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Eugene City Councilors Won't Put Buffer Between Pot Shops

Rachael McDonald

Based on recent data, Eugene has the highest per capita number of approved licenses for marijuana dispensaries in the state. At their work session Wednesday City Councilors were unwilling to place a 1,000-foot buffer zone between shops.  

The state requires pot dispensaries be 1000-feet from any school. A staff report found there’s no significant increase in crime around marijuana dispensaries in Eugene. Nor is there an impact on rents. Councilor Claire Syrett said pot shops have had positive impacts on neighborhoods.

Credit Rachael McDonald
This yet to open shop is just 3 doors down from another pot shop on High Street in Eugene.

Syrett: “I’ve seen a number of properties that were transformed from very bedraggled storefronts into very nice looking retail shops that really improve the general look of the area. So, I am still not convinced that we need a thousand foot buffer.”

Councilor Greg Evans pointed out there is no buffer zone between supermarkets where people can purchase beer and wine. Eugene has 56 approved licenses for pot shops compared to much larger Portland’s 103.  Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Gresham and Bend do have 1000-foot buffer zones between pot shops. Springfield, Salem, Corvallis and Medford do not.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.