Hillsboro taking it slow, approves temporary ban on pot dispensaries

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- On March 3 the state of Oregon will officially, legally begin licensing medical marijuana dispensaries. Right now, there are nearly 200 operations statewide.

But some cities aren't onboard with the legalization. The Hillsboro City Council unanimously approved Tuesday night a 120-day temporary prohibition on locating medical marijuana facilities in the city.

The city of Tualatin is also considering adding restrictions to the law or some type of ban.

"The city of Hillsboro is trying to be proactive and give our community a voice in this process so that our community gets to decide where these will go," said Hillsboro spokesman Patrick Preston hours before the vote.

The temporary ban is to allow time for any additional zoning and listen to any other concerns.

Geoff Sugarman helped author legislation that legalized the medical use of the drug back in 1998.

"The dispensaries that operate in Oregon today operate in a very gray area of the law," he said Tuesday. "But with the House Bill, now it's very clear, the rules what licenses they have to get, bringing it out of a very gray area of the law and make it very clear to everybody."

In addition to state monitoring inventory and requiring $4,000-per-year licensing fees, dispensaries will not be able to operate within 1,000 feet of any schools or within 1,000 feet of other dispensaries.