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Redmond councilors to consider allowing recreational marijuana sales

Some councilors see revenue lost to cities like Bend, Madras

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Recreational marijuana is legal across Oregon, but the city of Redmond has never authorized dispensaries within city limits.

City Councilor Jon Bullock says there's a technical reason for that.

"We cannot issue a business license for any business that operates in violation of state or federal law," Bullock said Monday -- and marijuana, despite many state's actions, is not federally legal.

But as many cities across the state garner tax revenue from dispensaries, Bullock said he wants to open a discussion to learn more about what this could mean for the city from both a social and financial perspective.

"I'm just seeking an objective discussion," Bullock said. "We can bring in people who have not just anecdotal information, but empirical evidence of the financial and social aspects of what this might look like."

While Bullock said he is open-minded, newcomer councilors Clifford Evelyn and Ed Fitch said they believe the city is ultimately missing out on potential tax revenue.

Just last year, the city of Bend generated $1.5 million in marijuana sales tax revenue, with a majority being put into the city's general fund.

Bullock also noted that Redmond prides itself on helping small business owners, and dispensaries could be another avenue for expansion.

"Redmond has always viewed itself as a business-friendly community," Bullock said. "We know that the dispensary business is growing in Oregon, so I think it's worth looking at." 

Back in October's mayoral debate on NewsChannel 21, Mayor George Endicott was asked about the topic of recreational marijuana sales.

"I still support that our cost-benefit analysis show it would not be a price leader for Redmond," Endicott said.

Endicott cited an analysis from the city's police chief, which determined that the cost of more policing outweighed the fiscal benefits of dispensaries.

Although this discussion will be brought forth on the city council's goal-setting workshop Tuesday night, Bullock stressed that this topic is not high priority, due to the current climate of the economy.

"We know that we've got to deal with massive growth in our community," Bullock said. "We also know that we've got to make a response to this global pandemic. That takes priority."  

Central Oregon / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Politics / Redmond / Top Stories
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Comments

28 Comments

  1. No, no…. please don’t bring legal weed to Redmond. We prefer driving to Bend and spending our money there instead, and then stopping at BBC or Immersion before coming back home. That’s way better. Would hate to lose our moral superiority.

    1. Laughing out loud!!! No wonder redmond is the failed little brother of Bend !!! They have their hillbilly redneck police cheif doing cost analysis!!! He thinks having weed sold legally rather than on the black market will require more policing!!! LMAO!!! So does obese failing george!!!

  2. the benefit is bringing millions of dollars of tax revenue into the small town, redmond residents are spending money elsewhere when they’d rather be able to get weed closer to home. it is like handing millions to bend and madras on a pretty thin principle

  3. So what’s to consider- as the China Virus hoax plays out it’s final days- with Doosh County in the Extreme Risk category- but schools about to open- with all them little “carriers” of the virus expected to drag it home to Grams and Gramps (at least that’s been the battle cry by Martha-Tio-Kuya for a year now)… why not just add more ‘dope’ to the equation ! Blue-Hoo-Hoo !!!

  4. Good, I hope they do it.

    Prineville might as well get on board, too. Why let Madras, Bend and now maybe Redmond get the tax revenue its citizens are leaving in those places?

  5. “analysis from the city’s police chief, which determined that the cost of more policing outweighed the fiscal benefits of dispensaries.”

    Can’t really see how policing costs would increase as everyone is already just buying it in the next town. I expect this analysis started with the answer and worked backward towards finding the matching data.

  6. Bullock claims that: “We cannot issue a business license for any business that operates in violation of state or federal law”. He neglects to mention that this is because of an ordinance enacted by the City of Redmond. All they have to do is repeal or amend that ordinance.
    He then claims this is not a “high priority” because “we’ve got to deal with massive growth in our community”. Apparently, he would not find the revenue helpful in dealing with the costs of this “massive growth” which the council generously decided not to impose on the builders and developers who obscenely profit from it.

  7. As someone who is opinion matters more than any one else here. Pot is a bad idea. We’ve gone through all of this before, but you probably can’t remember can you kid. There is a damn good reason reefer is illegal

    1. Having cannabis shops in Redmond isn’t going to be a policing issue. Having Oregon legalize personal amounts of meth, cocaine, etc. is where the extra policing will be needed. Redmond might as well get the revenue the shops generate as they will need it to deal with the “catch and release with a $100 fine” BS that will happen now with that stupid new law.

    2. The reason we picked before was that Black People and Mexicans enjoyed it. Damn you’re old! Tell us more about what life was like back in 37′ when they passed that Marihuana Tax Act! What’s the new reason?

  8. Maybe meth is the drug of choice in Redmond because it’s easier to get it there than that “evil demon” pot is? Redmond needs to stop this reefer madness BS.

  9. The City of Redmond is correct. They are losing significant revenue by maintaining their ban.

    And the reason doesn’t wash. Over 30 states have legalized both medicinal and adult use recreational MJ. More will do same under the new federal government administration. Someone in Redmond is still watching “Reefer Madness”, apparently.

    The Chief of Police should be asked to provide his cost analysis with relevant examples to include comparisons with Bend, La Pine, and other local areas where commercial MJ is available. I imagine he does not have such a report available – and is just quoting “fluff”.

  10. Don’t do it. Look at the attitudes of those posting here that frequent the dope dens. It has done nothing to improve Bend. What has that tax money done for Bend that I couldn’t live without? Keep Redmond livable.

  11. The reason you will need more police services is that the Redmond folks will be lighting up in the parking lot and creating traffic jams as they drive very slowly home

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