Medical Marijuana in Seaside – UPDATE-

March 9, 2015 | Home

 UPDATE-
Monday, April 27th the council will hear testimony from the public about the added regulations proposed by the Mayor and the ordinance will be read and voted on again.  This is the perfect time to come and show your support for fair and reasonable regulation.  7 pm at 989 Broadway, right on HWY 101 in Seaside.

~Seaside’s City Council moves towards the acceptance and regulation of medical marijuana retail outlets, to read about it in the Seaside Signal, click here.
~For minutes from the City of Seaside of the Planning Commission meeting discussed above, click here.

Moving forward, the City will aim to regulate growers and it will require activism and careful citizen oversight.  It is possible that they will attempt to zone it out by writing an ordinance that allows it only in agricultural/industrial land, knowing that there is little to none of that in Seaside.  Stay tuned & stay active!

 

The remaining was originally published, March 9th, 2015
I rocked my ‘liberty leaf boots’ and a hemp dress to Seaside’s City Hall for the Planning Commission Meeting this last Tuesday night.  Medical Marijuana zoning was on the agenda and it read as follows:

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:   Consideration of potential zoning or use regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.  Although the current Code of Seaside prohibits the licensing of such facilities, the Commission will be taking public testimony concerning any additional zoning or use restrictions that should be considered if the licensing restrictions are lifted by City Council.  Oregon State law provides for a number of restrictions for medical marijuana dispensaries; however City ordinance does not currently recognize any of these use restrictions and the Commission will be hearing public comments concerning any additional regulations that may be appropriate for allowing such use.

Seaside City Planner Kevin Cupples provided a packet to the public and Commission which included additional information about each agenda item.  This included info about Senate Bill 1531 which allows governing bodies of city or county to adopt ordinances that impose ‘reasonable regulations’ on operation of medical marijuana facilities.  This is the same bill which allowed for the enactment of a moratorium (temporary ban) which Seaside voted in favor of, but will expire on May 1st of this year.

Geiger420

Steve Geiger, owner of HWY 420 in Seaside, speaks to the Seaside Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission was very receptive to public comment, even asking many questions and allowing for each attendee who commented to address each of their questions.  It was the usual crowd consisting of myself,  Steve Geiger of HWY 420 in Seaside, Oscar Nelson of Sweet Relief in Astoria along with a woman named Sherry Rolston who lives in Sherwood OR but owns a 2nd home in Surf Pines and is a MMJ patient.

The Daily Astorian headline about this meeting reads, “Locals speak in favor of medical marijuana.”  Read that report by Katherine Lacaze by clicking here.

One of the main complaints of patients, supporters of medical marijuana patients, and the industry that serves them, in Seaside, is not just the moratorium but the lack of follow-through, transparency and acceptance of public input by City Council.  They could really take a lesson on how to interact with the public from the Planning Commission.

If you read LR’s report of the City Council meeting in which they enacted the moratorium, you see they promised to “fast track” the currently operating facility, HWY 420.  Mr. Geiger and his wife Evy have attended many meetings and reached out to the Council many times hoping to work with them and to no avail.  At last weeks Commission meeting, Geiger repeated this message saying, “we are willing to do whatever we need to do, to move forward.”  He reported that he has been licensed since via the State of Oregon since last May and that this has been very costly waiting.

OscarCity

Oscar Nelson, co-owner of Sweet Relief Natural Medicine and Astoria Indoor Garden Supply.

Oscar Nelson reported to the Commission about his facility, Sweet Relief, which has been operating in Astoria for over a year now.  There are no complaints from neighbors, they are right downtown and serve many patients, both locals and visitors alike.  He believes opening this up for the people of Seaside would be a great benefit to all.  Nelson made mention of date that had been provided in the packet from Cupples, that every precinct in Seaside voted in favor of legalizing marijuana.

I spoke to the Commission about my life quality improvement after learning to use marijuana as medicine and that I would so much like to be able to purchase this “magical migraine medicine” locally in Seaside.  I told them there are over 600 patients in Clatsop County that also might be helped by having safe access to a medical marijuana retail outlet.  According to the OHA website Clatsop County has 657 patients.

After many questions lead to an educational discussion the Commission closed public comment and Vice Chair Bill Carpenter said, “You have all been very informative, thank you very much for your input.”  The Commission proceeded to discuss the issue, focusing more on zoning and finding appropriate sites.

When one Commissioner said he would feel better looking at a zoning map that had some marks on it to designate areas that have already been ruled out by state regulations, Cupples offered to create one.  Geiger suggested using the map that is already provided by OHA, which has purple circles for school zones and green marks for already licensed retail facilities.  State regulation requires that facilities be over 1,000 ft. from a school or other MMJ facility.  Cupples said he would combine the OHA map with Seaside zoning map and provide that for the Commission and public.

This issue will be revisited at Joint Work Session between City Council and the Planning Commission on Monday March 30th at 6:30pm in City Hall Council Chambers at 989 Broadway in Seaside Oregon.  Hope to see a lot of supporters at this work session and many letters to the editor and councilors asking them to allow liberty to reign in Seaside by allowing medical marijuana retail facilities to operate legally and safely.

 

 

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