The City of La Grande took its first formal steps to putting the question of whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana on the ballot Wednesday night.

The council passed the first reading of an ordinance that would repeal the ban on the sale of recreational marijuana, which will allow the council to give it to the voters in November.

However, the ballot will also have a separate item regarding whether to allow a 3 percent sales tax on all sales of recreational marijuana. It will not impose a tax on medical marijuana, though.

On the ballot, voters have the chance to pass, or deny, both or just one of those questions. However, if the tax does pass, it means more revenue that would go into the city’s general fund, according to City Manager Robert Strope.

Mayor Steve Clements said despite banning the sale of pot in La Grande, the city has already felt many impacts other than the revenue.

Clements said the state legalized it as a whole and those who want pot can go to other towns, like Pendleton, to buy it and bring it back to La Grande.

There will be a second reading of both ordinances at the June 6 council meeting.

Additionally, a third amendment was brought in front of the Urban Renewal Agency concerning the Market Place loan agreement.

See complete story in Friday's Observer

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