In the same week that a number of medical marijuana shops are opening their doors in Oregon, at least two Eastern Oregon communities say they want to opt out of allowing pot sales.
Oregon Senate Bill 1531, signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber last week, gives cities and counties until May 1 to block any medical marijuana stores that set up shop. Otherwise, the Oregon Health Authority is licensing pot to be packaged with child-proof containers and sold over the counter.
Officials in the city of Ontario say they're already exploring options to enact a moratorium on medical marijuana sales.
And this morning's Ontario Argus Observer reports that a pot shop ban is also likely in the city of Nyssa. On March 24, The Nyssa City Council passed its first reading of a new ordinance imposing its own moratorium on medical marijuana facilities. Nyssa officials agreed that anyone who operated or was employed by a registered medical marijuana facility should receive immunity from prosecution, but still decided that it was in the best interest of its citizens to enact the moratorium on operations of pot shops.
In March 2011, Boise Weekly visited the 45th Parallel, a small medical marijuana shop in Ontario, Ore., to find that a number of residents of the Gem State were regularly visiting the store.
"We know of at least 500 clients that have bought property in Oregon just in the last 60 days," said the proprietor. "They don't want to break the law, so this is going to be their new home. Idaho is losing residents, there's no doubt about it."