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Sandy adopts state law to ban marijuana facilities

City Council ordinance to go before voters in 2016


The city of Sandy now has a state law to back up its local ban on medical marijuana facilities.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, July 14, the Sandy City Council became one of the first cities to enact an ordinance under House Bill 3400 prohibiting the establishment of marijuana facilities.

“Recently the Governor signed into law House Bill 3400 which allowed cities, who had not rejected Measure 91 by 55 percent or more, to enact an ordinance instituting a moratorium all business uses of marijuana, except grow sites for medical marijuana,” wrote Sandy City Manager Seth Atkinson in a weekly update email on Friday, July 17.

HB 3400 was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown on June 30. Section 134 of HB 3400 allows cities or counties to adopt ordinances prohibiting most marijuana facilities including processing sites, medical dispensaries, marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers. The ordinance must then be put to a public vote of local citizens.

The section reads: “If the governing body of a city or county adopts an ordinance under this section, the governing body shall submit the measure of the ordinance to the electors of the city or county for approval at the next statewide general election.”

“It seems to me it would be a good thing to put it out to a vote in a general election with the most voter turnout,” said Atkinson at the July 14 special meeting.

At the meeting, the council passed an ordinance amending the municipal code enacting a ban on marijuana facilities in reference to HB 3400 and another, repealing the previous ban language.

Both ordinances, 2015-08 and 2015-09, were passed unanimously by the council and

declared emergency, mak-

ing them effective immediat-ely.

Matthew Nageli, of Eagle Creek, spoke during the public hearing, calling the council out for the immediacy of the special meeting. He took offense to making the decision at a special session with so little notice.

“That’s pretty underhanded,” he said.

Atkinson responded that the ordinances were passed with such urgency due to impending litigation with Quality Control Group, a medical marijuana dispensary challenging the city’s ban.

“Normally this would not be the way we would bring these ordinances to you,” he said. “We’re under deadline.”

City Attorney Chad Jacobs said they believe the new language enacted by the ordinance will make a difference in the city’s favor.

“The city already had a prohibition,” he said. “We’re

just changing the language. We’re not changing anyone’s rights.”

City Councilor Carl Exner said since the July 14 special meeting, he has been hearing comments from constituents on both sides of the issue.

Exner said the debate should no longer focus on whether marijuana should be legal, instead citizens and officials should look to the best way to implement the law safely.

“It’s how we go about it,” he said.


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