Oregon: Lawmakers Approve Measure To License Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Oregon: Lawmakers Approve Measure To License Medical Marijuana DispensariesSalem, OR: State lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 3460, to license medicinal cannabis dispensaries statewide. The measure now awaits final approval from Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber.

House Bill 3460 "directs [the] Oregon Health Authority to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities." The department has until March 2014 to draft rules regulating dispensaries. Such facilities presently exist in several regions of the state but are unregulated and remain subject to state and local prosecution. Officials expect to register an estimated 225 dispensaries in the first two years. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum publicly backed the measure.

Oregonians initially authorized the physician-supervised use of cannabis in 1998. However, the law limits patients’ access to cannabis to either home-cultivation or cultivation by a designated caregiver.

Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, and Rhode Island have state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries up and running. (California dispensaries are not licensed by the state.) Similar dispensary outlets are in the process of opening in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington, DC.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.