meeting.
At the special meeting on April 21, public comment will be solicited on the merits of a moratorium before the council vote.
City officials said they don't know whether any dispensaries have received state licenses to open in Creswell.
A moratorium isn't the only option before Oregon cities. State lawmakers also gave cities the ability to regulate the location and operating hours of registered dispensaries if they so choose.
Cottage Grove sidesteps pot limits
The City Council takes no action on a moratorium or regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries
... 4/15/2014 -
COTTAGE GROVE - After vigorous public comment and debate, the City Council on Monday rejected any citywide moratorium or regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.
City Manager Richard Meyers had recommended in a memorandum the adoption of an ordinance that would require medical marijuana dispensaries located within city limits to conduct business between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
But the council uniformly rejected that proposed regulation.
"The state law as it stands now is plenty restrictive. I don't want to pile anything else on it," Councilor Jake Boone said.
Mayor Thomas Munroe hinted that regulating the hours of operation for dispensaries might not be a bad idea.
"I think a time frame like this is not only protective for the citizens but also for the shops as well," he said.
Despite the mayor's comments, the council declined to make a motion to support either a restriction on business hours or a moratorium.
"I don't see a reason to regulate something that doesn't need regulation," Councilor Kate Price said. "I am also in favor of letting this go and moving on."
Cottage Grove was among the last cities in Lane County to decide whether to impose a moratorium.
The actions have come in anticipation of a May 1 deadline for municipalities to impose the temporary moratorium that state lawmakers allowed during the recently concluded legislative session.
The moratoriums, where approved, will expire May 1, 2015, although cities can adopt shorter ones.
Florence, Junction City and Oakridge have approved moratoriums, while Lane County, Springfield and Veneta have decided against them.
Lowell is slated to take up the matter tonight, and Creswell and Dunes City will vote on the matter next week.
Eugene hasn't scheduled discussion of any possible moratorium before May 1.
Cottage Grove has one operational dispensary, with at least one more hoping to open soon.
During a public comment period at Monday's meeting, eight people spoke on the issue. Three seemed to be against the idea of medical marijuana dispensaries, while five made comments of support.
"I have grown up in a family that has been plagued by not only alcohol but drugs and marijuana," said Berneda McDonald, a skeptic about the dispensaries. "I feel sorry for the police. They can not control what we have going right now."
Darby Valley, an acupuncturist, said his wife is working to obtain authorization from the state to open a second dispensary in Cottage Grove. He said dispensaries are a good thing.
"By instituting a dispensary, all that marijuana goes to the dispensary," Valley said. "You are taking all of that product out of the black market and putting it into a legalized, controlled, structured market."
Fred Owre said medical marijuana has helped his wife, who has multiple sclerosis.
"She consumes a (marijuana-laced) cookie at night and it puts her to sleep and she gets six to eight hours of sleep that she would not get otherwise," Owre said.
David Lee, who along with his wife, Diana, and two others manage Mandy's Med Club - the only dispensary currently open in Cottage Grove - said he has a good relationship with local government and law enforcement.
"Cottage Grove's a small town," Lee said. "If the city wants us to do something to make them happy, we'll do it."
Diana Lee said the age of most of the patients who visit the dispensary is 50 and over.
"There are a lot of stereotypes and misunderstandings about the marijuana community," she said.
Despite the support shown by the council and community members, Munroe said he is still hesitant on the issue.
"My biggest concern now and always is the federal government," he said, referring to the illegality of marijuana at the national level. "Congress hasn't said go ahead on it (yet)."
RG LTE ... 4/15/2014 -
Dispensary is too close to a school
I'm deeply troubled by the lack of oversight in Oregon's new medical marijuana dispensary program.
The law specifically aims to prevent marijuana distribution near schools attended by minors. However, a full dispensary license was granted to The Greener Side, which operates in the 1500 block of Oak Street, less than one block from Peace Village Network Charter School at 15th and Willamette.
As a Eugene resident, I'm shocked that the Oregon Health Authority would blatantly ignore the Legislature's mandate (and its own rules). I've contacted OHA with my concerns and haven't yet heard back.
The Greener Side's license should be immediately revoked as it is operating next to a school where our children learn between the hours of 8:25 a.m. and 3:25 p.m.
It clearly operates outside the bounds of the law and has, in fact, been doing so for more than a year, before dispensary license applications were accepted by the state health authority - and even before the Legislature passed the bill to eventually legalize and license dispensary facilities.
Many others are working hard to follow all the regulations for Oregon dispensaries and it's wrong to have a system that rewards those that don't follow the rules if we hope to cultivate a smart, well-regulated medical cannabis industry in Oregon.
I've spoken to Joseph & Chelsea at The Greener Side and they are in compliance & the governing agency assures them they are OK.
What remains is a great opportunity for a LTE in response to all of this.
Thanks for the info. I'll add it to my list.
I'm attending the Lowell City Council meeting tonight (7:00pm) & Oakland tomorrow night (6:00pm).
Lowell Disp Ban
I was the only one speaking against a ban, one in favor. The loan dissenter's main point was the new study just released alleging brain damage from Cannabis.
They moved to have the second reading & vote up or down (4-1) Apr 22, 6:00pm.
The mayor spoke very eloquently and was obviously trying to be fair.
