The Brookings City Council quickly decided Monday night it will not put a moratorium on new marijuana shops in town, agreeing that the market “will shake itself out” after California legalizes the herb.
The issue was brought up earlier this month by dispensary owner Michael Horgen who said the proliferation of shops in South Curry County could present a negative first impression for visitors.
Horgen also questioned the discrepancy of the 1,000-foot distance required between medical dispensaries that isn’t required of recreational pot shops.
There are eight marijuana shops operating in Curry County, six of which are in South County. Tryke City in Brookings is awaiting product to sell medical marijuana; South Coast Dispensary is temporarily closed after an alleged violation.
“I’m perfectly happy with the status quo,” said Councilor Dennis Triglia. “I’m opposed to any moratorium. I don’t want to stifle entrepreneurs ... I don’t have a problem with it.”
Health advocate Gordon Clay noted that alcohol is a worse drug than marijuana.
“We have such a relaxed attitude about our real problem,” he said. “And that problem is alcohol. There are 10 times as many places where people can legally get alcohol. I’m not in favor of someone who already has a pot shop trying to restrict others, even short-term, from competing. Let the market determine the number of shops.”
Since marijuana became legal in Oregon two years ago, the city council decided to abide by state laws and regulations. It can, however, make some elements more strict.