Depoe Bay City Councilors Tuesday night unanimously approved the sale of recreational marijuana by medical marijuana dispensaries until the state sets up stand-alone recreational outlets. The whole idea is to trigger regular marijuana sales early so as to take away a lot of customers that would otherwise buy marijuana from the black market.
The council’s action allows a medical marijuana dispensary within the Depoe Bay city limits to sell regular marijuana starting October 1st and from then on until the state Oregon Liquor Control Commission establishes regulations for recreational marijuana grows, processing, wholesaling and retail to the public. Those regulations should be in place sometime after the first of the year.
But in the meantime, to buy up to a quarter ounce of marijuana a day from medical marijuana dispensary(s), customers must be 21 years of age.
All dispensary-sold marijuana is certified not to be black market in origin. Dispensary marijuana is certified as to where it was grown and laboratory inspected to ensure no toxic chemicals were used in the growing or processing of the product. It’s been said that “some” black market marijuana has a certain amount of pesticide residue in it which medical marijuana does not.
When regular marijuana stores get their OLCC regulations in hand and open next year, their product will also be laboratory tested to certify that no pesticides or other toxic chemicals were used in the growing or processing of the product.
Currently, any Oregonian 21 years of age or older has the right to possess up to an ounce of marijuana at any time. And they may possess up to four marijuana plants at home to grow their own supply.
After the first of the year, the state, cities and counties will be able to tax the sales of regular marijuana. A 20% state tax takes effect January 4th. If cities and counties want to put their own sales tax on marijuana, it’s limited to 3% and is expected to be aimed at helping local police departments and sheriff’s offices to step up law enforcement after marijuana sales kick into high gear.
Depoe Bay’s approval of regular marijuana sales beginning October 1st means they join Newport, Lincoln City, Waldport, Yachats and Toledo in authorizing the temporary sale of recreational marijuana by medical dispensaries until the OLCC establishes regulations sometime next year.
Depoe Bay is expected to get its first medical marijuana dispensary approved a bit later this month. There’s a hearing next week on a dispensary applicant’s request to be the first dispensary to open in Depoe Bay. It’s expected to set up shop in the recently closed Boneyard Barbecue building on 101 just north of the downtown core.