The Gearhart City Council has adopted an ordinance placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city for a year.

In a special meeting April 30, the council conducted a second reading on an ordinance it had considered two weeks before, but had failed to pass unanimously. The lack of a unanimous vote required the council to consider it again. According to state law, the council had until April 30 to adopt the ordinance that temporarily bans the dispensaries until May 1, 2015.

The council’s second vote was the same as it was during its first deliberation: Mayor Dianne Widdop and City Councilors Albert Carder and Sue Lorain approved the ordinance while Councilors Joy Sigler and Dan Jesse opposed it.

Neither Sigler nor Jesse explained their opposition. However, in the April 23 meeting, they both said patients who use marijuana should no longer bear the “stigma” associated with marijuana use.

The ordinance would prohibit medical marijuana facilities from operating in Gearhart “to allow the City Council time to consider and adopt proper zoning or other regulations,” according to the ordinance’s language.

State legislation limits the ability of cities and counties to regulate dispensaries other than within “reasonable regulations,” including the hours of operation, the facilities’ location and the manner in which a facility dispenses the medical marijuana.


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