City of Florence wants a year to consider pot dispensaries

FLORENCE, Ore. - Want to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Florence? You might have to wait.

The City of Florence plans to pursue a local ordinance to delay applications to open dispensaries for a year, said Mayor Nola Xavier.
Xavier tells KVAL News, "It feels to us that this is just kind of being rushed."

The City Council gave the city manager the green light last month to write up ordinance.

The mayor said the city wants to be proactive, not reactive, on the dispensaries. A one-year delay would give city officials time to study what other cities are doing and give Florence more local control, says Xavier.

She also wants a legislative subcommittee at the capitol to write the rules on where and how the dispensaries operate, not rules from marijuana store proponents, "which may not have the same safeguards in them that we're hoping that we'll see. We woud like it to be a smooth transition."

Whether or not state lawmakers will give cities like Florence the ability to delay dispensaries remains to be seen.

Xavier feels the state and legislature are making a big rush to push the program through.

The Florence City Council will vote March 17 on the local moratorium, regardless of what the legislature does.