Oregon Bill Prohibits Local Moratoriums

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Oregon lawmakers want to ban medical marijuana bans.

On Tuesday, Oregon’s Senate approved a bill that prohibits local communities from enacting moratoriums on marijuana businesses. The measure, House Bill 1531, allows communities to impose regulations on the businesses, such as hours of operation, location and the manner in which medical marijuana is dispensed. But the communities cannot ban the businesses outright.

The bill must now clear the House.

The authors of the bill say that local bans would limit the availability of medicine to patients who rely on cannabis for their well-being.

But many municipalities disagree. Several Oregon communities have banned or attempted to ban marijuana businesses from setting up shop. The towns of Stayton, Medford, Tualatin, Jacksonville, Sherwood and Grants Pass, and Yamhill County have all passed local ordinances to ban marijuana businesses.

A group called the Association of Oregon Cities has said it will file a lawsuit for the right to ban marijuana businesses. The group’s legal council said that since marijuana is federally illegal, counties and cities should have the upper hand.