Medical marijuana dispensary regulation debate

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, February 19 2014 at 4:50 PM, Updated: Thu, February 20 2014 at 8:58 AM

Klamath Falls, Ore. -- Klamath Falls city and Klamath County government met today to work on possible regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries and they're facing a tight deadline.

Edward Medina, Jr. plans to run a medical marijuana dispensary in Klamath Falls but he's caught in a catch-22.

"Until the city will issue me a business license, I can't apply for state licensing."

State lawmakers are working on a bill giving cities and counties more leeway in regulating dispensaries but Klamath Falls City Attorney Joanna Lyons-Antley doesn't think the bill is needed.

"Senate Bill 1531 would be nice, but it's not necessary."

Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge says the city of Klamath Falls, and Klamath County want to make to make sure that if they pass any regulations, they don't conflict.

"To draw a line, clear bright lines, that run a parallel path with each other."

The Klamath Falls City Council will consider an ordinance on March third that would prohibit delivery of medical marijuana, bar marijuana use at dispensaries, and expand 'buffer zones' from places where kids are present.

Lyons-Antley explains "The idea is that you don't want minors going into, or being near these locations."

Medina claims local concerns are already addressed in state law.

"The 32 page document of rules and regulations available on the Oregon Health Authority website addresses every one of the concerns in detail."

The state will begin taking applications for dispensaries on March third.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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