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County mulls moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

Ban could last until May 2015; cities will still make their own rules
 Posted: 2:00 AM March 18, 2014

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Jackson County would be banned for a year under a proposal Wednesday before county commissioners.

The commissioners will consider the moratorium at its 9:30 a.m. meeting in the Jackson County Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

The moratorium would last until May 1, 2015, and apply to land under county jurisdiction, not inside cities that are taking their own stances on the dispensary issue.

The Oregon Legislature earlier this month passed a bill allowing local jurisdictions to enact moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries until May 2015. The bill gives lawmakers time to assess the new dispensary system that began in March and triggered a flood of applications.

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 rules, according to County Administrator Danny Jordan.

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.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or Follow her at

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