“All politics is local” is a political cliche, but it is certainly true in Oregon cannabis politics. Regardless of how well a state legalization law is crafted, the devil is in the details when it comes time to open a cannabis business or even maintain a medical garden. The details of the local regulations governing your locality can be the determining factor whether your business or operation can be successful.
A state law, like Measure 91, can start with low barriers to entry, like the $1250 application fee initially passed by voters, but when the Oregon Legislature increases the cost near fourfold, a major barrier was made steeper. Throw in an additional local application fee and zoning regulations, and some major hurdles have been imposed.
If a locality imposes a ban on cannabis businesses altogether, then the ultimate barrier has been imposed. With the importance of these local regulations to the Oregon cannabis community apparent, the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference (OMBC), will have a panel focusing on localities, staffed with experts and lawyers that can answer your important questions.
There are more than 100 local marijuana measures on the ballot this November in more than 50 communities, from imposing a 3% local tax on sales, to outright bans on businesses to limiting medical grows. I helped Sherwood advocates put out a radio ad calling for the defeat of their current ban on regulated businesses and the messaging can be utilized by all communities fighting against such bans.
Even progressive Portland has buried businesses with a multitude of duplicative regulations and may impose an additional city tax. Medford is already levying fines on outdoor medical gardens and the voters will ultimately have the final say on limitations on gardens and bans on businesses. Nearby Douglas County has put a ban up for a vote as well.The OMBC on November 19th will allow the cannabis community to sift through the electoral results and focus on next steps for entrepreneurs and advocates alike. Come join us at the OMBC as we help entrepreneurs and activists deal with the political fallout of the election, prepare for local and state regulations, and plan for how we can protect and improve Oregon’s cannabis laws.