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Waldport poised to adopt medical marijuana controls

Waldport City Council File photo

Waldport City Council
File photo

Rules for operating Medical Marijuana Dispensary.

Waldport City Councils spent the better part of two hours Thursday setting up proposed new rules governing operations of the town’s two (so far) medical marijuana dispensaries.

There was considerable debate about whether some of the new rules were unfairly aimed at the dispensaries – for instance: “Report any disturbances or unlawful activity to the Sheriff’s Office and post signs regarding same.” Several councilors observed disturbances that require a call to the Sheriff’s Office are made at any business in town so why single out marijuana dispensaries as if they wouldn’t make such a call? The matter was removed from the list.

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Another proposed regulation tackled the issue of why the council doesn’t want marijuana dispensaries to “overly market” their products and services. It came down to what was mere display of their products as opposed to appearing to actively market them to those passing by in cars or simply walking into the dispensary. The final wording made a clear distinction between marketing and passive displays of products in appropriate areas inside the dispensary. Coastal Cannabis owner Andrew Matthews said his business entry area does not hype marijuana sales and he has no intention of doing it.

The council proposed that medical marijuana dispensaries be opened from 9am to 6pm, much like a regular pharmacy but Matthews objected explaining that his busiest hours of the day are between 6 and 8 pm. He said medical marijuana card holders stop by the pharmacies on their way home from work or after their daily routines. Although not completely comfortable with the request, the council went along with Matthews’ logic and gave him the later closing time.

Other regulations that were tentatively approved with little or no modifications included dispensaries cannot be housed in residential dwelling units – even if they’re surrounded by businesses. No drive-thru’s allowed. No minors allowed on dispensary premises without an adult. There is to be no consumption of medical marijuana on the premises except by those who carry a state-issued medical marijuana card. All products must be packaged in child-resistant packaging and shall be unattractive to minors. Because marijuana is still considered an illegal drug by the federal government, the council demanded that anyone running a dispensary must sign hold harmless documents with the city. And finally, there are procedures to revoke the business license of a medical marijuana dispensary owner if they violated rules and laws. However, the council agreed that current city laws surrounding what grounds constitute cause for revoking a license are vague and asked City Manager Kerry Kemp to develop those rules so they can move forward on getting this final “local” rule in place.

The entire medical marijuana proposed rulebook will come back at a later meeting for final review and adoption by the council.

Graffiti along Crestline

The council observed that after three young people were recently arrested by authorities the recent outbreak of graffiti seems to have decreased somewhat. Kudos to law enforcement on that subject matter

Captain Johnny’s Fish Bus

City Manager Kerry Kemp noted the absence of that big multi-colored bus that’s been parking in Waldport’s downtown area. Kemp referred to it as “Captain Johnny’s Fish Bus.” Kemp said Captain Johnny is currently selling fresh off his LOUDLY colored vehicle in Corvallis. Kemps said he’s street legal, has a business license and is not engaged in anything illegal that he could see. So if he comes back to Waldport people should honor his right to do what he’s doing and even buy fresh fish from him and hurry home and please the family.

Slowing down the public in school zones

Councilor Bob O’Brien brought up the importance of reminding the motoring public that summer is coming to a close and so motorists should watch their driving more carefully along Crestline Drive, home of Waldport High and Crestline Elementary. And to that end Sheriff Dotson has announced speed limit enforcement teams that will travel between school zones and provide visibility – ticket books included.

New Electronic Community Events Sign for Waldport

Mayor Susan Woodruff reminded her fellow councilors and the citizens of Waldport that there is a big golf fundraising event going on at the scenic Crestview Golf Club on Thursday, September 11th. Woodruff said the goal is to raise enough money to erect a large electronic readerboard sign somewhere in town to announce important community events. She invited all golfing citizens and their families to sponsor holes and the Chamber Luau that also accompanies the golf tournament.

And with that, the Mayor declared the meeting adjourned for another month.

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