Clackamas County commissioners approve draft marijuana ordinance; minimum dispensary setbacks include 2,000 feet from schools (maps)
Clackamas County commissioners approved a draft ordinance that would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in a policy session Tuesday, March 10.
The ordinance calls for dispensaries to have minimum setbacks of 2,500 feet from neighboring dispensaries; 2,000 feet from schools; 1,500 feet from light rail transit stops, libraries, parks, treatment centers, adult foster care locations, public housing and state liquor stores; 500 feet from licensed childcare facilities; and 100 feet from residentially zoned property that does not front a state highway or major arterial road.
At the request of commissioner Paul Savas, commissioners approved a last-minute amendment extending the 2,500 feet dispensary setback to potential future recreational dispensaries, instead of just concerning medical dispensaries.
The regulations mostly allow dispensaries in small patches around Gladstone, Milwaukie and Clackamas Town Center, and would only allow for one more dispensary on McLoughlin Boulevard, where two currently operate and a third recently closed, according to the county.
“I think this is a great way to do it,” commissioner Jim Bernard sad. “My biggest concern is that McLoughlin Boulevard becomes marijuana central. If you look at the red spots, there’s not that much left. But… it gives them a chance to survive.”
Commissioners chose not to specifically allow medical marijuana dispensaries in industrial or rural commercial zones. Under the draft ordinance, minors can accompany cardholders in the waiting areas of medical marijuana facilities. Medical marijuana facilities cannot be located on the same property or in the same building as any marijuana social club or smoking club, and people cannot consume marijuana or tobacco products on the premises of these facilities.
A small portion of the area near Clackamas Town Center that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries overlaps with a site of the Eagle Landing development. Project developer Neil Nedelisky did not immediately return a call and email sent Friday regarding the dispensary zoning.
Commissioners will meet again for a final vote on the ordinance before a yearlong moratorium on marijuana dispensaries enacted last April 24 expires. The county this January voted to allow existing dispensaries to reopen, and four did.
Local governments in Oregon can regulate reasonable time, place and manner restrictions for dispensaries, and must also comply with any state regulations.
— Hannah Leone