The Oregon medical marijuana industry has been very entertaining to watch. Oregon started its medical marijuana program in 1998. Medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services started in the 2000’s, and were few and far between. Near the end of the 2000’s, dispensaries started popping up all over the place, even though they were technically against the law. The dispensaries called themselves clubs or collectives, and relied upon hazy-at-best areas of the medical marijuana law to operate. That all changed recently when the Oregon Legislature finally passed a bill regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.
After passage of the bill, there was a mad scramble for current dispensaries to get licenses before many local bans and moratoriums took effect. Even after the bans and moratoriums took effect, there are still dozens, if not over 100, medical marijuana dispensaries operating without a license. The ones that have received licenses are now subject to inspections. Inspections have stared, with 58 total dispensaries being inspected. Per Oregon Live:
The Oregon Health Authority has inspected 58 medical marijuana dispensaries since May, finding violations ranging from inadequate record keeping to marijuana stored in unsecured areas.
In two cases, the state shuttered dispensaries with egregious violations. One, Portland Compassionate Caregivers, remains closed. The state has reinstated the license for the other dispensary, Kush MMD in Eugene.
I find it odd that dispensaries that play by the rules and pay their licensing fees are more scrutinized than dispensaries that have no license. I’m all for people trying to sell marijuana, medical or otherwise, but I’d prefer that they do it by the rules to maintain the integrity of the program. It’s not fair to people that have paid their money and jumped through all the hoops to have to compete with people that simply rented a storefront and sell medical marijuana with no license, in my opinion. But then again, it’s Oregon, where medical marijuana dispensaries operated long before they were legal.