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Buffer zone between cannabis production and school zones lowered

Mount Shasta city council approved new ordinances to regulate the cannabis industry and zoning.

Posted: Apr 22, 2019 11:24 PM

MOUNT SHASTA, Ore. -- The new buffer zone regulation allows the businesses to be closer to schools.

One man hasn't been able to use a building he bought for his business back in 2017.

Reny Townsend is the CEO of Jefferson Soul. He was planning to move his cannibis production into the building he bought, but he found out he can't because it's too close to a school.

"The school you can't even see from here it's 530 feet as the crow flies from property line to property line," Townsend said.

That's 70 feet too close to a school property to have cannibis production. In the video you can see the distance between the school and Townsend's building. On roadways, the buildings are more than 900 feet apart.

When Townsend was looking to buy the building, he examined the area to see if it would work for his business. Whenever he drove through the surrounding neighborhoods, he didn't notice the I Am School. He told NewsWatch12, there are no signs visible to the road that say the building is a school, it just looks like a home. 

He's been fighting to lower the buffer zone ever since. Monday night the Mount Shasta city council moved to approve an ordinance that would reduce the buffer zone from 600 feet to 450 feet.

Townsend said, "This is the final reading of a long process."

However, people who live nearby aren't supportive of the idea.

John Duncan, a trustee of the Mount Shasta Union School District, said, "As a trustee of the school district and a grandparent we're looking out for the kids and what's in the best interest of the health of our kids."

Duncan has lived in Mount Shasta since 1979.

"We don't think a real close exposure of the cannabis industry is in the best interest of our students," Duncan said. 

Townsend, on the other hand, said he wants locals to know he isn't going to expose kids to anything. He just wants to use the building he purchased for his business.

"You can see we have no signage on our building it'll stay this way," Townsend said. "What you see here - except there would be more cars - nothing would change."

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