I attended the Manzanita City Council meeting this past Wednesday during which they passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of recreational marijuana as will be allowed temporarily at Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries beginning in October. They targeted Oregon Coast Cannabis which wanted to open later this month in the former Garlic Company location. It was obvious from the get go that a majority of the council had made up its collective mind to handicap this entrepreneur.
The stated reasoning behind the council action was their contention that Manzanita residents may not favor such a business. They propose to hold a vote on the question in November of 2016, far too late for Oregon Coast Cannabis of course. The Pine Grove precinct which includes Manzanita voted 637 for and 361 against Measure 91 which ended prohibition of recreational use of marijuana by adults in Oregon. In this election, 367 Manzanita residents voted. It seems illogical to assume that Manzanita voters did not support Measure 91 and insulting to claim that in doing so they did not recognize retail sales might occur here. It also seems illogical as one council member stated that allowing sales to proceed until a new vote, would prejudice voters. It seems the opposite would be true – that doing so would give voters more information. A vote could also be held this coming November if needed. How much would it cost to send out 367 ballots and count them? I volunteer to count them myself, with supervision of course!
In spite of claims of neutrality by some council members, and that more people spoke in favor of allowing sales than against it, the council passed a pre-drafted ordinance designed specifically to handcuff one particular business and increase its risk of failure at a gateway location to the city that has been vacant for nearly a year. Marijuana use by adults is now legal by Oregon law, just like wine or beer. I doubt the council would have drawn up and passed an ordinance banning the sale of either of those substances at the same location.