Oregon medical marijuana dispensary regulation bill approved by legislature, now awaiting gov. signature


Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries – roughly 150 or so – are one step closer to have a set of state guidelines after lawmakers last week approved a bill creating a medical marijuana dispensary program by a 32 to 27 vote.
House Bill 3460 is now awaiting the signature of Gov. John Kitzhaber to become law. If passed, the bill would not create any new taxes and the industry would pay for the regulations through licensing fees.

The bill also requires shops to test cannabis for mold, mildew and pesticides and prevents anyone with a prior controlled substances conviction from owning or having a stake in any dispensaries.
Current Oregon medical marijuana laws allow patients to grow their own or designate someone as a caregiver to grow up to six plants and posses up to 24 ounces for the patient. As was the case in other states like Colorado and Michigan many caregivers interpreted the law to mean they could serve numerous patients and create storefront collectives open to any card-carrying patient.
Many shops have operated for years now under that premise, however they were also always at the mercy for the cities and towns that allowed them to operate since there was no official state laws allowing them.
The governor said over the weekend that he is still debating signing the bill, though it has otherwise seen a broad range of support from the state District Attorneys Association, the Oregon League of Cities and the state attorney general Ellen Rosenblum.
The bill was praised by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), who said the bill creates safe and legal access for patients who otherwise might have to go to the black market for their cannabis.