Legislative deal eases way to marijuana sales bans in almost all of eastern Oregon

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A sweeping bill to regulate the burgeoning marijuana industry in Oregon is back on track after legislators agreed to make it easier to ban retail pot sales in almost all of the state's eastern counties.

Leaders of the  marijuana committee agreed to give a powerful eastern Oregon lawmaker language that would allow local governments in his region of the state to ban medical and recreational marijuana shops without voter approval.

Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego and co-chair of the House-Senate marijuana committee, said Friday that the compromise "is not my top choice," but she said it was necessary to prevent the entire legislative package from falling apart.

The new legislative language proposed for House Bill 3400 would allow local governments to ban pot sales in counties where at least 55 percent of voters opposed the Measure 91 marijuana legalization measure in 2014.

As it happens, 15 counties had that level...

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