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Hubbard and Gervais voted to not prohibit certain marijuana facilities within city limits.


PAMPLIN FILE PHOTO - In a tight race, Marion County voters approved medical marijuana businesses operation outside of cities.Medical marijuana businesses are allowed to operate in unincorporated areas of Marion County, voters decided last week in a tight race.

The most recent results show the measure was passed with a margin of only 516 votes out of 124,612 ballots cast. However, Marion County voters shot down another measure that would have allowed recreational marijuana businesses to operate in rural Marion County with 52 percent of the vote.

Mount Angel residents voted (with 54 percent yes votes) to prohibit medical and recreational marijuana business from operating within city limits, while Gervais and Hubbard residents voted to allow marijuana businesses to operate there, voting against prohibition by 66 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

Voters in both Hubbard and Donald approved a 3 percent tax on sales of recreational marijuana within city limits.

The local measures were made possible by a 2015 state law that allowed individual cities and counties to opt out of allowing marijuana businesses to operate in their jurisdictions.

Local jurisdictions in which a majority of residents voted against legalization in 2014 were given an opportunity last year to pass ordinances banning marijuana production and sales and to pass ordinances imposing sales taxes on recreational marijuana.

Marion County passed such ordinances in September 2015, banning the establishment of medical and recreational marijuana businesses and imposing a tax on the sale of recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas. Under Oregon law, the ordinances were referred to voters for approval.

A total of 50 cities and counties around Oregon voted on similar measures last week, deciding on whether to ban or tax marijuana sales in their jurisdictions.

Marijuana business advocates were the strongest proponents of allowing the establishment of marijuana businesses in unincorporated Marion County.

“If cannabis business must turn to other counties, we lose further economic investment and new jobs,” the Oregon Cannabis Business Council wrote in the Marion County voter’s pamphlet. “Whitney Economics projects Marion County could lose $110 million in economic activity because of the ban, this year alone.”

The outcome of the election does not affect an individual’s right to possess or use marijuana in Marion County or in individual Oregon cities. The two existing, authorized dispensaries located in unincorporated areas of Marion County aren’t affected and are allowed to continue operations under state regulations.

For more election results, visit results.oregonvotes.gov..{obj:18766}{obj:18767}{obj:18768}{obj:18769}{obj:18770}{obj:18771}{obj:18772}{obj:18773}{obj:18774}

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