Dozens of Oregon communities are declining to roll out the welcome mat for medical marijuana dispensaries.
According to a report by The Oregonian, 21 cities have passed zoning ordinances that effectively ban medical marijuana dispensaries, and another 14 cities have imposed temporary moratoriums. Two counties have also passed similar measures that apply to unincorporated areas.
Towns have been enacting the bans since Oregon voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in August 2013, but advocates there were optimistic that the bans would be abolished by legislation. Last month, Oregon’s Senate approved a bill that prohibited towns and counties from banning the dispensaries outright.
But the state’s House amended the bill to allow local governments to enact one-year moratoriums beginning on May 1, 2014. The House passed that bill on Wednesday. It now heads back to the Senate for re-approval.
The bans and moratoriums will undoubtedly shape the geographic location of Oregon’s medical marijuana industry.
The vote on moratoriums comes two days after the state opened its application process for dispensaries. Oregon officials saw 300 businesses apply for dispensary licenses on the first day. The state expects to approve 225 licenses statewide for the businesses.