Medical marijuana in Oregon: Bill that would allow local regulation of dispensaries is introduced

Lawmakers in February will take up a proposed bill that would give local governments the ability to regulate and restrict medical marijuana facilities.

Senate Bill 1531, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, and state Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland, would allow cities and counties to “regulate or restrict operation of medical marijuana facility, prohibit registration of medical marijuana facility, or regulate, restrict or prohibit storing or dispensing of marijuana by facility legally authorized to store or dispense marijuana.”

The legislation was filed at the request of the Association of Oregon Counties and the League of Oregon Cities. The proposal says the changes would be effective March 1, two days before the state begins registering medical marijuana facilities.

The issue of local control has been a contentious one since Oregon lawmakers passed a law last year creating a registry of medical marijuana dispensaries, already a thriving but unchecked industry in the state.

The Medford City Council last fall responded by changing the city’s business license ordinance, which now stipulates that establishments must be in compliance with local, state and federal laws. Marijuana is outlawed under federal law.

Full article by Nicole Crombie here

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