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MaryJane's reopens — but without the pot

MaryJane's Attic in Medford is back in business but without its most popular product — medical marijuana.

"It's nice to be back open," said Marlene Nuckols, owner of MaryJane's in the Winco shopping center.

The city of Medford granted a business license to MaryJane's to sell American-made products, including clothing, candles, soaps, lotions, jams and jellies, but no products containing cannabis.

MaryJane's was shut down in May by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Gerking, who upheld the city of Medford's decision to revoke its business license.

Earlier this month, MaryJane's applied for a new business license. The business was known previously as MaryJane's Attic and Basement, the basement referring to the restricted area of the store that dispensed medical marijuana. Now the store is just called MaryJane's Attic and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Nuckols said she still gets customers walking through the door, asking whether MaryJane's Basement is open, and they are disappointed to discover it's not.

"They're also walking in for the Attic," she said. "It's slow, but we're still getting people through the door."

The city amended its business license ordinance last 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.

Nuckols is running for the City Council seat formerly held by the late Karen Blair. 

"We definitely want to see the ban lifted," she said. "We also want to see regulations concerning time, place and manner of operation." 

Richard Nuckols, who also runs MaryJane's, said the city will be missing out on a lot of tax revenue if it doesn't enact ordinances now to deal with the eventual legalization of marijuana under a November ballot initiative known as the "Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act." 

"I love the city of Medford," Nuckols said. "But it is the slowest-growing city in the state of Oregon."

Nuckols cited a recent University of Oregon study that showed Medford trailing other cities in the state in economic growth.

"I would be happy to talk about generating tax revenue," Nuckols said. "Now more than ever the city has to take a look at this."

He said Medford officials have the opportunity to take advantage of the potential tax revenue that is anticipated to be generated by the marijuana initiative. According to language in the initiative, it would be difficult for cities to enact laws that would create local taxes on marijuana after voters approve the initiative.

According to an ECONorthwest study released July 22, the first year of marijuana legalization could generate $38.5 million in tax revenue for the state, based on a tax of $28 an ounce, sold only to those 21 years of age or older. During the first full biennium after legalization, the state could receive $78.7 million in new taxes, ECONorthwest estimated.

The cost per ounce of marijuana would drop about 20 percent, from $180 to $145, ECONorthwest predicted.

The taxes generated would go to schools, state and local police, and programs for drug treatment, prevention, drug education and mental health.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.