Impasse in Oregon Over Dispensary Bans

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An Oregon committee formed to hammer out regulations surrounding the state’s cannabis industry has failed to reach an agreement on whether elected officials in cities and counties can ban medical marijuana businesses.

The impasse threatens to delay implementation of Oregon’s recreational marijuana program, as the committee finds itself bogged down in MMJ issues.

The group must work through these issues before it can begin its key task of setting up a framework to regulate recreational cannabis. The clock is ticking, as recreational marijuana use becomes legal July 1.

Some committee members say allowing local governments to ban dispensaries goes against voters’ wishes to decriminalize adult-use marijuana, while others don’t want to take away control from municipalities.

The state initially let local officials ban dispensaries through May 1 of this year, and 26 counties and 146 cities enacted moratoriums.

The standstill is the latest in a long string of rules that have been held up by the committee, which has 25 bills assigned to it. So far, the group hasn’t yet voted to move any of these bills out of committee, according to the Daily Astorian.