Starting Oregon Recreational Marijuana Sales Early Faces Daunting Hurdles, Legislators Say

OREGON:  A proposal by the Senate’s top Republican to begin recreational sales in Oregon on July 1 has attracted a lot of interest, but there appears to be daunting issues that would prevent it from becoming reality.

“The concept is good,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, co-chair of the Legislature’s marijuana committee, “but practically speaking there are obvious issues.”

Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, earlier this week proposed that recreational sales start in medical marijuana dispensaries when possession becomes legal on July 1.

“One of the problems we have is that on July 1, Oregonians will be able to possess, grow and gift marijuana…but they won’t be able to legally buy it,” Ferrioli said in an interview Wednesday. The EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group Capital Bureau first reported on his plan, aimed at speeding retail sales that may not start until late 2016.

Medical Marijuana Growers May See New Limits As Oregon Legislators Move To Curb Black Market

OREGON:  Oregon legislators are moving to put new limits on the large and mostly unregulated pot growers who ostensibly serve medical marijuana patients.

Key lawmakers want to shift the large growers to the tightly regulated recreational marijuana market the state plans to develop after voters last year decided to legalize the drug.

“We have to show we’re doing everything we can to close off the black market,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. “It’s no secret that medical marijuana [from Oregon] is appearing all over the U.S. in the illegal market.”

Oregon Lawmaker Says Marijuana Candy Overdose Shows State Needs To Move Slowly On Recreational Pot

OREGON:  A key lawmaker says a marijuana overdose in an Oregon resort town shows the need to go slowly on making pot-infused candies, cookies and other edibles available to the public.

Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat who co-chairs a committee working on implementing the ballot measure approved last fall that legalized recreational marijuana. She said Wednesday she’s not willing to allow the sale of marijuana edibles until regulators figure out how to control potency and keep them away from kids.

“I don’t think we are in a position to approve any kind of edibles right now,” Burdick said. “We have to figure out a way to package them, label them, and make sure people understand the dosage.”

Commercial pot sales are not expected to start until late 2016, though Oregonians can legally possess up to a half pound of marijuana at home starting in July.