Lincoln County Commissioners: We’ll have “temporary” retail marijuana sales regulations in place by Jan. 1
Lincoln County Counsel Wayne Belmont has been trying to guide his County Commission bosses through uncertain waters over the legalization of retail marijuana. Retail marijuana is already being sold in many areas of the state by medical marijuana dispensaries – this in an effort to stunt the market share of the black marketeers.
The commissioners have been mulling over what restrictions they wanted on the now legal plant being sold as a recreational product, just like fermented hops and grains. Belmont says he expected the state to have these regulations in place but they haven’t been able to get the job done. Therefore the need for temporary local regulations on the sale in time, place and manner of retail marijuana. Hours of operation, no minors allowed or product visible from the street, and not within a thousand feet of a public school – and many others.
Belmont says they’re now on a tight timeline to get the temporary regulations in place before January 1st when applications from marijuana growers, processors and sales outlets will be filing their applications with the county – again for lands outside cities. Commissioner Bill Hall said he’s already been approached by an intending marijuana grower in the Siletz area who said the growing operation will be substantial and so will his investment be in it. So he wanted to be clear as to where things are going so he can keep planning his investments for his facilities.
And with that the vote was unanimous to refer the proposed regulations for retail marijuana over to the planning commission for their review and to take public testimony on the regulations – set for December 14th at the county courthouse. After the planning commission reviews and approves the regulations (with or without changes) they will come back before the county commissioners for their final review and likely approval.
Belmont said once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) finalizes their regulations this Spring, the county will have to re-review their temporary regulations to make sure Lincoln County is in strict alignment with those new OLCC rules.
Belmont, showing some frustration on reflecting back on the marijuana legalization process, said he expected the state to move much faster than it has, which made coping with the change in laws and attitudes concerning marijuana all the more troublesome at the local level.
The January 1st deadline looms on local retail marijuana rules. But Lincoln County appears to STILL be ahead of the ball and will slide into home plate in a photo finish.
In other commission business, they approved what many have lamented was way overdue – proper storing and protection of county vehicles and equipment. But the building they finally approved wasn’t cheap. Nearly a quarter-million dollars for a very secure 4,400 square foot building for Sheriff’s Search and Rescue equipment and vehicles, as well as vehicles for Health and Human Services, Emergency Preparedness, Animal Services and others.
Construction of the building, near 7th and and Harney, is expected to begin fairly soon and be ready for occupancy and storage well before Summer.
Sheriff Dotson wanted to point out that most of the funds required to build the new facility were donated by a now deceased Search and Rescue volunteer. The rest of the funds were provided by the county.