Deschutes County, OR Places Temporary Ban on Retail Cannabis

County commissioners in Oregon’s Deschutes County have unanimously voted to install a 90-day ban on recreational marijuana businesses, according to Bend’s The Bulletin. After the 90 days, officials are expected to return to and readdress the subject.

The ban affects new marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas of Deschutes County, though the decision does not affect existing businesses in the county, nor does it prevent additional cannabis businesses from sprouting up within city limits.

“I don’t want us to be the test pilot and take this straight to the crash site,” said Commissioner Tammy Baney. She warned that moving forward with regulations at the moment would be a “wild card,” and that it’d be safer to step back and see how other Oregon counties handle the challenges introduced by retail cannabis. “If we opt out today, we have an opportunity to have those challenges occur, and we can always take up this issue tomorrow, the next day, in two weeks or two months,” Baney said.

Commissioners also established a citizen-led advisory committee to review and address public concerns regarding marijuana land use regulations.

While undoubtedly frustrating for hopeful cannabis startups in the area, marijuana advocates can take comfort knowing the ban will need to be approved by county voters in the November elections to become a permanent roadblock.

Photo Credit: Andy Melton

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