PHILOMATH — The Philomath City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance Monday night to establish the registration process and time, place and manner guidelines for medical marijuana businesses wanting to operate within the city limits.
The council felt compelled to get an ordinance in place with a one-year moratorium on such businesses expiring May 1.
“To me, it comes across as very prudent, very practical,” Philomath City Manager Chris Workman said, “and it will be a good tool for the city that if these businesses do come to town and want to set up shop, we’ve got a code that we can now refer back to to help regulate it.”
The city did its homework while putting together the ordinance, pulling information and experiences from various sources.
“There’s been several similar ordinances passed by other cities, so we kind of got to cherry pick and take the best sections of each of those ordinances and pull it into a single ordinance that we now have,” Workman said.
“One of the benefits of adopting and putting that moratorium into place was it gave this year to let these other cities figure out what’s working and what isn’t working …. administrative roles, what the courts are doing with different things and how they’re interpreting different challenges of the law. So, we’ve got a really good ordinance, I believe.”
The ordinance stresses the requirement that medical marijuana dispensaries must operate more than 1,500 feet away from places where youth spend their time — schools, library, parks, daycare centers, and youth activity centers and organizations.
Workman said the restrictions and requirements in the ordinance all point back to “these areas that we’re trying to regulate, trying to keep control of, and so we’re not just making this up, we’re not just saying we don’t want one in town so we’re going to make up laws so you can’t be in town. We’re saying we don’t want it near children, so we’re going to put a 1,500-foot border around any school, any park.”
Dispensaries also will not be able to operate within 500 feet of a state highway, which eliminates the business district on Main Street and most of Applegate Street.
“It talks about these very specific time, place and manner requirements right from the attorney general that say robust, regulatory regulations should look at these things and should focus on these things about keeping it away from …Read More
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