Protests cause city officials in Portland to take a step back on marijuana regulatory framework
Portland, Oregon city officials want to introduce a six-month moratorium on the marijuana industry. The proposal is designed to give the city time to establish regulations for the increasingly popular space, but businesses have been fighting back. They say that the moratorium is unnecessary and could cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Because of the protests, the city has decided to delay a vote on the moratorium, but not for long. It expects to make a ruling on October 1.
The proposal could have been put to a vote this past Monday. City officials, however, unanimously decided for the postponement. In addition to the feedback from business owners, several city councilors also said they needed more time. They argued that they have not had a chance to review all documentation that they have received about proposed marijuana project that could be affected by the moratorium.
The temporary halt would cover virtually all aspects of the industry – cultivation facilities, caregivers who have joined together to reduce overhead, dispensaries and virtually everything else. Portland wants to develop a “comprehensive plan’ to regulate medical and recreational marijuana use within city limits before allowing the industry to flourish.
The entrepreneurs point out that they have already invested a lot of time and money in preparing their businesses, and to introduce a moratorium now would cause them to lose it all. They argue that they have had to spend money on architects, consultants, real estate, lawyers and engineers to ensure compliance with existing codes and any suspension of services would be a virtual death sentence for their businesses.
Undoubtedly, the business owners are going to be facing a stressful period until the possible ruling at the beginning of next month. With a little luck, city officials will realize that they don’t need to suspend the industry to create any type of framework on top of existing laws that can be implemented moving forward.