This city just went through a recall election so things were a little strange.
Some highlights out of the EW's "Pot Issue";
Brian Michaels quote, "There's a lot of people who really want marijuana to be legal one way or the other. The higher our numbers, the stronger the message we send the Legislature."
Kind of funny finding the Oregon Country Fair half-page color ad on the second page of the "pot" issue. The biggest hypocrites of Cannabis I know of. Won't even allow patients to medicate onsite but the "family" is indulging as usual "in the back". They include this enticement."We invite you to join us as we celebrate our 45th anniversary in our wooded setting, 13 miles west of Eugene, near Veneta, Oregon for an unforgettable adventure." Of course don't plan on making Cannabis part of that "unforgettable adventure". In 1999 I met a couple on their way out from OCF. They had driven over 12 hours to get there and were inside 30 minutes when they were caught smoking MJ. Security confiscated their MJ, took black El Markos (permanent ink) and "X"ed over their re-entry stamps on their forearms. They were not happy.
Page 22, Chron(ic)ology - A Highly Abridged Oregon-Centric History Of Marijuana by Alex Noyman
RG LTE - Pot use involves a variety of risks 4/18/14
Studies have shown that chronic marijuana use in adolescent males is associated with permanent brain damage, learning issues and permanent 10-point IQ loss.
In adolescent males, marijuana use increases by 400 percent after any legalization.
Marijuana use accelerates the onset of schizophrenia by five years, which worsens the prognosis.
In adults, studies have shown chronic marijuana use induces psychosis, schizotypal traits, amotivational syndrome, anxiety, sad moods, dependence and permanent learning issues. Marijuana is not safe; the risks far outweigh any benefits.
CHARLES REAGAN, M.D.
RG LTE - Dispensary critics are hypocritical
I detect more than a whiff of hypocrisy at the suggestion that we all become outraged because an evil marijuana dispensary is within proximity of a school.
Once I fill my prescription at The Greener Side - which provides a single medication, cannabis - I can stroll a couple of blocks south to Hiron's and fill prescriptions for opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazapines, muscle relaxants, lithium (I can keep going, just let me grab my Physicians' Desk Reference).
I can then go next door to Safeway and load up on beer and cigarettes.
And because I'm a responsible adult, like almost all the people who patronize all three of those establishments, I can get all of it home without endangering Our Precious Kids.
Dispensaries in limbo as bans spread
100 moratoriums are in place and 30 local governments are considering them
By Chad Garland The Associated Press Apr 22, 2014
SALEM - Medical marijuana cardholders in some parts of Oregon will have to look harder than they expected for dispensaries as cities and counties throughout the state enact ordinances to keep the pot shops from opening within their borders.
A total of 13 Oregon counties and more than 100 towns and cities have passed moratoriums banning the pot shops since a law allowing the dispensaries took effect March 1. More than 30 other local governments are considering similar measures.
The state's dispensary law was intended to move dispensaries out of a legal gray area. But after a number of communities voiced a desire to keep dispensaries out locally, the Legislature in early March passed a law that would give them until May to adopt moratoriums of up to a year.
The bill took effect days after Oregon had already begun accepting applications from dispensaries seeking state approval of their operations.
More than half of the 340 applications the state has received so far have come from places such as Portland and Eugene, where local authorities are not looking to impose moratoriums. But many dispensary owners are still waiting to see if their communities will let them open or stay.
At least six cities have enacted permanent bans or modified other ordinances, such as land use codes, to block the shops from opening.
Medical marijuana cardholders are able to get the drug by growing the allowed amount for themselves, or having an authorized person grow it for them.
Many cardholders prefer to obtain the drug from dispensaries because of the selection available.
In Clackamas County, where three dispensaries in unincorporated areas have been approved by the state, patients and owners are awaiting the fate of a proposed moratorium set for a vote Thursday.
If it passes, Mario Mamone says he'll go bankrupt. Mamone owns the Maritime Cafe, which has been operating in an unincorporated part of the county for more than two years. He says he has more than $125,000 invested in the business.
Maritime patient and employee Desirea Duvall said she hopes the board makes an exception for existing dispensaries. If it doesn't, she said she'll lose her job, and she and others will struggle to get the medicine they need.
Some communities have enacted four- or six-month moratoriums to make time for developing rules to restrict the hours, locations and manner of dispensary operations.
Others want to wait up to a full year to see how things go with dispensaries in other areas before allowing them in their communities, said Rob Bovett, an attorney for the Association of Oregon Counties and former district attorney who lobbied for the Legislature to allow local governments to bar the pot stores in their communities.
The first state-approved dispensary in Linn County is hoping to work out an exemption that would allow it to stay open after county commissioners passed a moratorium last week that takes effect May 1.
It's a last-ditch effort, said Going Green Compassion's Sarah Whiteley, who noted that she and her husband have invested more than $70,000 into the facility. Whiteley called the county's decision "heartbreaking."
Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist said he voted for the moratorium because of a "lack of clarity" about the state's dispensary program. He felt the board had to act by May 1, or "we lost all ability to shape this thing at a local level."
Nyquist said the board was advised that an exemption for Going Green would not be possible under the law.
1. Article SOURCE = xxx - xxx
back to [ Top of Page ]