Oregon: Medical marijuana dispensaries could soon be licensed, regulated

In Regulatory, Top Stories by David Silverberg

In under a year, medical marijuana dispensaries may soon be licensed and regulated in Oregon.

Oregon’s Senate passed a bill recently on an 18-12 vote that would require the Oregon Health Authority to set up a registration system of medical marijuana dispensaries, authorizing the transfer of the drug and immature marijuana plants to patients, as the Statesman-Journal writes.

Under the bill, the dispensaries also would have to comply with rules for pesticides, mold and mildew testing, which supporters say will help ensure the drug isn’t contaminated. The bill, if signed by the governor, becomes operative March 1.

Architects of the bill say it will give cardholders confidence that they can acquire their medicine, and that it is safe. They also hope the bill will keep excess pot from being siphoned off to the black market.

“This is a great way to impose a standard that will keep that from occurring,” said Sen. Floyd Prozanksi, D-Eugene.

Each medical marijuana facility would pay a registration fee of $4,000, according to the bill’s fiscal note, as reported here. “If an estimated 225 facilities register, the state would receive about $900,000 in the next two years.”

House Bill 3460 heads back to the House.

Oregon allows patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to grow their own marijuana or designate someone else to do it, but there isn’t a place to legally purchase the medicine.

Photo courtesy M.O. Stevens