JOHN DAY – The John Day City Council backed off from a proposed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries last week.

In a 4-3 vote at its April 14 meeting, the council voted against establishing an outright ban.

The council approved a companion ordinance that will limit the hours, location and manner of operation of such businesses in the city.

That measure needs slight revision, however, because it referred to the ban.

The ordinance will be up for final approval at the April 28 council meeting. It is proposed as an emergency measure, which would make it effective immediately.

The city is one of 142 across the state that adopted one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries, a delay allowed by the Legislature. Those moratoriums expire May 1, however, and most of the cities were considering restrictions on such businesses as their next step.

Among other things, the measure will bar medical marijuana outlets within 1,000 feet of a school or a site used for “youth development activities” – a category including sports, music lessons, and tutoring.

Such businesses also will face a city application process and requirements for bookkeeping and background checks.

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