Ashland Weighs Tighter Dispensary Rules

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ASHLAND, Ore. –Three weeks after allowing dispensaries to apply for business licenses, Ashland city leaders are considering more restrictions on where those facilities can open. The move comes as neighbors raise concerns about the locations of those dispensaries.

The city has received six business license applications to open dispensaries, including one at 400 Williamson Way. The dispensary has not yet opened, and the building is currently empty. The address is in a commercial zone, but sits across the street from a neighborhood. People living along Williamson Way said they were concerned about having a dispensary so close to an area with kids.

“This just doesn’t seem to be the place to be dispensing,” said Al Ives, who lives down the street from the planned dispensary.

Ives and other neighbors have written letters to the Ashland City Council and Planning Commission asking them to look into zoning rules regarding dispensaries. The council is considering several options, including prohibiting dispensaries from the downtown business area, or imposing a short moratorium to allow committees to consider the rules. Currently, state rules prohibit dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of a school.

“You want neighbors to have some reasonable transitions between commercial areas and residential areas,” said Councilor Pam Marsh. “Sometimes that’s challenging to achieve, but that’s our goal.”

The Planning Commission will hold a meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. to discuss zoning rules about dispensaries. The meeting will be held at the Council Chambers at 1175 E. Main St.


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  1. todd says:

    There is a liquor store, and several pubs/bars right in the plaza area. There are zillions of kids/adults that frequent this area. There are drug stores and Pharmacies all over the place.

    Are the decision makers concerned that kids will somehow be able to buy medications there?

    Are they concerned that the dispensaries will provide substances to the wrong people?

    Or is this a Nanny state?

  2. billbo39 says:

    I agree with todd but I also understand the concern of the parents. Unfortunately it is a gross misunderstanding as to what these places actually represent which is a safe alternative to the ever present black market that absorbs the valley ( which should be the real concern to the parents, comparatively speaking ). These dispensaries are not for the public, these dispensaries are for people with medical conditions attempting to treat a wide range of diseases. The odds of the kids obtaining anything from a dispensary by proxy is no higher than the risk of them being subjected to it in virtually any other part of ashland due to the sheer number of cannabis users and growers in the valley.

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