By Don Iler • News Editor • 

City wants pot grow relocated

The city of McMinnville has asked Jim Galba, owner of The Medicine Tree medical marijuana dispensary, to move a grow site he’s currently operating in the city’s Northeast Gateway District. It says the district has a special zoning overlay that makes no provision for pot growing.

Galba is refusing to move, saying his lot is zoned M-2, which specifically allows cultivation of nursery crops, production of pharmaceuticals and production of medical supplies.

He says state law is on his side as well.

“There is no statute about where you can grow medical marijuana,” he said. Patients can grow marijuana at their houses or in their gardens if they want, he said.

City officials recently discovered the grow and asked Galba to move it elsewhere.

Planning Director Doug Montgomery said the Gateway District, which runs along Alpine Avenue, northeast of downtown, has zoning requirements that are different from those governing other parts of the city. “The overlay for that area has different allowable uses than other areas, to effect our vision for an area of a walkable, mixed-use revitilized area,” he said. 

He said it was his opinion that a medical marijuana grow operation did not fit the criteria established for the district. 

Montgomery said the city was working with Galba to encourage him to move his operation. He said city staff usually works with business or home owners first, in an effort to bring them into compliance voluntarily, before cracking down legally.

But Galba said he has no intention of moving his grow site. 

He said the operation, whose exact location is not being disclosed, was properly wired for the requisite power use and well secured. He said it lies within areas where dispensaries are permitted under city rules.

“I don’t know what their motive is to get it to stop,” Galba said. “We’re talking about medical marijuana patients. I can do it anywhere I want.”

According to the Oregon Health Authority, Yamhill County is home to 1,204 medical marijuana patients served by 624 grow sites. It does not release the locations of such sites for fear they might be targeted. 



Seems comical that our planning director thinks his opinion & "vision" trumpets the state legislator, OHA/OMMP, and the case law in the Oregon Supreme Court.

The scary part is his position in the inter civic working of this city hold great sway in the furture of the innovation of REC. use cultivation, processing and retail of MJ.

His time would be better spent, educating himself of the ability to occupy the vast amount of untapped industrial and commercial space that has sat idle and unused for far too long. If he could generate some revenue for the city through an open mind of fact based research and see what it has done for the similar zoning in Colorado & Washington. This city could pass less bond measures, thus lowering the tax burden on its residents and enjoy greater services while facing looming challenges to meet financial obligations for its work forces retirement and benefit packages in the years moving forward.

The flip side to that is, he can beat his drum to the "Federal Law" "The Sky Will Fall" & an unregulated black market is safer then a tax paying regulated one to keep it out of the hands of youth. All while generating no revenue for the city, and seeing land sit untapped with weeds growing and dead grass.

I know what i would like my tax dollars that pay his salary to be spent on and its not picking fights on issue that already have been shot down since OMMP's conception back in the last 90's, theirs even been more cases since 2006 when the original law was amended. He's wasting valuable time rowing a boat against the current to get nowhere, when he could turn his raft around and decide what finger of the water way of revenue can & will best benefit the citizens of the city he works for.

No time for personal agenda's and vendetta's sorry Doug.


I don't know what Mr. Montgomery is planning, but I do know Alpine Ave, the so-called Gateway District. My family ran a business there for several years, manufacturing an agricultural hardgood, and no one complained then about zoning. And no matter how many times you use the word "area" in a sentence, it's not going to change the fact that Alpine is a gravel road, commercial on one side and trashy residential on the other. Back in '08 and '09 I didn't like to walk to our place of business because it meant getting past the vicious dogs that ran loose in front of the meth house. And honestly, it didn't look very different when we drove down it last week. Fewer dogs, maybe.

Whatever plans Mr. Montgomery has for improving the walkability of the area, I feel it's unlikely that Mr. Galba's indoor grow site is the biggest obstacle. Pavement would be a better start, and maybe sidewalks. Then put in something, anything, besides that one winery, that anyone would want to visit. That's how you build a "walkable area". Not by attacking one of the most successful, taxpaying, law-abiding, new entrepreneurs in town.


awww, the hoity toities don't want pot in their I'm better than you neighborhood? guess what? they smoke it too! now they can tip back a wine or brew, walk a few steps and enjoy a nice doobie! loosen up montgomery,take a long drag off a fresh rolled doob and you'll change your mind,make nice with the neighbors their tax dollars count to!


There seems to be a motive behind the sudden interest in the zoning. The Garden has been there for almost 2 years now and all of a sudden "zoning"!!! Hmm..... I'm sure the city has known about this for a while now. Why now is one of my question???

Don Dix

Since it took 2 years for the city to 'discover' the grow, apparently there was never any incidents or complaints ... a quiet enterprise. Now it's an issue? ... Rather a weak argument, wouldn't you say?


Galba has every right to stay. Montgomery should leave him alone.