Oregon Lawmakers Grant Certain Eastern Counties the Right to Ban Marijuana Sales

Oregon lawmakers tasked with implementing Measure 91 — the successful 2014 voter initiative to legalize recreational marijuana — have approved a bill granting certain local governments the right to ban marijuana sales in their counties. This is a direct violation of the initiative’s initial language, which stated that localities wishing to ban marijuana sales would have to do so via a local election.

Passed unanimously by the House-Senate marijuana committee, House Bill 3400 allows the local governments of Oregon counties where more than 55 percent of local voters opposed legalization to opt out of the medical and/or recreational cannabis industries. 15 counties demonstrated that level of opposition, all of them in the eastern half of the state.

Additionally, HB 3400 allows local governments to collect up to 3 percent in sales tax on recreational marijuana sales.

The bill also covers issues regarding the production and retailing process for legal marijuana, including a seed-to-sale tracking system and other regulations such as testing requirements and advertising restrictions.

HB 3400 now moves to the full House and Senate.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Oregon on July 1, though retail stores are not expected to open until sometime next year.



Photo Credit: Baker County Tourism

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