Written for The Argus Observer. Published on August 12, 2015.
ONTARIO, OR — A new concern has popped up on Ontario Fire Chief Al Higinbotham’s radar, and that is the fire hazard that cannabis grow sites — both medical and recreational — could have brought with them when they moved into Ontario.
It was a July 24 fire in an unoccupied Portland grow house that piqued Higinbotham’s interest. He said Portland fire officials initially thought the cause of the fire was related to cannabis growing practices. Ultimately the fire’s cause was found to be an error in electrical wiring, according to an article from Portland’s KATU, channel 2 news, but the concept still has Higinbotham worried.
“We’re seeing that a lot, people buying or renting houses here in Ontario and just using them for grow sites,” Higinbotham said. “We haven’t had any fires in grows yet, but that’s not to say that we won’t.”
Continue reading “Fears smolder over pot grows”
Written for The Argus Observer. Printed on March 22, 2015.
Ontario city officials are still deciding whether marijuana storefronts or dispensaries will be allowed in Ontario. For his part, Police Chief Mark Alexander would like to see them banned permanently.
He approached the City Council on the topic at its last meeting, directly after the Council heard from Aaron Varella, a Boise resident who will soon be relocating to Ontario and would like to open a recreational dispensary in the city.
“I’m here to let you know my plans,” Varella said. “I’m open to any constructive ideas on what to do as we move along.”
Using medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, and recreational marijuana will be legal July 1. The city of Ontario has extended its ban on medical marijuana dispensaries from May 1 to Aug. 1, but city officials have yet to address recreational dispensaries.
“I’d like to formally ask for the consideration of a ban,” Alexander said. “We just had public comments on this, but I’d like to see a ban of medical and recreational dispensaries.”
Continue reading “To ban or not to ban pot shops”