Oregon bill cuts slack for medical cannabis providers, creates the Oregon Cannabis Commission

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

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A house bill in Oregon’s legislature was recently passed, allowing growers in the Oregon Medical Cannabis program to sell up to 20 pounds in excess amounts to the social-use program, while also placing the framework for the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

HB 2198 was quickly passed through the Oregon legislature, and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

The excess cannabis allowed to be harvested by medical growers with the passage of the bill is projected to provide an incentive for them to enter the social cannabis industry.

The bill will also allow dispensaries to be within 1,000 feet of schools, as long as there is a physical barrier preventing children from accessing the premises. Patients will now be allowed to grow 12 mature plants at a single address, or an unlimited number of immature plants under 24 inches tall.

HB 2198 comes into play as Oregon’s medical cannabis program withered with the rise of social cannabis.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission will meet at least once per quarter and advise the governor of Oregon on cannabis legislation.

The commission will consist of one medical cannabis patient, physician, police officer, representative from the Oregon Liquor Commission, representative from the Oregon Health Authority, and one person that is informed about research proposal grant protocol. They will each serve a four year term at the discretion of the governor.

The bill will eliminate the Advisory Committee on Medical Cannabis and give the commission power to advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It will also develop long-term strategic plans to sustain the program and make it affordable for patients.