Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016
Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)
Copyright: 2016 The Mail Tribune
Note: Only prints LTEs from within it's circulation area, 200 word count limit


Lawmakers in the Oregon Senate are taking a rational approach to the 
regulation of marijuana by blending the long-established medical 
marijuana program with newly legal recreational sales.

Lawmakers last year agreed to allow existing medical marijuana 
dispensaries to sell to recreational customers on a temporary basis 
while the Oregon Liquor Control Commission prepares to license 
recreational retailers later this year. Senate Bill 1511, which 
cleared committee on Tuesday, would allow those recreational 
retailers to produce, process and sell medical marijuana products to 
cardholders tax-free.

Measure 91, the initiative that legalized recreational marijuana, 
left the existing medical marijuana system alone. But it never made 
sense to try to maintain two separate systems, one for medical 
marijuana sold to cardholders and one for recreational pot sold to 
the general public.

For one thing, communities already nervous about marijuana outlets 
opening for business could face the prospect of a retail shop in one 
location and a medical dispensary in another. Under this measure, a 
single business can provide both.

SB 1511 also allows medical dispensaries to sell limited amounts of 
edible marijuana products to recreational customers in advance of the 
launch of retail outlets.

Local jurisdictions still have the option of banning retail outlets 
if voters agree. This measure might offer a more palatable solution, 
allowing a single establishment to serve both medical and 
recreational customers.

Either way, SB 1511 is a common-sense measure that would avoid making 
the marijuana industry more complicated than it needs to be.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom