GRANTS PASS, Ore – Josephine County leaders said the county charter prevents them from allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the county. The finding comes less than a week before the state can begin issuing business licenses to those facilities.
According to the county charter, business licenses cannot be given to places that break local, state, and federal law. And under federal law, marijuana is illegal.
County commissioners said the charter makes it clear that a medical marijuana dispensary would be in violation, and said there’s nothing they can legally do right now to change that fact.
“It’s just not doable until that federal law would change or, I guess it could be presumed that the charter could change,” said Commissioner Keith Heck. “But that’s not a realistic option any time soon.
Last week, Grants Pass city leaders also said they will not allow the facilities to open, and used the same argument that their laws do not allow something to open if it violates federal law.
Also last week, the Oregon Senate passed a bill that allows cities to regulate where those dispensaries can open, like around schools and parks. That bill still needs to be voted on by the Oregon House.