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Final vote on medical marijuana regs expected on Tuesday

A moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in Ashland would be lifted on Sept. 4 if the city council gives its expected approval Tuesday to a second reading of an ordinance lifting the moratorium.

Councilors enacted a moratorium on dispensaries in April in order to work out regulations for their operation and location.

Regulations and tax rates for the sale of marijuana are also on the agenda.

Councilors previously gave preliminary approval for a tax of up to 5 percent on medical marijuana and a tax of up to 10 percent on recreational marijuana.

Oregon voters will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries in Ashland have been issued provisional licenses from the state to open.

One dispensary planned on Williamson Way will probably not be able to open because councilors have given preliminary approval for a buffer zone between homes and dispensaries. That proposed dispensary is adjacent to houses.

Another dispensary on Clear Creek Drive could be allowed, although the dispensary operator would have to win a conditional use permit from the city — a process that typically takes at least 45 days.

In other business Tuesday, councilors will appoint members to the two vacant positions on the Citizen Budget Committee.

The positions have been vacant since February and March of this year. Four applications have been received.

The council also will discuss the adoption of the 2014 Oregon Fire Code. The new ordinance would include an amendment that holds fire protection service providers responsible when they do not provide stated services. Current fire code only provides fire code officials an avenue to hold business owners responsible.

A second amendment will require service contractors to send a copy of maintenance reports to Ashland Fire & Rescue.

Councilors also will discuss the adoption of an ordinance that clarifies the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court and revises penalties associated with criminal and violation offenses.

A new section in the ordinance sets a limit of $500 in fines and imprisonment of hard labor of 60 days for violation of city ordinances, resolutions or charter provisions.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

A complete agenda and details on each item is online at www.ashland.or.us.

Reporter Vickie Aldous contributed to this story. Reach reporter Ian Hand at 541-776-4464. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/IanHand_DT.