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Redmond Approves Psilocybin Ban Request

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond City Councilors spent nearly an hour, this week, discussing how to approach the impending statewide legalization of psilocybin, also called "magic mushrooms," and how to ask voters in November to ban related businesses.

The conversation centered around the overall lack of information from state authorities and confusion over how mushrooms are grown and processed. They took no public comment. Several Councilors asked whether the decision could be pushed, but the City Attorney said they need to meet the Friday deadline to submit a ballot title for the General Election. 

Councilor Ed Fitch - who is running for Mayor - pushed for a temporary ban on service centers to see how areas like Bend handle these newly legal businesses. He told fellow Councilors he'd like to discuss it again in two years, "[In] June or May of 2024, to start getting the information, getting some public input, which we don’t have this year. And, it really just puts us in the same position now, but with more information, more lead time to actually make the best decision."

They agreed to send two measures to voters in the fall: a two-year temporary ban on service centers and a permanent ban on manufacturing facilities, "Which would give Redmond voters a chance to decide whether they want the manufacturing of psilocybin to occur in Redmond at all, and whether or not they want service centers - essentially, medicinal therapeutic use of psilocybin to occur," City Manager Keith Witcosky told KBND News on Wednesday. 
It means Redmond voters will see a total of three psilocybin-related measures on their ballot in November. The third is a request to ban all psilocybin facilities in unincorporated areas of Deschutes County, approved by County Commissioners earlier this month. Witcosky says, "County is doing the same thing. And for them, I think the likelihood of manufacturing is more than with the city. Within city limits, we just have different agricultural rules, from a land use perspective."

Redmond voters did not support Measure 109 in 2020, which legalized psilocybin in Oregon. "We looked at each precinct, and I would say on average about 45% voted yes and 55% voted no," said Witcosky. 

Madras City Council also agreed this week to ask voters to ban psilocybin businesses.

 

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