Property pickings slim for medical marijuana dispensaries in Cornelius

Property pickings slim for medical marijuana dispensaries in Cornelius

Correction Appended

Developers hoping to bring medical marijuana facilities to Cornelius will have to find space among the limited number of lots made available to them in a new ordinance approved Monday, March 16 by the City Council.

The ordinance supplements state regulations that prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries and grow sites within 1,000 feet of schools or other medical marijuana facilities. Cornelius city councilors voted to add a 1,000-foot buffer around existing state-licensed day care centers, also restricting medical marijuana sites to two highway commercial zones along Oregon 8 on the east and west ends of town.

Given these restrictions, about 16 lots in the city – some of which are already occupied – would be allowed to host dispensaries or grow sites, according to a map provided by the city.

This number could fluctuate as businesses open and close. If a day care closes its doors, for example, its buffer would go with it. Or if a dispensary opens up, it would emit its own 1,000 foot buffer, rendering the lots around it ineligible for other such facilities.

A day care center that opens within 1,000 feet of an already established medical marijuana facility would not effect that business’ legal status.

The rules established by the new ordinance will come into effect April 16, well before a yearlong ban on medical marijuana facilities is lifted May 1. The ordinance also requires that potential dispensary or grow site owners get conditional use approval from the city and announce their presence to all other properties within 1,000 feet.

Cornelius Mayor Jef Dalin said Monday that the ordinance is “somewhere left of center” in relation to those proposed in cities across the county. Hillsboro and Tualatin are both considering ordinances that increase the standard 1,000 foot buffers and place them on city parks, among other modifications.

This story has been corrected to reflect the accurate spelling of Mayor Jef Dalin’s name.

–Dillon Pilorget



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