New Clean Air Rules Could Shutter Oregon MJ Clubs

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Cannabis entrepreneurs in Oregon running smoking lounges have a new hurdle to overcome: the state’s Indoor Clean Air Act.

Such lounges may be forced to close for violating new provisions of the statute, set to go into effect on New Year’s Day, according to The Oregonian.

The indoor clean air rules were originally passed in 2009 and targeted only tobacco. This year, lawmakers added marijuana to the law, as well as devices like vaporizers and e-cigarettes, thus making it illegal to smoke or vape cannabis in work and public places.

The marijuana lounges may have an option, however. The law exempts cigar bars and smoke shops, where tobacco consumption is allowed. Both kinds of businesses must be certified by the state. Marijuana lounges could ask for a similar exemption.

On Thursday, an Oregon Department of Health official said the agency has not sought a legal opinion from the Department of Justice on whether the law applies to cannabis clubs “because the law hasn’t gone into effect yet.”