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Temporary moratorium on marijuana dispensaries enacted in Jackson County

 Posted: 2:35 PM March 19, 2014

Jackson County Commissioners today approved an emergency 120-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and could adopt a moratorium in April that could last into 2015.

The moratorium applies to land under county jurisdiction and does not apply inside the limits of cities, which are taking their own stances on the dispensary issue.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing about whether to adopt a moratorium that could last as late as May 2015.

The hearing is scheduled during a meeting that will start at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 2, in the Jackson County Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

Earlier this month, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill allowing local jurisdictions to enact moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries until May 2015.

"What the Legislature did was give us some breathing room," Commissioner Don Skundrick said.

Adopting a moratorium would give county officials time to determine where and under what conditions dispensaries should be reviewed under county's land-use rules, County Administrator Danny Jordan said.

He said the county lacks specific provisions in its land-use laws allowing dispensaries.

A person who wanted to launch a dispensary could argue it is a pharmacy — which is allowed under county laws — but the claim would likely be challenged, Jordan said.

— Vickie Aldous

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