|A Colorado medical marijuana dispensary.
The state of Oregon is one step closer to having a single, statewide set of medical marijuana dispensary rules today. The state House yesterday gave approval to House Bill 3460, which sponsors say will legitimize the roughly 150 cannabis collectives already existing in the state.
The bill passed on a 31 to 27 margin, with several legislators arguing that the bill doesn’t do enough to ensure cannabis is going to medical patients in need and not hippies who want weed.
Rep. Andy Olson, a former cop, says lawmakers should wait until next session and work together on a bill that gives law enforcement more power to regulate the shops.”I’m a major advocate for those who are in need of marijuana as a medicine,” he said during the debate. “I am opposed to the abuse.”
But supporters say the bill will truly help Oregon medical marijuana patients get safe access to cannabis. “This bill does not fight Mexican cartels. The bill doesn’t solve hunger in Oregon. The bill doesn’t help the Blazers win the championship. The bill does a simple thing,” said Rep. Mitch Greenlick of Portland.
According to the bill, the state health department would be in charge of the dispensary program. Facilities would pay an annual $4,000 fee. State officials estimate roughly 250 would apply, meaning the state could see $1 million in applications each year.
Applicants would have to submit their name, address, proof of residency in Oregon.
The dispensary has to be in a commercial or mixed-use area. Grow sites can not be at the same location as dispensaries. The centers have to be more than 1,000 feet from all schools and daycares as well as one another. Each dispensary would have to install security systems and submit their herb for testing. People with existing felonies for Schedule 1 and 2 controlled substances – which includes cannabis – would not be able to operate a medical marijuana business.
The bill now goes to the senate for approval.