Legal sales of recreational marijuana was not given the green light to begin October 1st. Under state law, medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to begin selling the product, with restricted amounts, except in those cities and/or unincorporated areas whose city councils or county commissioners say no.
Lincoln City said no on the advice of Police Chief Keith Killian who told the council that no regulations on such sales have been released for review by the Oregon Health Authority – the agency in charge of medical marijuana pharmacies, statewide. And the Chief asked for no vote, and he got it. The vote told staff to draw up an official declaration of no early recreational marijuana sales to be formally adopted at the next city council meeting.
In other communities faced with such a tough decision, most have decided to error on the side of the argument that predicts keeping recreational marijuana off limits, in any given area, opens the door for more vigorous black market sales. Recreation marijuana supporters content that denying dispensary sales to the public will only increase the criminal marijuana element in those communities. And that federal officials are very sensitive to any government action that benefits long time illicit marijuana marketeers.
That viewpoint never surfaced during the council’s discussions. Nor did anyone mention that the Oregon Health Authority has already drafted rules and regulations for which they are soliciting public comment. But again, opponents complain we still don’t have hard and fast rules that can be enforced.
Acknowledging local government frustrations, OHA announced that the final rules should be in place ahead of the October 1st deadline.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says they should have their own rules formalized for recreation marijuana sales in regular retail stores sometime after the first of the year, thereby ending dispensary sales of recreational marijuana.
Here’s a look at the OHA’s first attempt at drafting rules surrounding recreational marijuana by already established medical marijuana dispensaries.
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