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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow La Grande medical marijuana moratorium fails — for now

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La Grande medical marijuana moratorium fails — for now

A gathering of citizens attended Wednesday's La Grande City Council meeting at city hall. The city council failed to enact a proposed, one-year moratorium on medical marijuana facilities Wednesday night, though discussion on the issue will continue. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)
A gathering of citizens attended Wednesday's La Grande City Council meeting at city hall. The city council failed to enact a proposed, one-year moratorium on medical marijuana facilities Wednesday night, though discussion on the issue will continue. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)
 

The La Grande City Council failed to enact a proposed, one-year moratorium on medical marijuana facilities Wednesday night, but discussion on the issue will continue.

The proposed moratorium would be in response to recently-passed Oregon House Bill 3460, which allows medical marijuana dispensaries. Another piece of state legislation, SB 1531, permits local jurisdictions to impose a one-year moratorium on those facilities.

The council had slated a two-stage vote Wednesday on an ordinance that would have first declared an emergency, and then established the moratorium. A unanimous vote was required for the emergency declaration, and the tally came out 5-1.

With immediate enactment out of the question, the council plans to come to a decision on the moratorium in a special session April 28.  By state law, local jurisdictions have until May 1 to enact their moratoriums.

In a report before the vote, City Manager Robert Strope told the council a moratorium would give the city time study potentially thorny issues connected with the facilities, including licenses and permits and zoning.

Councilor Jerry Sebestyen cast the lone dissenting vote on the emergency declaration. Sebestyen said he believes the council needs more time to study issues linked to siting of the facilities, and to consider testimony given so far.

See more in Friday's edition of The Observer. 

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