OREGON: The state Legislature just put the state medical marijuana program in the plant-inspection business.
However, that’s not all. Under a broad set of authorities granted by the passage of a bill approving medical marijuana dispensaries, the state program will soon also run background checks, conduct on-site safety inspections and perform financial audits.
It’s all part of a legislative effort aimed at legitimizing the hundreds of Oregon dispensaries already operating in a legal gray area. As part of the bargain, the dispensaries will now submit to the same kind of scrutiny — and paperwork — as other types of businesses.
“There are many (dispensaries) right now that are paying taxes, paying worker’s comp, taking care of employees,” said Oregonians for Medical Rights lobbyist Geoff Sugarman, who drafted the bill. “The responsible thing to do for patients is to regulate these facilities.”
Gov. John Kitzhaber is expected to sign the bill, which was passed by the Oregon House on July 6.