Councilors looking into issue

by: ILLUSTRATION BY TOM CULBERTSON - The city of Metolius is considering a business proposal for a medical marijuana clinic.Could a marijuana clinic open in Metolius? The Metolius City Council recently considered a business proposal to do just that.

The proposal was first brought to city council by Israel Renoso and Cecilio Contreras around a month ago, according to Metolius Mayor William Reynolds Jr.

“They gave a presentation and we asked for information. They supplied part, but not all of the information at the last meeting (Oct. 7),” he said.

“We are trying to research the different aspects of what we can and can’t do legally, and our legal counsel is doing research for us,” he said.

Reynolds noted that Redmond and Bend have marijuana clinics, while several other cities, including Madras, have passed ordinances saying people can have a business if they don’t abide by federal and local laws.

“We don’t have an ordinance in place, so we’re waiting for the legal staff to get back to us,” Reynolds said, adding, “It’s against federal law at the present time.”

Medical marijuana has been legal in Oregon in since 1998, for patients with doctor-approved medical marijuana cards.

Under the law, card holders can grow their own limited amount or appoint someone to grow it for them. Medical marijuana can’t be sold for a profit, only for what it costs to grow it.

A nonprofit clinic can connect patients looking for marijuana with experienced growers to allow them quick, legal access to cannabis. Oregon does not allow dispensaries with marijuana onsite. However, the clinics can sell pipes and other smoking paraphernalia.

One issue of the Metolius proposal is that the business is not a nonprofit, and the IRS won’t give it a nonprofit status form because the distribution of marijuana is illegally federally.

Speaking personally, Mayor Reynolds said, “It’s too bad, in my opinion, to let this in. Marijuana is just the tip of the iceberg – It’s all the other drugs that come with it.”

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