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La Pine not ready to green-light recreational marijuana sales

Business anxiously awaits ability to proceed

Recreational marijuana sales in La...

LA PINE, Ore. - La Pine-area residents will still have to drive to Bend to get their recreational marijuana for a while longer, as city officials are still ironing out the rules and regulations when it comes to recreational sales. 

La Pine City Manager Cory Misley told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday they've been receiving several calls from businesses interested in setting up shop, not just for recreational sales but when it comes to production and processing.

The city is working at making sure all the rules are clear for marijuana businesses, after voters last fall rejected a ban on recreational sales and approved a 3 percent sales tax. 

"It's a lot of sharing information, letting people what is allowed, how it's allowed and what process they need to go through to accomplish on what they need to do," Misley said. 

The city council will vote on the ordinance which would put the law into effect immediately but the city will have to wait 21 days, in case the decision is appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals. 

After that, businesses interested in selling cannabis will have to get approval from OLCC and a business license with the city. 

High Desert Botanicals has been in business for two years and only sells cannabis to medical marijuana patients. The dispensary has to turn away many people who want to purchase recreational marijuana . 

"We get some angry people. We get a lot of local people not understanding why this is taking long," said High Desert Botanicals owner Matthew Toepfer. 

Toepfer said their products have run low because most of the cannabis vendors have switched to recreational marijuana, making it difficult for them to get medical marijuana for their patients. 

"We're on the verge of closing our doors down if we can't get that recreational license, because we're turning away so much business," he said. 

But Toepfer said his business will keep the lights on and is not going anywhere, and is ready to sell recreational marijuana as soon as it's allowed. 

As the rules get ironed out, people will have to wait a little longer to spark their green kush. 

Here is a the La Pine City Council agenda.


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