Max Denning

In one of the tightest races of last week’s election day, the City of Joseph voted to repeal its ban on the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits. The measure passed by only 21 votes, 357-336.

Sean Flanagan, owner of The Peace Pipe, which sells smoking paraphernalia in Joseph, was the chief petitioner for the ballot measure. He said he was overjoyed by the results.

“It’s a super great feeling to have it passed,” Flanagan said Saturday. “I’m thankful for all the support we’ve had for the three to four years we’ve been working on this.”

Yet, the road to having a dispensary in Joseph is still a long one. On May 30, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which issues permits for marijuana dispensaries, announced it would be temporarily pausing the processing of recreational marijuana license applications. Newly appointed Joseph Mayor Teresa Sajonia said the OLCC told her it would be 10 to 14 months before a license would be processed for a potential dispensary in Joseph.

Sajonia said she did not want to discuss the marijuana issue further, as the council still needs to decide on the city’s next steps.

Flanagan said he was “very frustrated” by the fact that it could be 2020 before there was a dispensary in Joseph.

OLCC’s backlog is not the only thing keeping a dispensary from Joseph’s main drag of restaurants and shops.

See complete story in Monday's Observer