The Oregon Senate Special Committee on Implementing Measure 91 voted tonight on Senate Bill 964. The bill was approved unanimously and sent to the Senate for a full vote. The bill will make huge changes to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) if it becomes law. Among some of the scarier language in the bill:
- Section 6 states that all medical marijuana growers have to submit a report monthly to the Oregon Health Authority which states the "number of mature and immature marijuana plants, the amount of marijuana leaves and flowers being dried, and the amount of usable marijuana, in the person's possession" as well as " the number of mature and mature marijuana plants, and the amount of usable marijuana, that the person transfers to each registry identification cardholder for whom the person produces marijuana." The report also has to contain the " amount of usable marijuana that the person transfers to each marijuana processing site: and...to each medical marijuana dispensary."
- Section 7 deals with new grow site limits. The section states that if a grow site is located within city limits, there is a cap of 12 mature plants maximum, regardless of how many patients have registered there. If the grow site was registered prior to January 1, 2015, it can be grandfathered in, but not to "exceed 24 mature marijuana plants." The cap on new gardens that are located outside of city limits would be at 48 mature plants, regardless of the amount of patients registered at the address. If the grow site was registered prior to January 1, 2015, it can be grandfathered in, but not to "exceed 96 mature plants."
- Section 70 states, "the governing body of a city or county may adopt ordinances that prohibit the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries or marijuana processing sites in the area subject to the jurisdiction of the city or county."
The committee is supposed to be working on making rules related to Oregon Measure 91, but instead has spent most of its time trying to attack the OMMP. Oregon voters approved Oregon Measure 91 which stated no less than three times that the OMMP should remain the same, regardless of what rules were made for recreational marijuana. The fact that five Oregon politicians today voted to go against the will of the voters doesn't sit well with Measure 91's Chief Petitioner, Anthony Johnson. Per KOIN 6:
"It's important to have the will of the voters implemented," Johnson said. "There is some frustration and I wish the legislature would have tackled some of the basics. This will only exacerbate the black market and really hurt patients who depend upon safe access through state-regulated facilities."
If you haven't contacted your Oregon Senator, now is the time to do so. If you have already contacted your Oregon Senator, contact them again. You can find out who your Senator is at this link here. This bill is a direct attack on the OMMP. I have to assume that if it passes and becomes law, the sponsors of the bill (Senator Burdick and Senator Kruse) will face some tough opposition in their next re-election bid. I would also assume that the Oregon medical marijuana community would hopefully unite and push for a referendum initiative.