Bend City Council holds marathon session to pass pot rules

Council approves emergency ordinance to set buffer zones around parks and to avoid clusters.

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The Bend City Council approved last night an emergency ordinance to set buffer zones for recreational marijuana stores around parks and to avoid clusters.

The session wrapped slightly after 1 a.m.

Since Oct. 1, medical marijuana dispensaries have been permitted to sell a limited range of marijuana products to anyone 21 or older through the end of next year. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission intends to begin issuing licenses to retail marijuana establishments next fall, and it’s widely believed that most existing medical dispensaries will ask the state for permission to re-establish themselves to serve the recreational market.

State law currently requires a 1,000-foot buffer between medical marijuana dispensaries. Under the rules approved by the council Thursday, medical dispensaries and recreational dispensaries are treated as entirely separate concepts — a recreational dispensary would be permitted to set up next to a medical dispensary, provided it is at least 1,000 feet from the next recreational dispensary. Any new medical-only dispensaries would also be allowed to locate next to future recreational dispensaries.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

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Several discrepancies in the law remain for marijuana entrepreneurs: One being the state’s clean air rules for pot bars.

A Multnomah County tobacco program specialist visited the World Famous Cannabis Café in Southeast Portland earlier this week to follow up on a complaint from a member of the public about smoking in the establishment. During the visit, Erik Vidstrand told café owner Madeline Martinez that cannabis smoking and vaping won’t be legal in her club starting Jan. 1.

Though Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act was implemented in 2009, lawmakers this year expanded it to prohibit the use of devices like vaporizer pens and e-cigarettes in public areas and work places. Marijuana was also added to the law, which initially targeted only tobacco.

The indoor clean air law includes exemptions for two types of businesses: cigar bars, where patrons may smoke cigars, and smoke shops, where tobacco consumption is allowed. Both kinds of businesses must be certified by the state.


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