Recreational pot regulations debated at Portland town hall meeti - KPTV - FOX 12

Recreational pot regulations debated at Portland town hall meeting

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

In a matter of weeks, marijuana will be on sale in Oregon.  But, the big question of where business owners will be allowed to open up shop, still remains.

That was the hotly debated issue in North Portland Thursday, at the city’s final town hall meeting on regulations.

Employees at Shango, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northeast Portland, say they’ve been preparing for months to make the switch to sell weed recreationally.  

Employees tell FOX 12 they’re investing in billboards, hiring on new staff and getting their shop ready for an expected influx of new customers.

“I believe Shango is ready for the rec market,” said Regional Manager Morgan McKee. “We’re setting things up for people to where they won’t have to wait, and getting the store ready for a new flow of traffic.”

But, there’s still a lot up in the air right now, when it comes to how the rec industry will be regulated. 

The City of Portland is still currently trying to figure out licensing fees along with zoning and sighting requirements.  

Also on the list, whether or not recreational pot shops will be allowed within 1000 feet from one another.

“If they do decide to put in place the 1000 feet rule, that could cause a lot of problems,” said McKee. “Good real estate is hard to come by as it is, but especially with these restrictions.  That will set a lot of people back.”

Many at Thursday’s town hall meeting argued that no other business operates under restrictions like that, not even liquor stores, or adult shops.  

To that a city representative tells FOX 12 state law requires medical marijuana dispensaries to be 1000 feet away from each other, and they’re trying to play fair to those businesses too. 

But, the issue is still up for debate, at least for a couple weeks. 

Other concerns raised by community members included how the city will establish safe places for people to consume marijuana and how they will prevent Portland's youth from using the drug.  

All things, the city says, they're still working on. 

While Thursday’s meeting was the last Town Hall discussion on the issue, the city says people can still email them with concerns all the way up to their first hearing on the regulations September 16th at 2 pm. 

The public is also invited to offer their feedback at that hearing as well. 

For more information visit:  http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/marijuana

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