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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Albany to act on marijuana store ban

Written March 21st, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Albany City Hall, where council action on dispensaries is pending.

Albany City Hall, where council action on dispensaries is pending.

The Albany City Council is wasting no time in its drive to ban, at least for a year, any medical marijuana stores within the city limits that might be authorized by the state. An ordinance imposing a one-year moratorium on dispensaries — through May 1, 2015 — is on the agendas of the council’s work session Monday afternoon and the regular meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the schedule: an ordinance to impose added restrictions on dispensaries if and when they are allowed in the city. The measure proposes that dispensaries pay a fee, in an amount yet to be determined, to compensate the city for any added enforcement expense. It also proposes to require some kind of distance between dispensaries and one or more other zones. What zones? That’s left blank so far, as is the distance, for the council to fill in when it acts on the measure.

Under state law, medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed only in commercial, industrial, mixed-use and agricultural zones. The council has talked about requiring some distance between a dispensary and a residential zone. State law already says dispensaries can’t be within 1,000 feet of any school or another dispensary.

Oregon’s medical marijuana program on Friday approved its first eight dispensaries. Seven of the eight waived confidentiality, so the state was able to announce their names and locations. Three are in Portland; the others are in Hermiston, Salem, Bend and Eugene.

Four Albany council members, the minimum required for any action, have voted before to ban dispensaries in town. Unless they change their mind, it’s pretty sure that the proposed one-year ban and the additional restrictions will be enacted. The ban will take effect as soon as the mayor signs it. Under state law, it has to be enacted before May 1 in order to take effect. (hh)



4 responses to “Albany to act on marijuana store ban”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “Four Albany council members, the minimum required for any action, have voted before to ban dispensaries in town. Unless they change their mind, it’s pretty sure that the proposed one-year ban and the additional restrictions will be enacted.”

    Correction: 4 city council members voted to get more information that might allow the city to outright ban *OR* have a moratorium & regulate – but not both. Both proposed options are on the table for the work session. It is not a combination of both… It will be an interesting meeting Monday.

  2. Thanks for the correction. Though I don’t see why both measures can’t be enacted, one to impose the moratorium, and other to restrict pot stores once the moratorium expires (unless the voters change the law this fall). (hh)

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      I would have no problem with a very short moratorium to allow possible additional reasonable regulations over & above what the state says is allowed. That should take absolutely no more than 30-45 days to do. Anything longer than that and it becomes word games calling it a “moratorium” when in fact it becomes a de-facto ban.

  3. Rhea Graham replied via Facebook: “This is going to be interesting, to say the least. I am thankful that I did my footwork and was approved to be a Medical Marijuana processing facility (Albany’s Canna Kitchen & Research, LLC 2300 Ferry St SW, Suite 1 in Albany) in 2011 … I do hope that many of our 200 patients will be able to attend the meeting and/or otherwise let the city and county know how they feel of their thoughtlessness.

    “Albany’s Canna Kitchen & Research, LLC has been in operation with the blessing of the City of Albany and the State of Oregon for more than two years. Not once have we needed police assistance, nor have we cost the City any money for enforcement. I am appalled that we would be asked to pay an additional fee to the city. Does that sound like the mob to anyone else? What is it they are expecting to enforce?

    “The state is already taking $4000 from us for the privilege of being a Cannabis business, and will inspect us a minimum of once a year (most likely no-notice). All business transactions are video recorded and must be kept for 30 days and are required to be handed over if there is a question. What is it they would be doing?

    “How about if they assess a fee on criminals who are causing the problem instead.

    ” Perhaps there will come a day when the mayor or the city or county councilors will need a certain plant to heal whatever ails them … then what? Will they regret their decisions or drive to Salem, Eugene, or Portland?

    “What are their fears? I guess we’ll find out Monday.”

 

 
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