Salem City Council allows early recreational pot sales
SALEM, Ore. - The Salem City Council voted 8 to 1 Monday night, to allow "early sales" of recreational marijuana. Mayor Anna Peterson was the only member to vote no.
The decision will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot to customers 21 years and older from October 1 through December 31.
At the city council meeting, some voters expressed frustration that the early sales period was even up for debate. Others were angry that council only gave the public two days notice that it would be on Monday's agenda.
"You guys are like the Amazon Prime of Marijuana policy making," said blogger, Brian Hines, during public testimony.
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Marijuana Commerce Blossoms, But Challenges Abound
As marijuana prohibition falls in one state after another, cannabis sales are shifting from street corners to storefronts as opportunists line up to cash in on what optimists say is the biggest investment opportunity since the dot-com boom of the turn of the century.
Investors of all varieties are starting to look at marijuana as less of a stoner's fad and more of a serious business venture. The industry totaled $2.66 billion in U.S. sales in 2014, up 74 percent from $1.53 billion the year before, according to the ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment network.
Business insiders said they expect the market to expand to many times its present size as more states legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
Already the cannabis trade has not only brought in millions for dispensary owners and cultivators, it's also created a thriving ancillary market, driven job growth and boosted property values, marijuana advocates claim.
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