MYRTLE POINT — The question of whether to have any recreational or medical marijuana dispensaries in town will be before voters in November 2016.
Councilors have approved referring an ordinance to residents, voting on this Oct. 5. On Nov. 8, 2016, voters will determine what opens and operates — if anything.
"The question for the ballot will be something similar to the following," said City Manager Darin Nicholson: "Should medical marijuana processors, medical marijuana dispensaries, and recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers be prohibited in Myrtle Point?"
The city manager added that referring this question to the ballot for the 2016 general election is "in accordance with the provisions of Measure 91 and House Bill 3400."
Section 134 of House Bill 3400 provides that a council can adopt an ordinance and that this local law would then go before a community's voters "prohibiting the establishment of certain state-registered and state-licensed marijuana businesses..."
Oregon law allows citizens to operate registered medical marijuana processors, medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed recreational pot producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers.
According to the Coos County Elections Office website, 467 residents voted against Measure 91 in November and 377 voted for it, a difference of 90.
"Approval of this measure would prohibit the establishment and operation of medical marijuana processors, medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers with the Myrtle Point city limits," the document added.
State law also allows for continued operation of medical marijuana processors and dispensaries already registered "— or in some cases, that have applied to be registered — and that have successfully completed a local land use application process. There are no such registered facilities at this time."
Additionally, if Myrtle Point voters approve the measure, that means city personnel will not be able to "receive distributions of state marijuana tax revenues and will be unable to impose a local tax or fee on the production, processing or sale of marijuana" or any product that has the drug in it.