Measure 91

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Oregon: Marijuana Business Bans Could Cost Counties Millions Of Dollars


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

County bans on licensed recreational marijuana businesses in Oregon could result in millions of dollars of lost economic activity, according to a new report.

Marion County alone could lose $110 million in economic activity in 2016 as business goes elsewhere because of its nonsensical ban, said Beau Whitney, an economist and vice president of government and compliance at Toronto-based Golden Leaf Holdings, reports Gordon Friedman at the Statesman Journal.

Nineteen Oregon counties and 86 Oregon cities have banned marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers entirely.

Oregon citizens voted at the ballot box to legalize marijuana via Measure 91 in 2014. State legislators allowed local municipalities to ban cannabis businesses if their voters opposed legalization.

In counties with less than 55 percent rejecting legal sales -- like Marion County -- the bans are only temporary and must be put to the voters. In counties which rejected legalization by more than 55 percent, local governments can ban cannabis businesses outright.

Oregon: Pro-Cannabis Group Endorses Ted Wheeler For Portland Mayor


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Approach Oregon, the pro-marijuana group which was behind the successful Measure 91 legalization campaign, on Tuesday endorsed candidate Ted Wheeler for mayor of Portland.

"I want to strongly urge you to consider casting your vote for Ted Wheeler, an ally of the marijuana law reform movement and someone who understands the importance of the cannabis industry and implementing the will of the voters," reads a letter from New Approach Oregon's Chief Petitioner, Anthony Johnson.

"When the Oregon Financial Estimate Committee met to determine the amount of revenue Measure 91 would generate for the state, our campaign became very concerned when the state's Legislative Revenue Office projected that legalizing marijuana would only bring in about $17 million in new revenue to the state," Johnson's letter reads. "One elected official on the committee cooly and calmly considered all of the evidence and wisely advocated that the state project a range of revenue. That official was Ted Wheeler, at the time serving on the committee as our state's treasurer.

"Ted advocated for a range of $17 million to $40 million," Johnson said. "And as we just saw the state collect about $7 million in the first two months of taxes, the upper end of the range is looking like a pretty good call.

Oregon: Measure 91 Advocates Endorse Brad Avakian for Secretary of State


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana legalization advocates New Approach Oregon, the organization behind the successful Measure 91, on Wednesday endorsed Democratic candidate Brad Avakian for Secretary of State. Avakian currently serves as Oregon Labor Commissioner.

"Supporters of Measure 91, we have an exciting Secretary of State's race that involves three qualified Democratic candidates. I want to introduce you to one of those candidates, Brad Avakian, an ally of the marijuana law reform movement for more than a decade when he, as Labor Commissioner, fought for a medical marijuana patient who was fired for using cannabis medicinally," New Approach Oregon's Anthony Johnson wrote in a March 30 email. "Unfortunately, the Supreme Court rejected that argument and the fight for true equality and freedom goes on, even after legalizing and regulating marijuana.

"Brad Avakian is the progressive in the race for Secretary of State, and you can see that in the endorsements that he has received, including some of the same endorsers who advocated for Measure 91, such as the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555 Union and the Working Families Party," Johnson wrote. "If we can elect Brad Avakian as our next Secretary of State we will have a true supporter of sensible marijuana policies in the 2nd most prominent governmental position in Oregon.

Oregon: Medical Marijuana Patients Want Deadline Extension On New Rules


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday morning held a public hearing to hear testimony from patients and growers who want an extension on the deadline for new rules.

The rules, listed in a 100-page document, range from things like security requirements to plant growth requirements, reports Justin Matthews at News 10.

The changes are scheduled to take effect on March 1, but medicinal cannabis patients, growers and caretakers said that's not enough time to make changes in order to complyl.

"O.H.A. was given the guidelines by the Measure 91 committee to implement some new rules around medical marijuana and they have gone above and beyond with new restrictive regulations that are going to kill the program and affect thousands of sick Oregonians," said Brent Kenyon, director of Southern Oregon Alternative Medicine.

While many of the rules are realistic, requiring that they be put into effect by March 1 is not, according to Kenyon.

A number of those testifying asked OHA to extend the deadline to January 1, 2017.

Photo: News 10

Oregon: Congressman Earl Blumenauer Calls For End To Failed Marijuana Prohibition


As Oregon’s Emerging Marijuana Industry Visits Capitol Hill, Rep. Blumenauer Calls for Federal Government to Get Out of the Way

As representatives from the Oregon Cannabis Association visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) on the House floor called for an end to the federal government’s failed approach of marijuana prohibition.

“Mr. Speaker, advocates from the new emerging marijuana industry in Oregon are descending on Capitol Hill at a very critical time for this fledgling industry," Congressman Blumenauer said. "They have a report about the implementation of Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91, overwhelming approved by voters last year to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana at the state level.

“Possession became legal July 1st," Blumenauer said. "Retail sales were authorized in existing dispensaries on the 1st of October to significant interest around the state. The first week saw an estimated $11 million in sales. They are working hard to implement the spirit and the letter of the measure, working closely with the Oregon legislature to refine it – learning from the experiences of states like Washington and Colorado that have already legalized adult use.

“Theirs is a positive story of economic opportunity, product development, tax revenues, more freedom for individuals, and eliminating the racial disparities in the enforcement of a failed policy of prohibition that comes down heavily against young men of color – especially African Americans," Rep. Blumenauer said.

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