[September 26, 2015 update: Yes, the Marion County Board of Commissioners did prohibit marijuana businesses in the unincorporated parts of the county, aside from "grandfathering" in two currently licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
A vote in the November 2016 election will determine whether the prohibition on marijuana businesses continues. If it doesn't, the 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales passed in another ordinance will go into effect.
Here's what the county Public Information Officer, Jolene Kelley, told me when I asked what happened at the September 23 meeting.
Here's the files Kelley included with her message.
Download 09-23-2015 ORd. prohib marijuana bus in unincorp areas
Download 09-23-2015 Ord, three percent tax - marijuana ]
Wow, secrecy about banning marijuana sales and businesses is epidemic here in Marion County, Oregon.
Someone just told me about an agenda item on the Marion County Board of Commissioners' September 23 meeting, That's the day after tomorrow. It says:
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
1. Consider adoption of an ordinance prohibiting marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas of Marion County, by emergency procedure. – Scott Norris
Norris is a Marion County Assistant Legal Counsel.
Here's the agenda, which hasn't yet appeared on the Marion County web site, even though the board meeting is the day after tomorrow.
Download 09-23-2015 Board Session Agenda (1)
It seems really suspicious that the County Commissioners would take steps to prohibit marijuana businesses in unincorporated Marion County on an emergency basis.
Don't they realize that Measure 91, which legalized recreational marijuana in Oregon, was approved by voters in November 2014? Almost a year ago! What's the emergency, dudes?
The person who emailed me the agenda thought county officials were trying to avoid the uproar that followed the City of Salem putting up an agenda item regarding a possible ban on early sales of recreational marijuana just two business days before the meeting.
(See my blog post, "Salem City Council might ban marijuana sales -- secretly.")
Now the Marion County Board of Commissioners is doing the same thing. This isn't the way government is supposed to work.
But it sure seems to be the way the Republican members of the Board are trying to sneak through a ban on marijuana businesses.
Update: after I sent in some testimony to the Board of Commissioners, urging them to take more time on deciding whether to prohibit marijuana businesses, I got this reply from the county public information officer. The agenda was indeed posted last week, but it wasn't easy to find.
Mr. Hines,Thank you for contacting the Board of Commissioners Office. I have forwarded your email for inclusion as Public Comment for tomorrow's Board Session.The Board Session agenda and packets were added to the Marion County website on Friday, September 18. Here is a link to our board session web page: http://www.co.marion.or.us/BOC/WkCalAgen.htm.Please note that the county will launch a new website on Monday, September 28, and the direct page URL (as listed above) will not longer work. You will still be able to access board session information from www.co.marion.or.us then visit the Meetings and Events page.Thank you.
Jolene KelleyMarion County | Public Information Officer