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Redmond Mayor-Elect Ed Fitch has future plans for marijuana shops, focuses on access, not revenue

Departing mayor has a different opinion about costs vs. benefits

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The newly elected mayor of Redmond has some plans in store for the future of marijuana shops.  Ed Fitch says there's no reason not to allow marijuana sales in Redmond. He believes it'll bring some revenue to the city, but it's mainly about access.

"It's going to be a new discussion item for the new council next year, and we're looking to take a balanced approach," Fitch said Wednesday.

General Duffy's General Manager Kyle Williams said, "I think it would benefit not only the people, but our community, as well." 

The mayor-elect said he believes people should not have to be inconvenienced.  

"They shouldn't have to drive to Bend or Madras to get those (marijuana) prescriptions filled," Fitch said.

Williams added, "Bringing shops to Redmond would definitely help with the tax benefits to help out the community, to put into the schools, the roads, etc."

But current Redmond Mayor George Endicott, who decided not to seek another term, has a different viewpoint.

"I think one of the more important aspects of this is the whole money situation," he said Thursday -- and he's speaking of city expenses, not revenue.

"According to our (police) chief, you would have to hire additional officers," Endicott said "It's like alcohol, you know -- it's a lot harder to test for. You have to train a lot different to watch for. You know, for example, driving under the influence of intoxicants. You can't really measure blood alcohol. You have to have a different standard of training." 

"We know a lot of people don't want dispensaries, but we know a lot of people do," Fitch added. "I think if we restrict the location for those dispensaries, just like the liqueur stores one on the north, one on the south. I think we'll strike a nice balance for those who need access to it and those who don't want it in your face." 

"The way it stands right now, the feds still show pot as an illegal substance. And as a consequence, our ordinances do not allow us to have, you know, marijuana," Endicott said.

Endicott told me off-camera it comes down to convenience. He said, it's inconvenient to come to Bend to get weed, but it does not seem to be inconvenient to come to Bend to shop at Costco.

Article Topic Follows: Redmond

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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