Saying they can probably get their marijuana dispensary rules and regulations in place within a few months, the Newport City Council enacted a temporary moratorium Monday evening on any med-marijuana dispensaries, while they do it. The moratorium can technically remain in effect through May 1st of next year. After that the moratorium is cancelled by state law.
Several marijuana dispensary hopefuls expressed a sense of betrayal by the council in that they had already heavily invested in their properties and were ready to open. One applicant said they can wait but another indicated they are weighing “their legal options.”
Med-marijuana dispensaries across Oregon have been also caught in the abrupt action by the state and local governments as cities and counties are given more time to gather local opinion on what regulations best fit their communities.
It was pointed out by City Councilman David Allen that there is no more hardship placed on medical marijuana patients by virtue of the moratorium since patients are still free to acquire marijuana from legal growers and distributors that have traditionally supplied the plant.
The only other Lincoln County unit of government to enact a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana is Lincoln County. They too expect to develop reasonable rules and regulations on medical marijuana sales in the unincorporated areas of the county in a timely fashion.
Complicating the situation is that there will likely be a recreational marijuana voter initiative on the November ballot that will blow the doors open on across-the-board recreational marijuana sales across the state.