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Cities Examine Short-Term Dispensary Ban

dispensaryPHOENIX, Ore. — Oregon lawmakers could soon allow cities to temporarily ban medical marijuana dispensaries until next year, and city leaders say they could give them more time to create a long-term option for those facilities.

Some lawmakers call Senate Bill 1531 a compromise, by allowing local cities to place bans on dispensaries until 2015. Local city leaders have said they need more time to look over state laws about dispensaries and how it would affect local ordinances.

Some Rogue Valley cities have already taken steps to limit dispensaries. Last week, Central Point set rules that prevent dispensaries from opening near schools, and Mayor Hank Williams has also said he would want to ban them if the state allows it.

This week, Phoenix placed a four-month moratorium on those facilities. Mayor Jeff Bellah said he does not expect the city to need the extra time laid out in the bill.

“I think if we can get what we need to do done in the next four months, then there would be no need to,” he said.

But some dispensaries have said those rules would not stop them from staying open. The Greenery has been open in Phoenix for months and had been issued citations from the city for operating without a business license. Director Andrea Adams said they will continue give patients access to marijuana.

“We’ve been operating for three years in the valley with many heavier threats hanging over our head,” she said. “So, in my opinion, this is a very minor speed bump and one that we are excited to get out of the way.”

The bill passed the House Wednesday and now moves to the Senate for approval.

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