Dundee City Council will vote April 15, future of Human Collective unclear

Despite Dundee Mayor Ted Crawford’s insistence that the city had no intention of passing a moratorium on a marijuana dispensaries — and his continued opposition to such a ban — the Dundee City Council will vote on just that at its April 15 meeting.

“The Dundee council voted 3 to 4 in favor of bringing (forward) an ordinance,” Crawford said. “The city administrator (Rob Daykin) put forth the recommendation to put a motion to bring back an ordinance.”

Crawford said there were a couple of councilors on the fence on whether to actually pass an ordinance, but who wanted to provide more opportunities for public comment and discussion.

“So it’s up in the air,” Crawford said.

The future of the Human Collective IV is uncertain as well. The dispensary group had previously appeared before the council before proceeding with a business license and signing a lease for a dispensary at 1178 Highway 99W.

“We’re hoping that they do not enact the moratorium,” said Don Morse, Human Collective managing partner. “A lot of cities and towns felt they hadn’t been given enough time to develop rules in the areas regarding those things. All of these things were discussed at length at the last city council meeting. We’re hopeful the city council won’t need any more than already proposed and discussed and not enact the moratorium so we would be able to go ahead with our plans to open.”

But Crawford is doubtful. He said based on the votes to return an ordinance, he believes the moratorium will pass.

“Because I’m leaving Tuesday night, (to run the Boston Marathon) I’ll be in the L.A. airport during the meeting,” he said. “It’s possible to call in and vote, but if four are in favor then my vote wouldn’t make a difference.”

If the moratorium does pass, Morse said Human Collective would have to evaluate its options.

“It’s not what people would expect, so as far as Dundee’s image there’s nothing that would come out of it that would be bad if they would not approve it,” he said. “Because we’ve already signed the lease on the property — we did that after the business license was approved — if they renege and we’re stuck with the property we have to do something with it. We’ve discussed putting in a head shop. Which would be worse? A doctor’s office or a pipe shop? Not that we’re threatening them, but for them to say the image of Dundee is going to be hurt by Dundee having a dispensary is discriminatory at best.”

He said there were a few concerns presented at the April 1 council meeting he felt were misrepresented.

“At the last meeting (Newberg Police Chief Brian Casey) went on and on about public safety,” Morse said. But according to data released by the city of Denver, crime rates have actually dropped in the three months since legalizing marijuana in Colorado. “That’s only two months of stats since recreational or retail marijuana took hold, but it is totally contrary to everything he tried to get the city council to believe at the last meeting.”

Morse said there’s also concern that letting one dispensary into town will lead to a flood of others joining.

“In Dundee, their area is so small that if Human Collective opens in the building it is leased in, because of 1,000 foot rule between schools and other dispensaries, there is no commercial area that someone could operate,” he said. “In other words, they can only have one dispensary.”

Crawford said while he doesn’t agree with the moratorium for Dundee, he could understand why Newberg might have passed similar legislation.

“The difference between Newberg and Dundee is we know the applicant, we know where it’s going to go and Newberg didn’t have that,” he said. “If I was in the same situation, I probably would vote for the moratorium, if I didn’t know who the applicant was and where it would be, I’d be less comfortable with the situation.”

The Dundee City Council will vote on the measure at the 7 p.m. meeting April 15 at City Hall, 620 S.W. Fifth St. All potential moratoriums must be enacted prior to May 1.

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