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Exploring marijuana dispensary regulations

By Jane Stebbins / The Curry Coastal Pilot

The city of Brookings will take up the topic of medical marijuana storefronts and to what extent they should be regulated when the Oregon Health Authority establishes statewide licensing rules next March.

The discussion will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at the Brookings City Hall on Elk Street.

Cities throughout Oregon are addressing the issue since Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law a bill authorizing the health authority to establish procedures for store-front stores. Cities, noted Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman, are allowed to adopt their own ordinances regarding the outlets.

"Nothing in this law protects dispensaries, growers, caregivers or patients from federal prosecution," Kitzhaber wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Kate Brown. "The two goals are to ensure safety of communities through appropriate rules to license dispensaries and to allow patients safe access to marijuana under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program."

Marijuana remains illegal under federal guidelines, but President Barack Obama recently issued a policy outline that appears to indicate some kinds of "marijuana activities" will not be prosecuted, Milliman wrote in a memo.

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