Oregon is a very unique place when it comes to marijuana and public policy. Medical marijuana businesses have been in existence in Oregon pretty much since the creation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) in 1998. Most operated under the radar until about five years ago as private clubs and delivery services. Slowly but surely people moved out of the shadows and into storefronts. Clubs and delivery services still exist too, but there has been an explosion in storefronts recently.
All the while transactions for medical marijuana operated in a grey area at best – in an illegal arena at worst. That’s all changing now that Oregon HB 3460 is being implemented. For the first time in the OMMP’s history people can apply for a dispensary license and dispense medical marijuana products to cardholders. It’s truly an exciting time in my home state of Oregon as a result.
But before people feel too warm and fuzzy, realize that there is still work to be done. Not only do some details need to be worked out still, but safe access is still under attack. Municipalities are limiting/banning medical marijuana businesses. The opposition leading the charge are the typical suspects that oppose medical marijuana. They don’t have a lot of funding, but have a lot of influence within their network.
The medical marijuana community needs to fight back and protect their interests, with medical marijuana business owners leading the way. There were almost 300 dispensary applications within the first week that applications became available. If every dispensary owner banded together, and pooled together their resources for political purposes, a very formidable coalition would be formed that could get some real results.
That’s where the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association comes in. If you are a medical marijuana business owner, or a prospective medical marijuana business owner in Oregon, the FIRST thing you should do is get a membership. You will instantly link up with very talented, hardworking people that are fighting for people just like you. There is power in numbers, everyone knows that. Plus, if you join, you can learn from people that are pursuing the same dream that you are!