Oregon Bill Would Adjust State’s Medical, Adult-Use Cannabis Programs

There could be some changes coming to Oregon’s medical and adult-use cannabis programs under a measure now sitting on Gov. Kate Brown’s desk.

The legislation, House Bill 2198, would create the Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC) to oversee the framework of the state’s medical cannabis program. It would also allow several thousand state-licensed medical growers to sell up to 20 pounds of excess cannabis each into the state’s adult-use.

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The bill has so far breezed through the Oregon Legislature, with the Senate passing the bill yesterday on an 18–12 vote, which fell mostly along party lines. Four Republican senators voted for the bill, while three Democrats voted against it.

The House approved the measure even more enthusiastically, passing HB 2198 on a 48–11 vote. Not a single House Democrats voted against the bill, though several Republicans voted for it.

HB 2198 would also specify that cannabis retailers and dispensaries may be located within 1,000 feet of schools, but only if the Oregon Liquor Control Commission determines that there is a physical or geographic barrier capable of preventing children from “traversing to premises of marijuana retailer or dispensary.”

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The Oregon Cannabis Commission would be established within the Oregon Health Authority. It would consist of a public health officer (or the public health officer’s designee) and eight members to be appointed by the governor.

Those eight members would consist of a medical marijuana cardholder, a person designated to produce cannabis by a cardholder, a physician, one representative each from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, a local health officer, a law enforcement officer, and a person knowledgeable about research proposal grant protocol.

Commissioners’ terms would be four years, though they would serve at the governor’s pleasure. The commission will meet at least once a quarter, in a location yet to be determined.

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