Medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon are nothing new, but for the first time they are opening under new state regulations that require state licenses of the shops before they can sell even a gram of herb.
That’s good news for patients, but it’s also bad news for some dispensary owners as the new laws also allows communities to ban marijuana centers outright by May 1. The Oregonian reports that at least one dispensary has a state license to operate, but might not be able to open their doors for at least a year.
The owners of the Releaf Center in Hermiston say they’ve been closed since February 28, and are just now opening their doors again after getting their state license in the mail this week. But they could be shut down by the end of the week if county commissioners decide to enact a moratorium on pot businesses at their regularly-scheduled meeting.
And that’s probably what is going to happen. Umatilla County commissioner George Murdock says they’ll listen to arguments from dispensary owners who want to stay open, but that “whatever way we go, it’s going to be painful.”
Murdock says that he doesn’t like the county being the site of a showdown between the feds and state law, and that the best way to avoid such a situation is to not allow dispensaries. Other shops in cities like Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend appear to be opening without much city opposition.
The new laws also mean that dispensary owners are going to have to step up their packaging and be wary of edibles that might entice a child. That could mean an outright ban on all edibles, though nobody is really sure at this point how far the state will take it. Proposed rules would ban cookies and candies from being sold, despite the fact that no children would be allowed into a dispensary to purchase such treats. Regardless, dispensary owners say they are going to be opening sans-edibles, much to the chagrin of patients who rely on them.