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La Pine opts out of recreational marijuana sales


Despite public testimony largely in the other direction, the La Pine City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to take the state’s “opt out” option and not to license recreational marijuana sales at stores that already sell medical marijuana.

The vote came after many area residents testified at a public hearing that they believe recreational marijuana sales would benefit income and revenue made in the area.

Glenn Costello, the La Pine Community Watch representative, said, “The city of La Pine — it needs money, and we are going to lose revenue like crazy over this.”

“These growers are going to buy property, they’re going to build buildings,” he said. “It’s going to help our businesses, the restaurants that we have here — It’s going to help a lot.”

La Pine joins 17 other Oregon cities six counties so far that have take the option offered by lawmakers this year to opt out of licensing recreational marijuana at medical marijuana dispensaries, set to begin Oct. 1.

City Manager Rick Allen said, “Well, it’s an issue that all cities are dealing with. Madras I think adopted the moratorium last night on a split vote — the mayor had to break a tie. So you know, it’s it’s an issue that communities all over are struggling with.”

Although the decision was clear-cut by city council, many people who came to speak at the hearing left disappointed with the decision, saying councilors had their minds made up before hearing public testimony.

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