Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill Passes Oregon Senate, 18-12
It was a big day in Oregon for supporters of safe access to medical marijuana. See the press release below from Oregonians for Medical Rights:
A bill to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon passed the Oregon Senate Wednesday on an 18-12 vote. The bill now goes back to the Oregon House for concurrence on amendments added in the Senate. The bill earlier passed the Oregon House on a 31-27 vote.
State Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), one of the bill's chief sponsors along with State Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), led passage of the bill on the Senate floor late Wednesday afternoon.
"This bill includes a number of common sense regulations that will ensure these facilities are operated properly and patients have safe access to medicine they receive from these facilities," said Prozanski. "With estimates of 200 of them operating in Oregon today, this is the next step forward for Oregon's medical marijuana program."
Sam Chapman, a lobbyist for Oregonians for Medical Rights, said the strong support in the Senate was bolstered by endorsements from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and the Oregon League of Cities.
"Oregon is now poised to join 12 other states to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. With over 200 dispensaries operating in Oregon today, our bill provides some of the strongest regulations to protect patients in the country," said Chapman.
The original Oregon Medical Marijauna Act was passed by voters in 1998. Geoff Sugerman who was campaign director for Oregonians for Medical Rights back then, said he always envisioned improvements and changes to the program would take place over time.
"But that original intent to provide patients with safe access to medical marijuana has never wavered. Now patients who can't grow or can't find a grower will have a licensed facility where they can get their medicine safely. This is a great step forward for Oregon's medical marijuana program," said Sugerman. "We are hopeful we can make it through the last step of the legislative process this weekend with a final House vote on concurrence."