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Voters In Two Oregon Counties To Decide Fate Of Marijuana Businesses

File photo. The State of Oregon has received more than 100 applications are from aspiring recreational marijuana growers.
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File photo. The State of Oregon has received more than 100 applications are from aspiring recreational marijuana growers.

Voters in two Oregon counties will decide in the May primary whether to allow marijuana-related businesses. County commissioners banned marijuana retailers and growers in unincorporated parts of Klamath and Grant counties last year.

But local residents gathered enough signatures to force a vote to reverse that.

Edward Medina, who runs a medical marijuana dispensary in the city of Klamath Falls, said the ban means he can't source his product from local farmers. He's hoping voters there choose to overturn the ban, even though 56 percent of them voted against legalization in the first place.

"Right now I would say it's kind of a coin toss as to whether or not this is going to pass,” Medina said.

It's an even steeper climb in Grant County, where 65 percent of voters said no to legalized marijuana in 2014. The local bans don't affect the personal use of marijuana.

More Oregonians will have the chance to affirm or reject bans on marijuana businesses in November. That's when voters in dozens of cities across the state will weigh in on pot ordinances passed by city councils in the wake of a legislative measure that allows them to ban marijuana businesses, but only if local voters sign off.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.