BEND, OR -- The committee tasked with recommending regulations for marijuana businesses in Bend updated the Planning Commission, Monday night. City Planner Pauline Hardie outlined the group’s proposed separation regulations for marijuana retailers: "Marijuana dispensaries may not operate or conduct business within a thousand feet of a school, a thousand feet of another medical dispensary, or 150-feet of a licensed child care facility. We also have spacing standards proposed for recreational facilities; a thousand feet from a school, and 150-feet from a licensed child care facility."
During the public hearing, Bend Parks and Rec Vice Chair Ted Schoenborn asked for separation from local parks, as well. "The board is recommending a 250-foot buffer between marijuana dispensaries, both medical and recreational retail, and all public parks within the city of Bend. We believe that locating adult businesses adjacent to our most valued parks, trails, schools and like facilities that serve families, children and visitors, would have a negative impact on our children." His request, however, failed to gain traction with the Commission.
Several others shared concerns and support for the businesses. "I just ask that in our decisions, that we really, really think strongly about the potential implications. And for me, it’s really all about kids," said one woman. "We came to the city and said, listen, let’s regulate us. Let’s just be sensible about those regulations," pointed out another speaker. "We see this as a ticket to a middle class lifestyle. It is less peace and love and more business and commerce," said another. "It’s legal. Now let’s be rational. It’s going to benefit our economy. We don't want it to harm our kids."
The Planning Commission will make recommendations for marijuana business regulations to the City Council for approval.