Oregon mulls putting medical, rec cannabis under one regulator

Oregon lawmakers are considering putting the state’s medical and adult-use marijuana programs under the oversight of one regulatory agency.

The move would put Oregon in the same company as its neighbor to the north, Washington state.

According to the Blue Mountain Eagle, the co-chairwomen of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation have offered bills that would transfer regulation of MMJ to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission – which currently oversees recreational sales – from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Another proposal would establish a separate agency tasked with cannabis regulation.

Oregon’s marijuana program had a tough year in 2016. For one, problems with lab testing nearly brought the state’s industry to its knees.

Oregon marijuana industry experts are eager to see the OHA taken off overseeing the MMJ program and the duties given to “somebody who does want it,” Tom Burns, a marijuana policy consultant, told the Blue Mountain Eagle. He said the OHA has been a reluctant regulator.

In Washington state’s case, the rec market has nearly swallowed the medical market. Registered card holder numbers are way down.

One key difference between Oregon and Washington: In Oregon, MMJ patients don’t pay taxes on medical cannabis. Washington state still charges an excise tax of 37% for both medical and rec, while MMJ patients don’t pay a sales tax.

4 comments on “Oregon mulls putting medical, rec cannabis under one regulator
  1. Don Hodge on

    Oregon’s rec legal Market will always fail as long as the Eastern Oregon keeps producing low-grade low cost Market flooding junk pot!!! Legal entrepreneurs invest hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars into their operations only to be severely undercut by illegal operations! Oregon is destroying its own ecosystem in the eastern half of the state by not getting this under control!!

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  2. Mark M. on

    Having been through both licensing bodies, the OLCC way a superior experience. Real people to talk to, a clear path to a license, and a system for tracking things efficiently. The black market will exist until the funding for enforcement happens and those operating in the black market will be easy to spot, as will every product derived from flower grown illegally.

    The OHA still has $4000 I paid them almost 9 months ago for a license I never received and started the application for a year ago. Yes I requested a refund over 60 days ago. Crickets.

    The OLCC has been. 3 months of work and should receive a license in the coming days. The medical program will always exist in some form or fashion whether it’s called that or not. The trick will be how to account for it differently and support a growing and better run recreational program. I support one agency to govern the industry in Oregon.

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  3. David Harvey on

    The entire cannabis industry in Oregon has been built up by the medical growers who have now been excluded from the market.Those same growers still have to make a living and feed their families. This has caused the biggest flood of marijuana to the black market this state has ever seen! medical growers now face the need for food stamps and welfare to survive having their industry pulled out from under them. Something must be done to allow the medical community to return to the market. People who were thriving legally in the medical marijuana industry are now looking back to the black market for survival. This is failed bureaucracy at its worst! This has been done with the clear intent of taking the industry away form the people and putting it into the hands of big corporations. This was done to create taxable wages because small farmers don’t have many taxable employees. I believe the other motivation is to relegate cannabis to the same status as alcohol so the world will forget that cannabis is medicine to appease the pharmaceutical companies. We already have legislation forbidding retailers from implying that marijuana can treat any medical condition. This is the same lie the federal government is trying to perpetuate by refusing to reschedule cannabis, asserting that it has no medicinal value when they themselves hold a patent for cannabis derived cbd as medicine! We the people must combat this abuse.

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