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home : business : business October 23, 2018

10/10/2018 8:12:00 AM
Planners will look at marijuana rules

Voters will decide in the November election whether they want to allow recreational marijuana-related businesses in Sisters. By that time, the City will have decided what rules such businesses would operate under if the voters say "yes."

Voters can get a look at those rules now.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft time, place and manner (TPM) text amendments to the Development Code for marijuana-related businesses on October 18, 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

In preparation for the general election results in November, the City Council and Planning Commission over the past year have both conducted public hearings and numerous work sessions on the TPM issues for marijuana sales, production, and processing.

With the arrival of ballots in the mail next week, residents of the city of Sisters will have the opportunity to vote on the question of whether or not marijuana-related businesses should be allowed in Sisters. The second measure to be decided is whether or not the City shall impose a three percent tax on marijuana sales, if the businesses are allowed.

Two former Sisters city managers during their tenure here suggested to the City Council it would be prudent for them to establish policy regarding marijuana locally before either national laws are changed or the November ballot measure allowing sales in town is approved or defeated.

TPMs regulate things such as where retail outlets or growing and processing operations may be located - distance from parks, schools, and each other, and which areas or zones of town. They also regulate hours of operation, signage, appearance of storefronts, and elimination of processing and growing odors and waste. There are already 10 state regulations enforced by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and cities are allowed to impose even more regulations beyond what the state does.

In an effort to more clearly understand the many facets of the burgeoning marijuana industry, members of the City Council and staff have spent a good deal of time over the past year reviewing draft legal documents prepared by the City attorney's office, visiting marijuana facilities in other cities, including a production-licensed facility (cannabis farming), a laboratory-licensed business (cannabis testing), and a processing-licensed business (cannabis extracts, concentrates, edibles, etc.). They also toured retail outlets, medical marijuana dispensaries, and spoke with owners and employees about their experiences and any advice they had to offer.

They thought the time and effort put into educating themselves was time well spent to prepare them for adopting TPMs that will offer the type of regulation desired for Sisters.

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the draft TPMs at next week's Planning Commission meeting and at a City Council public hearing, probably in November.

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