Oregon Governor Signs Two Important Marijuana Bills, More in the Works

Governor Kate Brown has signed two bills will make significant changes to Oregon’s recreational marijuana program.

For starters, House Bill 4014, removes a 2-year residency requirement for recreational pot producers, processors and retailers.

HB 4014 reduces medical card fees for qualifying veterans from $200 to $20; it treats MMJ the same as prescription drugs when setting conditions for people on pre-trial release, diversion unrelated to impaired driving, probation or post-prison supervision; and it allows all marijuana establishments to deduct allowable business expenses when filing state tax returns.

The second bill signed by the governor, Senate Bill 1598, seeks to attract smaller medical growers into the regulated recreational market by removing a paperwork requirement when applying for a license. This so-called micro-canopy license comes with lower fees and fewer requirements.

SB 1598 also recognized medical and research marijuana grow sites as farm crops, making them easier to locate in exclusive farm areas and protecting them from lawsuits filed by neighbors over perceived nuisances like odor and noise. Recreational marijuana grow sites are already recognized as farm crops under state law.

The senate bill clarifies that home MMJ grows are not subject to Oregon Health Authority inspections. It creates a sub-category of dispensaries for nonprofits, allowing them to accept excess pot from growers to be sold to patients at little or no cost. And once the state's regulated marijuana industry is off the ground, it will require health authorities to study medical marijuana access in areas that are underserved by dispensaries and retailers.

Several more bills are awaiting Governor Brown’s signature, including one allowing dispensaries to sell edibles and concentrates earlier than planned and another enabling banks and credit unions to deal with legal pot businesses without facing criminal liability.

(Photo Courtesy of WeedShops.com)

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