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Dispensary owners: Vote on it?

The attorney for the owners of MaryJane's Attic and Basement hinted his clients may pursue a citywide referendum after a Jackson County Circuit Court judge last week said the city of Medford could revoke their business license over operation of a medical marijuana dispensary on site.

Leland Berger, attorney for MaryJane's owners Richard and Marlene Nuckols, said seeking voter approval to set aside the City Council's decision was one option after Judge Timothy Gerking's judgment becomes final.

"In addition to reviewing legal options, we're also reviewing political options," Berger said at news conference called at the East Barnett Road business. "There is, of course, the possibility of putting a vote to the people of the city of Medford to correct what the City Council has done, not just to Marlene and Richard Nuckols and to this safe-access point.

"We know that the City Council's determination is not reflective of what the people of Medford believe."

To put the question on the November ballot, petitioners would need to collect 3,000 valid signatures by July 3.

Berger, principal of Oregon CannaBusiness Compliance Counsel, said a motion was being filed Tuesday in response to Gerking's decision.

A decision will be made over the next two weeks whether to appeal.

"We're not prepared to make that decision until the judgment is entered," he said.

In the meantime, the clothing and boutique side of MaryJane's, called the Attic, will continue operating until a judgment is issued because Gerking had stayed the order for its closure until the case was decided.

Berger said that the city told the Nuckols they wouldn't need separate business licenses when they originally sought to open their two stores within the same WinCo shopping center premises. There is also debate as to when the city ordered the business license revocation.

The city amended its business license ordinance in September to prohibit businesses that violate federal law, which includes any involved with marijuana. In April, the council passed a moratorium to ban such businesses. Berger said the potential voter initiative would seek to repeal those ordinances.

Richard Nuckols had an Oregon medical marijuana card before the couple moved to Medford; Marlene Nuckols said she obtained hers after moving here.

The city issued a business license to MaryJane's on April 9, 2012, but the City Council revoked it in March of this year.

Marlene Nuckols said there was no indication before the MaryJane's opening of possible trouble.

"We had our meetings with the police chief (Tim George) and the city attorney (John Huttl). They laid out the guidelines we always followed, so we always thought we were good to go," she said.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.

Marlene Nuckols, co-owner of MaryJane's Attic in Medford, and her lawyer Leland Berger, of Portland, said Tuesday they are contemplating an appeal of a court ruling and a possible citywide vote on marijuana dispensaries. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch