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Oregon Landlords Wary of Rec Industry

Posted on  August 05, 2014 by  News Admin

Entrepreneurs hoping to open retail marijuana shops in Oregon might struggle to find a location if residents legalize cannabis this fall. An informal poll found that roughly a third of local property owners are not willing to lease space to recreational marijuana stores, while 26% said they are not sure if they would. The Portland Business Journal conducted the poll online, asking readers who own suitable property to participate. The publication received 73 responses by Monday morning. Nearly 15% of landlords opposed to renting to cannabis businesses cited moral grounds, saying they personally oppose marijuana legalization and do not want to support the industry. However, some in the “no” and “maybe” groups said their main concern is the level of risk. With continued normalization of marijuana laws across the United States, these landlords may be persuaded in time to treat marijuana businesses as any other tenant. Oregon residents will vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana sales in November.

WA Attorney General: Bans OK, but Reasoning Wrong

Posted on  August 01, 2014 by  News Admin

Two counties in Washington State can prohibit cannabis businesses, just not for the reasons they have stated. That’s the position of the state’s attorney general, who is looking to get involved in lawsuits tied to the bans. The lawsuits challenge moves by Wentachee and Fife counties to bar recreational cannabis businesses on the basis that marijuana is illegal federally. The state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, has asked the courts that his office be allowed to intervene in the lawsuits. If permitted, Washington officials would reportedly back the general legality of bans, saying that I-502 – the state law allowing recreational sales of cannabis products to adults – allows municipalities to take such actions. However, they would also argue that linking a ban to the federal prohibition of marijuana is not a permissible reason under state law. Washington leaders worry that a court ruling in favor of federal laws over the state’s marijuana legislation would undermine I-502 and have many unintended consequences.

Chicago Solidifies Rules on Marijuana Businesses

Posted on  July 31, 2014 by  Nicole De Leon

Chicago will allow medical marijuana dispensaries in commercial and business districts – including popular tourist and shopping destinations – but bar them from setting up shop in other areas. The city council’s zoning committee passed rules this week that define where the 13 dispensaries and lone cultivation site allowed in Chicago can locate. Under the ordinance, dispensaries must get a special-use permit to operate. As part of that process, each applicant group will be subject to a public hearing before zoning officials, where residents can voice opposition to the plans.   Dispensaries can locate in many popular commercial neighborhoods, such as River North and West Loop, but not in manufacturing areas, transportation corridors or mixed-use buildings where residents live. The dispensaries will have to meet state restrictions as well, including a provision that they can’t locate within 1,000 feet of a school or day care facility. The city’s rules, however, are much lighter than another plan that would have pushed dispensaries away from the downtown core and into manufacturing areas on the fringes of the city. Aside from the dispensaries, Cook County – which contains Chicago – is allowed a single cultivation center. If that center locates in Chicago, it would only be allowed to operate in manufacturing districts under the city’s rules. It also would have to find space at least 2,500 feet away from schools and residential buildings.