Early results have residents approving of the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits

PMG FILE PHOTO - Sherwood's current election asked voters if they would approve the location of marijuana facilities in that city.Initial election results showed Sherwood Measure 34-299, allowing recreational marijuana facilities in the city, was winning by a significant margin. While initial results showed a wider margin of passing, those numbers had gotten slightly tighter as more ballots were counted Tuesday with 53.83% of voters in favor of the measure and 46.17% opposed.

This is the third time the measure was sent to Sherwood voters since Oregon voters approved the use of recreational marijuana in 2014. For Sherwood, it means recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers can all open businesses in certain locations in the city.

A measure to allow recreational marijuana sales in Sherwood were turned down in both 2016 and 2017.

"It looks like it's going to pass, based on the early results," said City Manager Joe Gall Tuesday night as results were still coming in.

Gall said he wasn't totally surprised it was passing, saying he thought it had a stronger chance of succeeding because more residents vote during a presidential year.

"The difference between yes and no was a little wider than I expected," he said. "I thought it would be a little closer."

He said revenue gained by taxing any future facility that sells recreational marijuana is still too early to tell. However, he estimated it would be anywhere from $50,000 to $125,000 annually based on taxes neighboring communities are receiving.

He noted that residents who shop for such products in Newberg or Tigard will now likely shop for such product in Sherwood when those businesses open. Still, the measure requires that locations of those marijuana facilities only be located in the city's industrial zones.

Sean Garland, a Sherwood City Council member who had supported Measure 34-299, said he was "pleasantly surprised" the measure was passing.

He said he believes the demographics of Sherwood have changed a little bit since 2017 when the last measure to allow recreational marijuana facilities in the city was turned down by voters.

Garland said he believes many people saw the financial benefits passing the measure would have on the city, noting that a portion will be used for public safety, "which benefits everybody in the city."

"I think some people saw that and realized that attitudes are changing towards marijuana and acceptance of marijuana throughout Oregon and throughout the country," Garland said.

Renee Brouse, a Sherwood City Council member, said while she was not a supporter of the push to allow recreational marijuana facilities in the city, she wasn't surprised it passed, giving credit to Sheri Ralston of Western Oregon Dispensary, a medical marijuana facility on Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Ralston is also listed as treasurer of the Sherwood of Tomorrow Committee, a group that advocated for the measure's passage.

"Sheri and her team, they did a great job of marketing and getting support," said Brouse. "I'm not surprised at all."

(This story updates a previous version by adding new election numbers and quotes.)

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