TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Currently there are no dispensaries within Oro Valley limits, and operators trying to sell recreational marijuana there will not be able to. The Oro Valley Town Council approved an emergency declaration that limits consumers and operators.
“We could restrict recreational marijuana dispensaries to also carry a dual license for medical marijuana, and so that’s what our community opted to do,” said Town Manager, Mary Jacobs.
Oro Valley is not banning recreational marijuana, but it is establishing regulations allowed to municipalities with the passage of Prop 207.
“We opted for the most restrictive one to continue with those safety values that our community has expressed as their top priority," Jacobs added.
The town’s updated regulations also state dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, churches and parks.
“In 2010, the Town of Oro Valley did incorporate zoning codes that restricted where medical marijuana dispensaries could be placed in our community, so we mirrored those for recreational,” said Jacobs.
Meanwhile, dispensaries outside Oro Valley are looking forward to booming business.
“Now it is up to the industry, and those shops that are near by, to provide those people of Oro Valley options.” said Steve White, CEO of Harvest Health and Recreation.
Harvest Inc. is one of Arizona’s largest medical marijuana dispensary operators. White, who also helped craft Prop 207, applauds Oro Valley’s requirement of having dual licenses.
“That allows the program to get off the ground much faster and it has to be done quickly. or you run the risk of creating an illicit market that is going to have lasting impacts on towns like Oro Valley,” said White.
Officials said anyone who violates the updated regulations could face penalties.