By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

County bans pot, for now

Marcus Larson / News-Register
K2Organic owner Jim Galba describes the equipment one would need to grow plants at home, such as the 1,000-watt bulb he s holding.
Marcus Larson / News-Register
K2Organic owner Jim Galba describes the equipment one would need to grow plants at home, such as the 1,000-watt bulb he's holding.

The Yamhill County commissioners made good Thursday on the pledge to place a one-year moratorium on the siting of marijuana dispensaries in rural areas under their jurisdiction, effective immediately.

The county ordinance developed just weeks before the Oregon Health Authority is scheduled to begin accepting dispensary applications March 3.

Voting in favor were Commissioners Kathy George and Allen Springer. Commissioner Mary Stern missed the meeting due to a death in the family.

The new ordinance thwarts plans by leading local medical marijuana advocate Jim Galba from opening a dispensary in Bunn Village, where he operates H2Organics, as the site lies outside McMinnville city limits.

Galba told commissioners he understood the Legislature was moving to prohibit local bans. However, County Counsel Christian Boenisch, contacted afterward, told the News-Register the issue remains unsettled.

“That’s a discussion taking place across the state,” he said. “The law remains unsettled and may change further, which is one reason why the commissioners landed were they did.”

The Senate has passed a bill and sent it on to the House, where it was up for hearing in committee Thursday afternoon. It remains to be seen whether the bill goes on to earn House passage and a gubernatorial signature, however, and if so, in what form.

What’s more, it was not immediately clear whether the legislation would bar only outright bans, or also cover one-year moratoriums like the one the county is pursuing.

The commissioners opted for a temporary halt on the grounds that additional time is needed to review and consider the evolving legal framework, the potential need for changes in the county’s zoning ordinance and final state rules for dispensary regulation, all currently in flux.

In the ordinance, the county finds the Health Authority has thus far failed to provid adequate safeguards to regulate the operation of dispensaries, in that “the current regulatory program for dispensaries is underfunded.” It goes on to find that “the deficiencies in the current law present serious public safety concerns” and thus “endanger the health, peace and welfare of the citizens of Yamhill County.”



This is bullshit....If the county doesn't want to support local medical marijuana dispensaries than they shouldn't get any tax revenue from them...This county has a huge pain killer/Heroin problem that no one wants to talk about , instead the city council members and sheriff want to go after patients legal rights to use a natural plant to help pain.This town is so behind the times.I know who I will and will not be supporting during the next elections!~


What about bars, liquor stores, and all the meth and heroine addicts.Thats the real threat!!!Get real people!~~~ Its not the 60s anymore and your scare tactics may work with the older citizens of this town and county but people need to get educated and smarten up!


KEEP THE DRUGS OUT OF OUR TOWN!YOU WANT DRUGS THEN MOVE!All drug addicts and pushers should get the death sentence,immediately!


Then lets go stand in the walmart ,rite aid and walgreens pharmacy and tell people getting their pills for whatever ails them , to move out of town!!!!!


uneducated *********!!!!!!


not the same thing,and i am quite educated,and i don't do drugs either,you act like you need a fix and that is just sad.


Listen, Cannabis is in your town. It has been since it's founding days. I hear the stories of the how the people we voted in to be council members, commissioners and so on use to party just like anyone else. Cannabis is not the evil you have been conditioned to look at it as. The bottom line is Your a bigot.


Well, let's all sit down and watch "Reefer Madness."
Marijuana is far less destructive than alcohol or meth. Take a look at the Who's in Jail listing.
It doesn't make people go crazy and pick their faces to ribbons and behave like maniacs.
Grow up.


Had to leave the council meeting early..Hope they did the right thing for the community but its sad to see such a small turn out...Im glad to see the police chief working with people, at least he knows whats going on. As far as the members,only I asked questions and it was a stupid one in my opinion.....I don't see why we cant all work together..

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