As you know, under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (“OMMA“), physicians are legally able to recommend medical marijuana to treat their patients. Under current law, because the OMMA does not address medical marijuana facilities, there is no clear way for registered card holders to safely or legally have access to medical marijuana without either growing it themselves or finding someone else to grow it for them.
Over the past several years approximately 150 medical marijuana facilities have opened and continue to operate in Oregon without regulation or licensure. These facilities operate in a climate of uncertain legality, and the absence of a clear regulatory structure makes ensuring compliance with the law difficult. HB 3460 tackles this problem by putting in place a regulatory framework for marijuana facilities, giving the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) oversight and control over their lawful operation, and thereby ensuring that all persons with a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card will be able to obtain medical marijuana safely, predictably, promptly, and legally.
Under HB 3460, the OHA would establish a medical marijuana facility registration system requiring each facility to submit an application to the OHA demonstrating that the facility meets specific standards of operation. HB 3460 also contains safeguards that will help to ensure marijuana grown legally under the OMMA ends up safely in the hands of registered medical marijuana card holders. The bill provides ample authority for the OHA to draft rules and set fees to successfully implement the law.
I urge you to support HB 3460.
Ellen F Rosenblum
Dear Representative Buckley:
I am writing to express the League of Oregon Cities’ support for HB 3460 which would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. It is widely believed that there are over 200 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in a legally unstable manner in Oregon with no requirement to notify local governments or the state that they even exist and with no standards that protect patients or communities.
While there are a number of divergent view points on medical marijuana among Oregon’s cities, there is a common need to ensure that those providing medical marijuana do so in a responsible manner and that patients are not likely to become victims of a crime while seeking a substance a physician has approved them to ingest. To that end, HB 3460 requires that dispensary operators pass criminal background checks and have robust security systems in place.
Additionally, HB 3460 prevents a concentration of medical marijuana dispensaries to be located in a specific area by preventing dispensaries from being within 1000 feet of another dispensary and in residential areas. However, the bill does not prevent a city from adopting local ordinances in order to tailor requirements to meet local needs.
Thank you for working with us in a collaborative manner to address this complicated issue.
Scott J. Winkels
Intergovernmental Relations Associate
League of Oregon Cities
The bill would require medical marijuana facilities to acquire a license from OMMP similar to the license that patients and registered growers obtain under current law. HB 3460 establishes new regulations the medical marijuana facilities must meet to qualify including:
- Located within commercial, industrial zoned, mixed use or agricultural areas
- Not allowed within 1000 feet of a school
- Not allowed within 1000 feet of another medical marijuana facility
- Patient authorization required to receive medical marijuana from a registered grow site
- All marijuana must come from existing legally registered grow site
- All marijuana must be transferred to legal patients
- Testing required for pesticides, molds and mildews to protect patients
- Meeting security requirements developed by OMMP
- Requires fees to cover costs to OMMP
- Allows OMMP additional rulemaking authority