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Jackson County considers moratorium on pot dispensaries

 Posted: 1:15 PM March 17, 2014

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will consider adopting a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries that would last until May 1, 2015.

The board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the Jackson County Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

The moratorium would apply to land under county jurisdiction, not inside cities that are taking their own stances on the dispensary issue.

The Oregon Legislature recently passed a bill allowing local jurisdictions to pass moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries until May 1, 2015.

The moratorium was adopted to give the Legislature time to assess a new statewide medical marijuana registration system that began this month and triggered a flood of applications for dispensaries.

Adopting a moratorium in Jackson County would give county officials time to determine where and by what process dispensaries should be reviewed under the county's land-use process, County Administrator Danny Jordan explained.

Cities in the county have adopted differing approaches to the dispensary issue.

The Medford City Council is scheduled to give final approval to an ordinance placing a permanent moratorium on dispensaries within the city retroactive to March 1.

The Ashland City Council cleared the way for dispensaries, as long as they adhere to state standards, including that they be located at least 1,000 feet from each other and schools and be sited on mixed use, business or agricultural land.

A former Phoenix city councilor is leading a petition drive to overturn that city's four-month moratorium on dispensaries that begins on April 3.

— Vickie Aldous

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