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Oregon: Lawmakers Approve Money For Legal Marijuana Rules

OregonLiquorControlCommissionOLCC(logo)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission can now begin the implementation of recreational marijuana legalization under Measure 91 after the Legislature's Emergency Board, composed of state House and Senate members, approved funding for staff, legal help and rule-writing.

The board approved a $583,000 loan for the OLCC, reports Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal. The money is coming from the state's liquor taxes, with the promise that the Commission will pay it back by the end of the 2015-2017 budget cycle using revenue generated by marijuana sales.

The money will allow commissioners to hire four workers: a program manager, two policy analysts and a public affairs staffer, reports The Associated Press. Regulating recreational marijuana in Oregon might eventually require up to 30 employees, according to one state estimate.

Oregon voters approved Measure 91 with a lopsided 56 percent to 44 percent margin last month, but the ballot initiative left most regulation up to the Liquor Control Commission to work out by January 2016.

Homegrown marijuana and personal possession will become formally legal on July 1, 2015, with commercial sales expected to begin in 2016.

Oregon: Marijuana Dispensary Pays Thousands As Health Authority Levies First Fines

PortlandCompassionateCaregivers

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Health Authority has levied its first fines against medical marijuana dispensaries for violating the rules.

Portland Compassionate Caregivers this week paid $6,500 in fines for 13 "serious" violations, including poor record keeping and evidence of cannabis consumption on the premises, reports Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal. The state subsequently ordered the dispensary to close, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

"This penalty sends a message in no uncertain terms -- you must comply with Oregon law or you will pay the price," said Tom Burns, director of Pharmacy Programs for the Oregon Health Authority.

The shop was cited for violations during an unannounced, mandatory annual on-site inspection. OHA's regulations to enforce the state's 2013 medical marijuana dispensary law require an on-site inspection of each facility within six months of receiving a license, and annually thereafter.

William Lupton, the operator of Portland Compassionate Caregivers, paid the fines on August 26. According to the state's agreement with Lupton, the dispensary, at 4020 SE Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard, may reopen, but must first be inspected again.

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