Smoke Signals | Smoke Signals | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals

City's new committee begins drafting regulations for cannabis businesses

by

comment

The City of Bend has appointed a 10-member Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee to guide it in adding a third, local layer of regulation of Oregon's new cannabis businesses. The City describes its pending regulations as "reasonable time, place, and manner regulations" and hopes to have them in place by Jan. 1 2016. The Committee will meet several times over the next few months (details are available on the City's website), and its task, as Council Member Victor Chudowsky put it in addressing committee members at the inaugural meeting on Sept. 17, is "to help us figure out what legalized cannabis in Bend should look like."

The City's regulations will include a new chapter of the City's Development Code and a new licensing regime on top of the licenses already required for cannabis businesses by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). The rules in the Development Code will, according to City Attorney Mary Winters, address issues such as where businesses can locate when doing production (growing), processing, wholesale and retail sales, and laboratory analysis of cannabis samples. The regulations will also impose a minimum distance between cannabis retail stores, something the City has made no attempt to do with breweries or bars.

The City's cannabis business licensing rules, like those of other state authorities, will address operational aspects of the businesses. For retail stores, according to Winters, this will mean rules for operating hours, display of products, disposal of remnants, and similar matters. The license will need to be renewed annually. And of course, these City requirements will be in addition to the general City law that all businesses obtain and display a City business license.

The OLCC will eventually have complete statewide regulatory authority over adult-use cannabis businesses, and the OLCC is not expected to release its much-anticipated draft regulations until the second week in November. Those regulations are expected to address things such as store operating hours and co-location of different business processes (e.g., growing or processing at the same site as retail sales), so the City Committee may have a difficult task of not creating duplicative or conflicting rules.

At last Thursday's meeting, City representatives stated that they wanted to craft "balanced" regulations, but the City seems to be attempting to regulate anything left out of the forthcoming OLCC regulations. Fortunately, the Committee seems to include a broad set of perspectives, so it seems likely that both the needs and potential impacts of cannabis businesses will be considered in the Committee's deliberations. Nevertheless, I have a hunch that cannabis stores in Bend will not be allowed to stay open as late as the bars.

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Steve Holmes