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Shady Cove Re-Evaluating Recreational Marijuana Ban

Shady Cove is talking about marijuana. They’re debating the ban on recreational marijuana after the tiny town's only medical dispensary is closing up shop, for now. NewsWatch 12's Eliana Sheriff was at the meeting and finds out why people are passionate on both sides.

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 11:38 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 11:46 PM

SHADY COVE, Ore.-- The only medical marijuana dispensary in Shady Cove has its doors closed.

The owner Aaron Mitchell, who has locations across the state, says he won't be able to do business in Shady Cove unless he'll be able to sell recreationally.

La Mota Owner Aaron Mitchell says, "It just doesn't make sense cost effectively to stay medical and pay to be monitored by the OLCC, we're not making enough money to survive doing that."

Mitchell says while they've always been a medical dispensary in Shady Cove, things have become complicated since a new law passed, requiring all marijuana dispensaries to limit themselves to selling either recreational or medical marijuana as of the new year.

Sales in medical dispensaries across the state are dropping- and the marijuana industry is seeing those effects.

There are now only 17 medical dispensaries in the state.

The owner of La Mota says he spoke to 11 of those and they're all facing similar problems.

New expenses and oversight are too costly if you aren't recreational.

Now with the prospect of losing the only medical dispensary in the area people who use the cannabis are voicing their concerns.

Like this veteran who says he can't afford to travel out of shady cove every time he needs medicine.

"Me having to go to go to Medford, I can't do that. So, I am a medical grower, but I'm getting old and I'm getting sicker, and I can't do that anymore, I'm just asking for a little compassion."

Other residents say they don't have a problem with recreational marijuana, but they do see an issue if the city council repeals the ban against the voters will.

"For the Councilors to make a decision on something the people have already voted against, I think that's wrong."

The mayor says they need to re-evaluate and see if the city should reconsider its ban.

Mayor Tom Sanderson says, "Two votes, is that really what they want, whether they like it or not we're going to research it and see if that's the right thing to do but we will take input from the citizens."

You'll remember in November 2016, Shady Cove voters upheld the city's ordinance to ban recreational sales in a vote of 794 to 792.

No decision was made during Thursday night’s meeting, but the mayor says they will be moving forward with research and the councilors will likely make a decision in the coming months.

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