A bill to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries was introduced Friday in the Oregon House of Representatives by State Rep. Peter Buckley and State Senator Floyd Prozanski. House Bill 3460 will establish a system under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program where patients, growers and medical marijuana facilities will all be working together to ensure that patients have safe access to medicine they need.
The bill would require medical marijuana facilities to seek a license from OMMP similar to the license that patients and registered growers are required to obtain under current law. The bill sets out a series of regulations the medical marijuana facilities must meet and allows the Oregon Health Authority to draft additional rules and regulations to ensure patients are protected.
When the original medical marijuana act was passed in 1998, it allowed patients to grow their own medicine, or to designate someone to grow it for them. Many patients patients don't have the means to produce their own medicine, and often have a hard time finding someone to grow for them. In recent years, well over 100 dispensaries have started operations across the state. In many communities, Portland for example, law enforcement has generally taken a hands-off attitude. But in other communities these dispensaries have been raided and shut down.
The bill allows for patients -- who technically "own" the marijuana being produced by a registered grower -- to authorize the transfer of marijuana from their grower to a medical marijuana facility and from the facility to a registered cardholder or their primary caregiver. The legislation allows for reimbursement of costs to the MMF and allows the MMF to compensate the grower for production costs. It does not change the relationship between a patient and their grower. The MMFs may only receive marijuana from a registered grow site and must account for the marijuana coming into and leaving the facility.
The bill is expected to be referred to a House Committee early this week. Click here to read Oregon House Bill 3460.
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