Many OR Communities to Hold Second Recreational Cannabis Vote

Though recreational cannabis is technically legal in Oregon, moratoria remain in place throughout more than 100 of the state’s local communities. However, voters in about half of those locations will be voting again in November whether or not to approve recreational cannabis — this time as a locality — an OPB report reveals.

Under the implemented version of Oregon’s successful legalization measure, officials in cities and counties where 55% or more of the populace voted against legalization were allowed to blanket ban the recreational industry. In places where less than 55% of voters were opposed to legalization, a similar ban requires majority support from the voters.

In Albany, Oregon, for example, officials banned the recreational industry back in 2014 — despite the fact that a slight majority of voters there actually favored legalization.

Shawn Aman, owner of Albany’s Going Green cannabis dispensary, told OPB that, though his medical sales are going well, he has to turn away close to a dozen customers each day who are hoping to take advantage of Oregon’s new recreational cannabis laws.

“As a business owner it feels incredibly frustrating to have to send customers down the street,” Aman said.

Albany is one of the localities where voters will decide this November whether or not to continue its ban on the recreational cannabis industry. Though officials in the area generally support the ban, there is a second measure on the ballot that would — if recreational cannabis is allowed — opt into a three percent local tax on cannabis sales.

Data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission indicates that as many as 52 different localities may vote on the recreational cannabis issue this November. At least 53 communities, primarily in eastern Oregon, will maintain their moratoria without having to consult voters.

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