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State pot law trumps local rules

 Posted: 3:20 PM October 15, 2013

Oregon law will trump any local ordinances that attempt to ban pot dispensaries, Rep. Peter Buckley warned today.

“The city of Medford cannot regulate medical marijuana differently than the state,” Buckley said.

Medford officials passed an ordinance on Sept. 5 that allows for the revocation or denial of a business license for anyone engaged in illegal activities based on federal, local or state laws.

The ordinance was created as a response to House Bill 3460, sponsored by Buckley, that would set up medical marijuana dispensaries around the state that would be regulated by the Oregon Health Authority.

HB 3460 will not take effect until March 2014 after a rule-making committee establishes the legal framework for establishing and regulating dispensaries that will distribute pot legally to medical marijuana patients.

Buckley said it is currently not legal to operate a dispensary until HB 3460 takes effect.
He said he contacted the Legislative Counsel’s office and received an opinion that local ordinances cannot be used to block the implementation of state law.

“State law will trump local ordinances,” he said.

— Damian Mann