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Fairview Council quickly approves marijuana, e-cig code amendments

Typically, discussion between Fairview City Council members is lively, but at the Wednesday, March 18, meeting, it was nonexistent as the council quickly passed two code amendments — related to marijuana and electronic cigarettes — that proved controversial in the past.

The first code amendment addresses zoning for both medical and recreational marijuana facilities. Marijuana facilities will be restricted to the Light Industrial Zone in the northwest section of Fairview. The code prevents medical and recreational facilities to operate on the same location.

The council added an amendment that goes a step further than state restrictions in not allowing facilities within 1,000 feet of a public or private school.

The council approved both amendments in less than three minutes.

There was some debate concerning a church in the zone that may disqualify the zone under the school-distance restrictions, but the determination on whether the church qualifies as a school was not addressed.

The code will go into effect in 30 days, with the moratorium on medical marijuana facilities expiring April 30.

Vaping regulations

The second code amendment passed relates to e-cigarettes. Initially, the code instituted restrictions on the sale to a minor as well as where devices can be used. But after some heated discussion by the council, those issues were split.

The council voted on the first motion, which prohibits the sale and possession by minors of e-cigarettes and vapor products by minors.

Products in Fairview retail facilities now also need to be located in a place not accessible by customers. This will likely mean behind the counter.

The code essentially adds e-cigarette regulation into the existing code for tobacco products. In doing so, the sale of these products to a minor is considered a crime related to endangering the welfare of a minor.

Unlike the marijuana code amendment, these restrictions go into effect immediately.

The second portion of proposed regulation — make use illegal in public parks, at city events, on sidewalks adjacent to city property and near city property, including city vehicles — will be discussed at a future council meeting.

The first reading took place at the March 18 meeting, but public comment will be accepted at the second reading in April.

“I think the issue remaining is are we going to totally ban it from parks or not,” Mayor Ted Tosterud said in February. “There were a few folks that felt it was very important and some did not. We know Portland passed their (ordinance banning smoking in parks) and a lot of people are not happy with that.”

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