It’s been three years since Roseburg passed an ordinance regulating operations at dispensaries, but it looks like city officials are set to revisit the matter.
The decision to look at the laws regarding hours of operation and possible delivery services for dispensaries was prompted by a request from Rob Schuster, owner of the popular FX420 recreational dispensary at 161 Garden Valley Blvd.
Schuster spoke to the Roseburg City Council on Monday and asked them to extend the hours of operation for marijuana dispensaries like his and allow him to deliver to his customers. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission sets standards for dispensaries, Schuster explained, and those standards are more lenient than those approved by Roseburg City Councilors.
“I’m all about business,” Schuster said. “This isn’t about drugs, it’s about economics. We’re like any other business.”
OLCC standards allow dispensaries to be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Roseburg limits those hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The OLCC standards also allow dispensaries to deliver, with certain restrictions, including no deliveries to motels, hotels and the like. The City of Roseburg does not allow deliveries, although city officials said they are researching the matter to see just what current ordinances allow.
Schuster told the Council that extending his hours of operation and allowing him to deliver at home would be a win-win-win for himself, his customers and the city.
“I think it’s to your benefit because I’m going to pay you more taxes,” Schuster said. “I pay a lot of money to the city.”
Schuster opened his store on April 20, 2018 — 4-20 — and by all accounts it has been quite successful.
“I’ve got thousands of customers a month coming through my store,” he said this week. “We opened on Black Friday at 9 a.m. and there was a line out the door and down the sidewalk.”
There are six dispensaries in Roseburg, including FX420, which currently has 14 employees and has had as many as 22, Schuster said.
Other cities, including Salem, Eugene and Portland, allow dispensaries to stay open longer hours and to deliver. Schuster envisions an ordinance that would allow deliveries inside Roseburg city limits to customers who have already been vetted, with no orders taken after 8 p.m. and deliveries stopping at 10 p.m.
“Deliveries would help medical patients who don’t have cars,” he said. “There are a lot of people that don’t like leaving their homes, including a lot of the elderly. Yes, we’re in business to make money. But we’re also in business to help people.”
Schuster also said his business is heavily taxed by the state— 17%, of which 3% goes to the City of Roseburg — and strictly regulated. For example, every night after the store closes he must send a list of all transactions for that day to state officials, who review it.
“I get audited every single day and they don’t miss a thing,” he said.
At least one City Councilor appeared to support Schuster’s request. Councilor Ashley Hicks said she has been approached by another dispensary who also asked her about the possibility of expanding their hours of operation.
“We should look at this, and consider whether these shops should have equality with liquor stores,” Hicks said.
Hicks also asked what the regulations were for deliveries by dispensaries, and there seemed to be some confusion among city officials.
Mayor Larry Rich directed city staff to research the issue.
“Let’s find out what happened and why we put this in place. I don’t remember,” said Rich, who has been on the council for 20 years. He later added: “I don’t ever remember talking about a delivery service here at council.”
City staff said they will research the ordinances regulating dispensaries and expect to bring the matter back before the City Council in January.