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Under existing law, the state’s nearly 55,000 medical marijuana cardholders must grow the pot themselves or find a person to grow it for them. The bill would give cardholders another option: purchasing their medicine from state regulated medical marijuana retail outlets.
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The bill sparked a hearty debate among lawmakers Monday.
Rep. Andy Olson, an Albany Republican and former Oregon State Police lieutenant, said the bill lacks teeth to crack down on facilities that don’t comply with the new regulations.
"I’m a major advocate for those who are in need of marijuana as a medicine," he said. "I am opposed to the abuse."
Olson said he wanted to craft a new bill for the 2014 Legislature to consider that would address his concerns.
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Some cardholders who don’t have growers already get their cannabis from the estimated 200 lounges, collectives and cafes operating around Oregon. However, the medical marijuana outlets that aOlernKienOP
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Some communities such as Portland have taken a hands off approach and allow the facilities to remain open. aOlernKienOP
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Medical marijuana facilities would pay a $4,000 fee each year to be registered and aOlernKienOP
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The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Office estimates the state would earn $900,000 in registration fees from the grow facilities. This would pay for the cost of establishing and administering the licensing system.
Oregon would be the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, after Nevada legalized them earlier this month.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is one of 19 states to allow medicinal pot, along with the District of Columbia.