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Commissioners OK 120-day pot moratorium

Ban on medical marijuana dispensaries could run into 2015
 Posted: 2:00 AM March 20, 2014

Jackson County commissioners Wednesday approved an emergency 120-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries that could be extended 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 dispensaries.

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

The hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. 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 the 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.

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

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