Legislators at odds with cities over pot bill

Legislators who sponsored a law that creates a network of medical marijuana dispensaries are at odds with the Oregon League of Cities assertion that Medford has the right to ban these facilities.

"Right now, the way we're looking at it, there is nothing in the statute that would preempt the city's authority," said Scott Winkels, a lobbyist with the League of Cities, which represents all 242 cities in the state.

The authors of House Bill 3460, Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, and Sen. Floyd Prozanski, think their legislation never intended to enable cities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, only to provide some local controls over hours of operation and location.

Winkels said he raised the issue of local control during a House meeting prior to passage of the bill, though he doesn't think Buckley was present at the meeting.

The League endorsed HB 3460 with the understanding that it would allow local prohibition of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Buckley has said legislative counsel will issue a written opinion that the bill doesn't allow cities to ban dispensaries.

— Damian Mann

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