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Oregon's Cities, Counties, Move To Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

OPB | Feb. 27, 2014 1:29 p.m. | Updated: March 31, 2014 8:06 a.m. | Portland

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Monday, Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program will begin accepting applications for licensing to operate medical marijuana facilities. Dispensaries will be legal in the eyes of the state government, but some local governments have banned medical marijuana and the facilities to distribute it.

Local officials have said that they need to revise land use and business rules before revisiting the idea of medical marijuana in city limits. A few cities, like Redmond, are sticking to local laws already in place that say the city must comply with all federal laws. Possession of marijuana — medical or otherwise — is illegal according to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

The map below shows the different cities and counties that have ruled medical marijuana dispensaries illegal for one reason or another, compiled from the Oregon Health Authority and various news outlets:

Oregon Health Authority employees are tracking cities and counties that have banned medical marijuana, but won’t get involved in reinforcing local governments’ rulings. Tom Burns, director of pharmacy programs, says that they won’t turn anyone away who meets the licensing requirements and there will be no cap on the number of licenses for dispensaries

It will make no difference,” he says. “‘Did you meet the requirements?’ And if you did, then the law requires that we give you a license.”

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