Obviously, many patients are unable to find someone willing to put in the time and effort to cultivate cannabis for free. Unlike the common misconception, growing medical-grade cannabis isn't like growing a "weed" that doesn't take a lot of work. Mildew, mold and pests are constant issues and putting plants into soil can be very labor intensive. Patients without a garden in the Portland area have a plethora of cannabis dispensaries to choose from, but those in more conservative areas are not as lucky as local law enforcement continues to waste tax payer dollars on raiding dispensaries, claiming that the operators are getting reimbursed above and beyond just supplies and utilities. Even at the word, should limited law enforcement resources be utilized to raid medical marijuana card holders getting compensated by other legal medical marijuana card holders?
House Bill 3460 is a fix for the state's safe access problem and a great step in the right direction for cannabis law reform in Oregon. The bill will eliminate some gray areas of the law and will allow for the state to license and regulate medical cannabis dispensaries. Finally, growers will be able to be compensated for all of the costs associated with the production of cannabis, eliminating the need for patients to find someone willing to charitably grow marijuana for them. Hopefully, with bright line rules, we can end dangerous SWAT raids of dispensaries, and instead, move towards regulating dispensaries like we do pharmacies.
House Bill 3460 just passed the Oregon House today by a vote of 31-27 and is expected to move onto the Senate for a floor vote later this week. The bill was recently aided by the endorsement of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Oregon League of Cities. Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) deserves great credit carrying this important bill through his chamber. Hopefully, the Senate will agree with their House counterparts and will send the bill onto Governor Kitzhaber.
I am very pleased to see the Oregon Legislature move forward on some positive marijuana law reform measures and look forward to many more positive measures this session and future sessions. I helped organize an initiative effort to establish state-regulated medical cannabis dispensaries in 2010, so it is great to see the legislators in Salem take a leadership role on the issue. All of us here at NCC are pleased to be assisting efforts in Oregon and will continue helping such dedicated activists doing such great work.
Below is a press release from Oregonians for Medical Rights, who have been leading the lobbying effort to pass House Bill 3460. I am proud to call OMR's directors, Sam Chapman and Geoff Sugerman, my friends as well as colleagues.
Oregon House Passes Legislation to License Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Bill passes on a 31-27 vote and moves to Senate
The Oregon House today passed legislation to license and regulate the
nearly 200 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Oregon today. House
Bill 3460, passed on a 31-27 vote, requires the Oregon Health Authority to
set up a licensure system under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.
Endorsed by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Oregon League of
Cities, the bill states dispensaries:
Must be located more than 1000 feet from a school, and from each other,
Receive patient authorization to receive medicine from a legally
registered grow site,
Requires testing for pesticides, molds and mildews,
Prohibits dispensaries in residential neighborhoods,
Requires tracking of marijuana coming on and going out,
Requires security systems
Grant OMMP broad rule-making authority to develop additional rules and
"HB 3460 is a moderate bill that recognizes that some 200 dispensaries are operating all over Oregon today, patients are visiting them regularly and it is time to bring these facilities under the medical marijuana program," said Geoff Sugerman, director of Oregonians for Medical Rights and the group sponsoring the legislation. "The regulations will provide a new level of safety and access to patients while giving dispensaries and local communities clear direction on how these should be operated."
The bill passed out of the House Health Care Committee on an 8-1 vote
earlier in the session and the full Ways and Means Committee 18-8 prior to
the floor vote today.
"There is a growing recognition that this medical marijuana program needs
updating and that dispensaries need to be professionalized for the safety
of patients and the continued health and safety of the program in general,"
said Sam Chapman, a director for Oregonians for Medical Rights.
Article originally appeared on National Cannabis Coalition and republished with special permission