multnomah county

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Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown Appoints Marijuana Policy Adviser

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Oregon Governor Kate Brown created a new position for her administration: a senior adviser on marijuana policy.

Jeffrey Rhoades, a veteran Multnomah County prosecutor, will advise the governor on all marijuana issues.

Rhoades begins his new job on June 2, with an annual salary of $94,448.

"It's not a day too early as far as I am concerned," said Ivo Trummer, the governor's legislative director, speaking to Oregon Cannabis Association members at an event held at the Laurelhust Club in Southeast Portland.

In 2014 Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper created a high-level post dedicated to marijuana policy. Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination, which focuses on regulating the state's medical and recreational markets, as well as promoting public health, public safety and keeping marijuana away from kids.

In Washington, cannabis is part of the governor's public safety adviser's job.

In a statement Friday, Brown said Rhoades will help "create responsive regulations in what is still a new industry."

"Jeff will be mindful of my focus on public safety, user awareness and educating youth as this burgeoning new business sector takes root," Brown said.

Trummer said that Brown's administration is eager to work with Oregon's marijuana businesses.

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

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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: DEA Investigates Cannabis Oil Company True North Extracts

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The owners of True North Extracts, a Portland company which sells CO2 cannabis oil, are being investigated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to a federal search warrant affidavit.

The homes of True North's owners, Michael Andrew "Drew" Dillon and Michael Corby, were searched by the DEA after the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office shut down the company's extraction facility in Wood Village, saying the warehouse violated building and fire codes, reports Aaron Mesh at Willamette Week.

True North's vape-pen cartridges are sold at medical marijuana dispensaries. The company advertises its products as free of chemical solvents.

"True North products are designed for anyone looking for a completely clean and gentle experience, that benefits mind, body and soul," the company's website reads.

In the search warrant affidavit from December 23, DEA agent Traci Larsen said True North had only enough Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) registration cards to supply a few patients, yet had more than 50 pounds of CO2 oil.

Larsen also wrote she "suspected" Dillon and Corby of "money laundering" and "endangering human life" while illegally manufacturing controlled substances, both federal felonies.

Oregon: World Famous Cannabis Cafe Still Open Despite Clear Air Provisions

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon's newly expanded Indoor Clean Air Act kicked in on New Year's Day, but the World Famous Cannabis Cafe in Portland remains open this week, hosting popular Stoner Bingo games and Thursday night jam sessions.

Multnomah County has already received a complaint about cannabis smoking in the business, and officials plan to send owner Madeline Martinez a letter reminding her of the law, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

A county code enforcement officer will visit the cafe after a 10-day grace period to make sure Martinez has complied, said Multnomah County spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti. The officer would outline the steps the cafe needs to take, and make an additional unannounced visit, she said.

Penalties could include daily fines of up to $500 for continued noncompliance, according to Sullivan-Springhetti.

A county public health official dropped by the club last month after hearing complaints about smoking in the establishment. That official, Erik Vidstrand, told Martinez that smoking and vaping cannabis would be illegal in her club after January 1.

Lawmakers this year expanded Oregon's 2009 Indoor Clean Air Act to prohibit using vapor pens and e-cigs in public areas. Marijuana was added to the law, which had targeted only tobacco.

Oregon: 142 Marijuana Applications Received On First Day

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Monday was the first day for license applications to enter Oregon's new recreational marijuana retail market, and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission had received 142 applications by 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Seventy-five of the applications came from growers, most of them planning operations in Clackamas, Jackson, Lane and Multnomah counties, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

Oregon doesn't plan to cap the number of marijuana licenses it will issue. According to a report from the liquor commission, the state will issue a total of 850 recreational marijuana licenses by the end of next year.

Applications are being accepted from marijuana processors, wholesalers, retailers, producers, laboratories and researchers, but as of Tuesday morning, no labs or researchers had applied, according to the OLCC.

The counties with the largest number among all applicants so far, according to the OLCC, are Multnomah County with 30; Clackamas County with 18; Jackson County with 17 and Lane County with 16 applications.

Oregon: Two Portland Dispensaries Face Off In Fight For Prime Location

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One Portland medical marijuana dispensary filed a $400,000 lawsuit this month against the owners of another dispensary, claiming the second business lied on a state registration application to steal the first business's patients.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of each other, under Oregon law, and that's why the Portland Medical Cannabis Club is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

The Cannabis Club is just steps away from its soon-to-open competitor, 420 Dank. When 420 Dank opens, possibly as early as next month, the dispensaries will be in the 4600 and 4700 block of Southwest Beaver-Hillsdale Highway in Portland.

"They aren't trying to take anyone's business," claimed 420 Dank's lawyer, Brad Andersen. "It just happens to be in a prime location."

A little more than a year ago, the state began requiring all medical marijuana dispensaries to register, starting at 8:30 a.m. on March 3, 2014, via a state website. Dispensary owners flooded the site, and that's when this dispute began.

Oregon: Multnomah County D.A. Dismisses Low-Level Marijuana Cases

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In the wake of the approval of marijuana legalization initiative Measure 91 in Oregon, the Multnomah County District Attorney's office announced it will dismiss low-level marijuana cases.

