PHOENIX, Ore. – A pair of decisions about medical marijuana dispensaries have left some city leaders confused about how to move forward, and some dispensary owners weighing their legal options.
The owners of The Greenery, a dispensary in Phoenix, appeared in court Thursday. The facility had been issued citations for operating without a business license. But the judge struck down the citations, and said the Greenery was exempt from a business license because the city ordinance prohibits licenses to anything that breaks federal law. Because it should never have been considered for a license in the first place, it should not receive citations for not having one.
The decision left city leaders in Phoenix confused about what it means.
“There’s new confusions daily,” said Mayor Jeff Bellah. “It’s been a journey.”
Bellah said the city council will now look at its options moving forward as to what it can legally do to regulate the facilities. He also wants the council to amend the ordinance to prevent a similar court ruling.
Bellah said he would be open to discussions with the owners of the Greenery to see how they can work together.
It’s still unclear what the ruling will mean for other cities dealing with medical marijuana dispensary laws. Medford Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke said he did not know about the Phoenix case, and referred questions to the City Attorney’s Office, which did not immediately return messages. Central Point Mayor Hank Williams said he was also unfamiliar with the case.
Meanwhile, Medford city leaders tightened rules on dispensaries Thursday, placing a ban on the facilities. The council also upheld its decision to revoke the business license for Mary Jane’s Attic, a dispensary in south Medford. The city can now issue citations to any dispensary that stays open.
Leland Berger, the attorney representing Mary Jane’s Attic, said Friday he is looking into legal options but did not provide details. The attorney for the owners of Patients Helping Patients, located on East Main Street, did not return multiple phone calls Friday.