REDMOND, OR -- At their final debate, Thursday, Redmond Mayor George Endicott and challenger Ed Fitch again answered questions about the city's ban on marijuana-related businesses. Ed Fitch, an attorney and former Mayor of Redmond, further outlined his proposal to send the issue to voters, during the public forum hosted by the Redmond Rotary.
He says, if elected, he would craft a zoning ordinance to restrict where pot shops could open, "If we allow two marijuana retail shops in Redmond in very discreet locations, one on the north and one on the south side, we would be able to obtain approximately $80,000 a year from the state, in terms of shared revenue."
He also recounted a story about a recent conversation between his wife and some friends, "who average maybe 65-70 years old." He says they shared, "where they go to get their marijuana." Fitch went on to explain, "I'm not talking about the THC; I'm talking about the CBD that you use to maybe ease your pain, ease your arthritis, etc. We don't have that opportunity here in Redmond." However, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is not regulated like marijuana because it contains only trace levels of THC, the ingredient in pot that causes a "high," and there are several outlets in Redmond that currently sell CBD oil. When KBND News asked Fitch to clarify, he said it was "news to me" that CBD oil is available in Redmond. "At least that's their perception [that] they had to go to Bend." Fitch added, "But, I still think you need to have the people decide whether or not you're going to have these retail shops, which could do both the CBD and the THC. That should be up to the voters."
Despite recreational marijuana's legal status in Oregon, Redmond's city code currently prohibits any business that violates federal law. At the forum, Mayor George Endicott said he talked about the issue with Congressman Greg Walden, this week, and believes the feds will soon change the classification for medical marijuana. Endicott supports allowing marijuana pharmacies if and when that happens.