GEARHART — The Gearhart City Council gave final approval Wednesday night to an ordinance allowing medical and recreational marijuana to be taxed when it is sold in the city.
Approved by a 3-2 vote, the ordinance calls for a 5 percent tax on medical marijuana and a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana and marijuana-infused products, if a statewide ballot measure passes in the Nov. 4 election.
Mayor Dianne Widdop and Councilors Sue Lorain and Albert Carder voted for the ordinance, while Councilors Dan Jesse and Joy Sigler opposed it.
Sigler reiterated her concern about imposing a tax on medical marijuana that she had expressed at a meeting last week when the ordinance first was considered.
“It’s a sad day when the city may possibly profit from a tax on medicine that people need,” Sigler said. “I hope a future council will remove the tax if there is ever a dispensary in Gearhart.”
Although Jesse didn’t comment at Wednesday night’s meeting, he said at last week’s session that he was against the portion of the ordinance that designates the tax revenue to go to the general fund. He said he wanted the revenue to “go to something of merit in the community.”
So far, no medical marijuana dispensaries have been established in the city. Gearhart has placed a moratorium on dispensaries until the city planning commission and City Council develop local regulations to control their location and operation.