Measure 91, the ballot initiative legalizing recreational pot, calls for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to begin accepting applications for retailers and other businesses by January 2016. That means there will be no legal growers cultivating cannabis or retailers selling it when the law takes effect.
Oregon regulators and lawmakers think that the workload involved in setting up the long-term rules for a new system to track, license and tax marijuana businesses—recreational pot retailers might not open until late 2016. To mitigate the issue state Senator Ted Ferrioli, a co-vice chair of the legislative committee working to implement Measure 91, is working on legislation that would allow Oregon’s current medical marijuana dispensaries to temporarily serve recreational customers and collect taxes. Ferrioli’s proposal would also temporarily allow medical pot growers to obtain licenses to sell their excess weed to dispensaries for resale to recreational purchasers.
“Oregonians are not expecting to have to wait until 2016 to be able to buy retail legal marijuana in Oregon,” Ferrioli told the Blue Mountain Eagle. “These growers are out there. They’ve got products.”
Ferrioli said he has already discussed the idea with dispensary owners, as well as other leaders on the legislative committee, “and everybody thinks it’s a brilliant idea.” And Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, plus the co-chair of the Joint Committee On Implementing Measure 91, said committee members are also “very interested in that idea.”
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