Until now, medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon have operated under a grey area of the law. But starting Monday, they can apply for legal recognition.
But the future is unclear for some dispensaries as local governments across the state move to ban the storefront operations.
The Oregon Health Authority expects up to 400 medical marijuana dispensaries to apply for a license in the opening days of the registry program. At $4,000 per license, that’s potentially more than $1 million in revenue for the state — money that will be used to oversee dispensaries and make sure they’re complying with state rules.
But even if they’re legal in the eyes of the state, dispensary owners in some two dozen cities across Oregon could run afoul of local bans. The Oregon Health Authority will be issuing the permits, but as Tom Burns, director of the OHA’s Pharmacy Program, says, “what local authorities want to do at that point is up to local authorities.”
Some Oregon lawmakers are backing a bill that would override all local bans of medical marijuana dispensaries. A vote on that could come this week.