At their April 6, 2015 City Council meeting, the City Council held a lengthy and comprehensive discussion about how they might regulate already legal medical marijuana dispensaries as well as recreational retail establishments that will become legal in the next calendar year.
One year ago the Vernonia City Council placed a one year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries as a precautionary move since the state was getting ready to vote on Measure 91 which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Oregon. Numerous other cities around the state took similar action to protect themselves against the unknown ramifications a yes vote might have for the state and local governments. The City also voted to tax recreational marijuana if it did become legal.
The city moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries is set to expire on May 1st and Council felt the need to discuss how they might move forward. Their conversation lasted about an hour and included Ruben Cleaveland, their legal advisor, on the phone to give them advice.
Oregon citizens approved Measure 91 and recreational use of marijuana becomes legal July 1st, 2015 which means a citizen can legally possess marijuana, smoke it in private settings, and even grow a few plants for personal use. The OLCC will not begin taking applications for retail sales establishments until January of 2016 and is still discussing the details of how they intend to regulate grow operations as well as retail establishments.
Councilor Kim Tierney said she sees the benefits of medical marijuana and since the people voted to approve legalizing recreational use, she didn’t see why the City should oppose that. Councilor Jill Hult said she agreed with Tierney. Councilor Mike Seager said he was absolutely opposed to the sale of marijuana in the city of Vernonia in any way. Mayor Randy Parrow said that although he didn’t like the idea of marijuana being sold legally in Vernonia, the people voted to legalize it and he represents the people. Read More