"Because it is clear that a significant majority of voters in Multnomah County support the legalization of marijuana in certain amounts, this office will dismiss the pending charges related to conduct which will otherwise become legal July 1, 2015," announced the office in a prepared statement, reports Kyle Iboshi at KGW.

Measure 91 allows anyone 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in a public place, and up to eight ounces at home.

A total of 50 pending marijuana cases will be dismissed, according to the Multnomah County D.A.'s office.

"This office does not plan to prosecute future charges for conduct related to marijuana possession and delivery of marijuana which will become lawful under Measure 91 absent exceptional circumstances," the written statement reads.

Prosecutors in other Oregon counties are considering taking similar action.

Oregon: 30 Law Enforcement Officials Endorse Marijuana Legalization Measure

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Six days to go: Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, former Multnomah County Sheriff Don Clark and former Denver Police Department Lt. Tony Ryan among the supporters of Measure 91

With only six days left before ballots are due, 30 law enforcement officials from across the western half of the United States have endorsed Oregon’s Measure 91 to regulate marijuana.

The endorsers include former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, former Multnomah County Sheriff Don Clark, former Denver Police Department Lt. Tony Ryan and Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Downing.

The Yes on 91 campaign announced their support as part of a press conference today featuring former U.S. Attorney Kris Olson; former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs; 30-year law enforcement veteran Paul Steigleder; and Partnership for Safety and Justice director Cassandra Villanueva.

“Marijuana prohibition has a disproportionate and disparate impact on people of color and youth -- fueling their existence and penetration in the criminal and justice systems,” Villanueva said. “It is not an effective use of taxpayer dollars or reflect the value of Oregonians.”

Washington Sheriff Endorses Oregon Marijuana Regulation Measure

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Second sheriff endorses Measure 91: “The evidence keeps coming in: Our new approach is working”

The Sheriff of King County, Washington, which includes the greater Seattle area, has taken the unprecedented step of endorsing a marijuana regulation measure on the ballot in the state next door.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart supported I-502, Washington state’s successful 2012 initiative to regulate marijuana, and he said he supports Oregon’s Measure 91 because, he said, Washington state’s regulated approach to marijuana is working.

“Month by month, tax dollars are going to schools and police, not the drug cartels,” Urquhart says in a new ad from Oregon’s Yes on 91 campaign (you can view the ad at the bottom of this article). “Wasteful arrests are way down. DUIs are down. Drug prevention programs are getting funds. Strict regulations are working.”

Oregon: Influential Groups Say Vote Yes On Measure 91 To Legalize Marijuana

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Five more organizations on Friday endorsed Oregon’s Measure 91 to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older. These groups are:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 88 (AFSCME), the largest employee union in Multnomah County with approximately 2,600 represented employees. They join AFSCME Local 328 and United Food and Commercial Workers 555, which had previous endorsed Measure 91.

• Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans, which works to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens. The Alliance joins the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, as the second senior organization to endorse the campaign.

Partnership for Safety and Justice, which works to reform the criminal justice system and achieve a more balanced approach to public safety. They join several other criminal justice organization like the ACLU of Oregon, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Oregon: 289 Apply To Operate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On Opening Day

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon's medical marijuana dispensary registration program got off to a "robust" start on Mondasy, with 289 applications, according to state officials.

Program director Tom Burns said there was heavy traffic at the state's medical marijuana dispensary application website, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. The state is issuing registrations on a first come, first served basis.

The rules require dispensaries to have at least 1,000 feet between them, leading to competition among already existing locations which are closer than 1,000 feet. That competition is likely what drove relatively high numbers of Multnomah County registrations on Monday, according to Burns.

Multnomah County saw the most applications, with 135 dispensaries starting the registration process. Lane County had 41, Jackson County had 18, Deschutes had 17, and Lincoln and Marion each had 11. A few counties, including Washington and Clackamas, had fewer than 10 each.

Oregon's existing medical marijuana dispensaries had until now operated in a legal gray area, relying on the tolerance of local police. Washington County and a few other localities had taken steps to shut down dispensaries, while Portland and Multnomah County generally let them operate.

Oregon: Dispensaries Would Be State Licensed Under House Bill

(Illustration: Where's Weed?)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A statewide registry of medical marijuana dispensaries would be created under a bill taken up Monday by the Oregon House.

House Bill 3460, sponsored by Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), would require that dispensary owners pass criminal background checks, document the amount of cannabis coming into their businesses, and verify that the marijuana is from state-registered growers, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

The bill would also require that marijuana sold by state-registered dispensaries would be tested for impurities.

The businesses would be allowed to set their own prices for medicinal cannabis, much as they do today. Unlike Colorado's complex system, the proposal would not generate revenue for Oregon besides the fees to cover the cost of administering the program.

Dispensaries would not be subject to routine inspection by the state under the bill.

Medical marijuana has been legal since Oregon voters approved it in 1998, but the dispensaries which distribute cannabis to patients have evolved in a legal gray area.

The state has a network of marijuana resource centers, collectives, cooperatives, clubs and cafes, but state officials don't know how much marijuana or cash moves through these businesses. Estimates of the number of dispensaries in the state run from 150 to 200.

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