The Oregon Health Authority approved 14 more medical marijuana outlets around the state this week, bringing the total to 22. It looks like this: 2 in Bend, 1 in Corvallis, 5 in Eugene, 1 Hermiston, 9 Portland, 2 Salem and 1 in Springfield. One approved outlet did not want its name publicized. Under state law, such establishments can remain under the public’s radar. No word on whether their local business license is exempt from the state Public Records Act.
Again, 22 medical marijuana outlets are now approved to open up shop. They are limited to those communities that have not enacted a local moratorium. A moratorium is allowed under SB 1531 that gave cities and counties the power to slap a ban on the shops until May 1st of next year, provided they do it by May 1st of THIS year, all under the guise of having enough time to develop local regulations that give greater specificity to the ones already mandated by the state.
State regulations are fairly broad but demand that local regulations be “reasonable.” State regulations prohibit medical marijuana outlets that are within 1,000 feet of a school (1/5th of a mile) or within 1,000 feet of another medical marijuana outlet. And they all must have sufficient security for their operations. Also under state law medical marijuana must be located within the following land use zones: commercial, industrial, mixed land use or agricultural. And medical marijuana outlets DO NOT register with the Oregon Board of Pharmacy.
Local regulations can deal with operational aspects such as days and hours of operation, who can be in the store at any one time, etc. Any city or county that enacts a moratorium after a medical marijuana outlet has already operations automatically triggers a local and state refund on business license and state application fees.
Adding to the confusion is that one or more recreational marijuana initiatives, soon to be gathering voter signatures, are likely to pass at the polls this November. It’s all about to get real interesting.