The “Going Green West Coast” Medical Marijuana dispensary has been shut down by the Lincoln County planning department and the county counsel’s office. The notice to close came after a determination was made by the county that the dispensary was in violation of the county’s temporary moratorium on such operations.
Although state law says that local cities and counties cannot outright ban marijuana dispensaries, they can ban them temporarily while they establish local rules and regulations as to dispensary operations. And some of those may involve hours and days of operation and specific kinds of land use zones.
County Planning Director Onno Husing points out that just because an applicant qualifies for a state operating permit local laws and exact land use zoning approval must be given by local cities and counties. Husing says Lincoln County’s temporary moratorium can technically remain in effect until May of next year.
Husing wouldn’t hazard a guess as to whether the moratorium might be lifted before next May. He said the issue is very much a moving target, especially in light of the fact that recreational marijuana will be on next November’s ballot, and that, he says, could substantially affect the regulatory environment.
Husing reminded the public that perfectly legal medical marijuana suppliers are still in business so the county’s moratorium doesn’t affect that supply line.