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Local Governments Weigh Options For Dispensaries

OPB | March 19, 2014 12:20 p.m. | Updated: March 19, 2014 1:29 p.m.

Mark via Flickr / Creative Commons

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) began accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensary licenses this month and they have received many inquiries. The Oregon Legislature passed a bill in the 2013 session that created the licensing process. Before that, dispensaries operated in a legal gray area.

While OHA processes licensing applications, city and county governments around the state are deciding whether they want to allow dispensaries to open in their communities.

Earlier this week, Deschutes County joined a growing list of local governments that have instituted restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries. The county government unanimously approved a one-year moratorium on dispensaries in unincorporated areas. Under a bill passed in the 2014 legislative session, local governments can add regulations to dispensaries, or ban them completely, as long as they do so by May 1, 2014. The new regulations or bans will last until May 1, 2015 unless the legislature changes that in the next session.

Some counties and cities are simply standing by and allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, and Ashland actually voted to make it easier for people to open them there.

Is your city or county considering a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries? Do you use medical marijuana? What would new dispensary rules mean for you?

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