Cannabis in Cannon Beach overcomes last hurdle

Starting Jan. 6, a medical or recreational marijuana facility can be licensed to operate only within the limited commercial zones in downtown, midtown and Tolovana Park. 

A hurdle to opening a retail cannabis shop in Cannon Beach was overcome at the December City Council meeting.

After November’s vote denying retail cannabis sale prohibition in Cannon Beach, the city addressed business licenses for recreational producers and retailers by amending the city’s business license ordinance. Councilors approved a code section change regarding illegal businesses to make an exception for marijuana businesses.

The city will be able to approve applications for recreational marijuana businesses after the ordinance changes go into effect on Jan. 6. At that time, marijuana businesses will be able to obtain a city business license and the city can receive licensing fees.

Marijuana retailers will need to meet the city’s zoning requirements and have Oregon Liquor Control Commission approval before the city signs the business license, according to City Planner Mark Barnes. Review by the Design Review Board will be required if the applicant’s building needs any exterior alterations or if the retailer constructs a new building. Sign permits will also be needed.

In November, slightly more than half of Cannon Beach voters chose not to prohibit recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers in Cannon Beach. The difference between those who voted “yes” and “no” was nine votes.

The question was put out to voters as a result of a citizen initiative. Resident Jeremy Randolph was head of the committee that brought the opt-out initiative to the city.

The council also approved a repeal of the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries at its December meeting. The moratorium served as a placeholder for local jurisdictions to pass local time, place and manner restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries. The moratorium expired in 2014 and staff recommended its repeal to clean up city code.

The City Council adopted an ordinance in July with time, place and manner restrictions for medical and recreational marijuana businesses. Cannabis shops will be allowed in three commercial zones: downtown from Ecola Creek south to Washington Street, midtown from Harrison Street south to Elliot Way, and Tolovana Park from Delta Street south to the northern boundary of Sand Castle Condominiums.

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