Klamath Falls city council considers cannabis controls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Klamath Falls City Council is working to clarify regulations on marijuana grows and processing. But some are concerned those rules will limit patient access to medical marijuana.

Pati Horton said her uncle suffered from violent tremors, until he tried medical marijuana. “He used it one time,” Horton testified before council. “He took a nap, and when he woke up, his hands were like this.”

Dispensary owner Ed Medina said a local ban on recreational sales limits his access to medical marijuana suppliers. “We’re stuck under the Oregon Health Authority program,” added Medina. “So a processor has to hold an Oregon Health Authority License to sell to me.  Not an OLCC license.”

But local processing in Klamath Falls may face a legal hurdle. City council members reviewed an ordinance Monday night to limit processing to conform with city zoning codes.

City Councilor Dan Tofell questioned City Attorney Joanna Lyons-Antley on the basics of the ordinance, saying, “If they’re going to manufacture or process, it has to be done in an industrial, or light industrial area – right?” Lyons-Antley said that was correct.

Medina said that’s a problem, “There is no available property on this map to set up a processing facility today.”

Medina believes no access to outside, or local cannabis will only hurt patients. He said, “Essentially, a year from now, we will have no access to products – period.”

The Klamath Falls City Council is also considering an ordinance that would prohibit grows from being in public view.

Both proposals will come up for a second and final reading November 7th.

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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