OR: Medford Is Packing In The Pot Shops

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Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
There are a lot of marijuana stores in and around Medford. According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, there are 10 cannabis retailers within Medford's city limits with another six just outside the city's boundaries. And from what we can tell, there are more pot shops getting ready to open in Medford.

The city now has the most marijuana retailers in the valley, with 27 total in Jackson County, according to the OLCC.

But is it really too many?

Starbucks, which sells another popular drug, caffeine, in its coffee drinks, has eight retail shops in Medford. Dutch Bros. has 12 kiosks in the city, the Human Bean has five, and Mellelo's has two shops. Add those up and you've got 27 coffee shops, and there's plenty more places in the city that sell coffee. Talk about saturation. We're practically swimming in coffee, but nobody's complaining.

Anyway, to the point, the Medford City Council, when it approved retail sales of marijuana in the city, realized that over time the number of pot shops would eventually find an upper limit driven by market forces.

The council, in attempting to follow state law, came up with some rules for the time, place and manner of operations of cannabis stores. Like other businesses that come to Medford, the council stayed away from putting any restrictions on the number of marijuana stores.

As to empty storefronts, many of the marijuana businesses have moved into stores that have sat vacant for a long time, such as La Mota on Riverside Drive, which was the former Shenanigan's bar.

It'll be interesting to see how many stores are still in operation in Medford after five years.

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