Medical marijuana growers and advocates in Oregon are arguing that the state’s proposed regulations, set to go into effect on March 1st, will impose undue burdens on the industry and ultimately will negatively impact patients.
The Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) rules passed as part of a cannabis industry regulation bill last year. Oregon’s medical marijuana industry has been operating without significant oversight for some ten years.
The new rules require 24/7 security and strict reporting to the OHA regarding the number of plants and the final location of harvests. The OHA will also be allowed to inspect any grow operation that has more than 12 plants or is selling to processors or dispensaries.
Some in the medical cannabis community argue that the OHA hasn’t given growers sufficient notice of the pending regulations, and have requested that the March 1st implementation date be pushed back.
Cedar Grey, a grower with the southern-Oregon-based Oregon Sungrown Growers Guild, said that “most growers and patients have no idea about this yet. And it completely changes the program.”
And Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) criticized the OHA on Thursday in an interview with the Oregonian, saying it has “run amok.”
“The proposed rules are a direct assault on the [medical cannabis] program and the small family farm,” he said.
Prozanski said that legislators will likely seek to address perceived problems with the regulations starting next week.
Andre Ourso, who manages the OHA’s medical marijuana division, defended the regulations: “We are a public health agency. We are concerned with Oregonians’ overall health and safety. That is the angle that we are coming from.”
The Oregonian has listed some of the new regulations on its website.