Hermiston Voters May Get Third Shot at Approving Pot Sales in Town

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The Hermiston City Council will decide on whether to allow city residents another chance to legalize sales of marijuana inside city limits following a work session Monday night.

The consensus of the council was to have an up or down vote at a future meeting to decide if it wants to put the question before voters once again.

Statewide, voters passed Measure 91 in 2014, but Hermiston voters rejected the measure with 62 percent voting against it. The council then voted to ban sales inside city limits later that year.

Hermiston voters had a second opportunity to legalize cannabis sales in town back in 2016, but again rejected the measure by a vote of 54.4 against to 45.6 in favor.

The issue has come up in recent months as a way to generate tax revenue for the city. Pendleton, which allows cannabis sales inside city limits, collects a 3 percent tax on sales which generates about $400,000 a year over the past five years, said Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith.

Following the work session, the council held its regular meeting and adopted a $39 million supplementary budget for the rest of the fiscal year.

The council also gave Smith approval to apply for a $400,000 state grant to develop the first phase of a park in the Cimmaron Terrace development. The grant will pay for the construction of a walking path, fencing, and a playground with natural aesthetics.

Also on Monday, the council voted to form a committee to further explore fees charged for business licenses within town. In January, the council voted to institute business licenses but did not settle on the annual cost of a license. Business licenses will be required beginning in 2025.

Smith said the new committee will include the mayor, two councilors, city staff members and five business owners. The committee will be responsible for coming up with the cost of an annual license.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It would be nice if they give the ok for a distribution store. For maybe the taxes they would collect could fix the “death trap” of a road aka “Powerline Road” and Elm St to Diagonal. This road is also horrible from all the traffic of semi trucks that has left deep rutts in the asphalt that if you hit it just right, it makes you swerve out of your lane.

  2. We voted against the swimming pool too and that was just a small revenue stream. The city will never be able to resist this one.

    Sales of pot in Hermiston has been voted down repeatedly. The people have spoken! What is it about this system they don’t understand? What is our vote worth?

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