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Redmond councilor urges preparation for marijuana dispensaries, runs into opposition

(Update: Adding video, comments)

Mayor Endicott set to appoint councilor to fill vacancy from among three finalists

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- If you live In Redmond and you're looking to buy legal marijuana, you'll have to head to Bend or another city to do so.

Attitudes on marijuana and marijuana legalization have come a long way since President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, with legal marijuana sales reaching a record $17.5 billion in 2020, a 46% increase from 2019.

In Oregon alone, sales hit $1.1 billion, a 29% increase over 2019, according to a report from BDSA, a cannabis sales data platform.

This national shift has caused Redmond City Councilor Clifford Evelyn to try and take what he says is a proactive stance in preparing for dispensaries in the city.

He urged fellow councilors during Tuesday evening's meeting to get ready, if or when federal law changes, but was met with opposition from a majority of colleagues, as well as a city staff member.

Evelyn said he believes federal legalization is "inevitable," but City Attorney Keith Leitz says the city should not try and get ahead of a possible change.

"My recommendation would be not getting out ahead of it," Leitz said. "I do think we'll have some time. We really don't even know how, if it does happen, how that affects the state structure that's already in place." 

Councilor Jay Patrick also voiced his opposition.

Patrick says he's not in favor of marijuana legalization at all, and is concerned that dispensaries in Redmond would only worsen addiction problems in the state.

Councilor Krisanna Clark-Endicott echoed those sentiments, saying there's no point in discussing the matter because it's preemptive at this point.

The city is also on the hunt for a new councilor, after Jon Bullock resigned last month.

Mayor George Endicott say he received 17 applications by the end of November, the hopes of establishing a replacement by the end of the year.

Endicott says he narrowed it down to three finalists who already serve on committees or commissions for the city.

He says he then conducted interviews alongside Councilors Jay Patrick and Shannon Wedding.

"Really impressed with all three," Endicott said. "I can tell you that we're in good hands, if they're any indication of the quality of the people that are serving on our committees and commissions. So from those three, I will pick one to appoint." 

Mayor Endicott says he'll make the announcement next Tuesday during the council's next meeting.

This will be the seventh councilor appointed by Endicott during his tenure as Mayor of Redmond.

Article Topic Follows: Redmond

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Alec Nolan

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