A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Will rules doom pot dispensaries?

Written November 18th, 2013 by Hasso Hering
No marijuana clinics within 1,000 feet of this or any other private or public school.

No marijuana clinics within 1,000 feet of this or any other private or public school.

Some city officials in Oregon are worried about medical marijuana dispensaries opening up in their towns under House Bill 3460 passed into law this year. They don’t have anything to worry about, because under the rules being written by the Oregon Health Authority, those facilities will be more secure than Fort Knox and be run with exceedingly tight state controls. The rules may even deter would-be operators from trying to start one.
The rules start with a fee of $4,000 just to apply for a state license. Renewal then would cost another $4,000 every year. Dispensaries would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, including “career schools,” or within 1,000 feet of each other. They would have to be situated on property zoned for industrial, commercial or mixed use or agriculture.

The application would have to show all nearby schools, their distances and how the distances were measured. Dispensaries would have to have at least two secure rooms, one to receive batches of marijuana and one to make sales. There would have to be a secure safe for storing usable marijuana. Records would have to be kept of all sales. The records would have to be stored on an encrypted computer system.

The rules require an alarm system and a video surveillance setup that allows anyone inside, and anyone within 15 feet of the doors outside, to be visually identified.

Adding all that up means that setting up a dispensary will not be cheap. To recoup their investment, operators would have to charge a certain price. The upshot: Medical marijuana patients may find it less expensive to use their present suppliers or grow their own, in which case dispensaries as a business are doomed. (hh)

3 responses to “Will rules doom pot dispensaries?”

  1. Rhea Graham says:

    I am curious if pharmacies have to pay an annual fee to be in business in the state, and if all of their transactions must be recorded. I also want to know if the owner of a pharmacy must undergo a background check before they can open one, and are they also required to pay for and undergo an annual Criminal Background Check as dispensary owners will be required to do.

    And you missed one of the best ones. No minors on site, ever, even if they are the patient. Parents will be required to find a sitter or ??? Children can go into a pharmacy, what is the problem here? It will obviously be safe and transparent. There is to be no on-site medicating of any kind according to the rules – so it can’t be THAT.

    What is the fear here??? Cannabis is a non-toxic plant that has never ever killed a soul due to overdose. That cannot say that of water, alcohol, aspirin, pretty much any pharmaceutical, or street drug. Wake up America it’s the cure all, and they will continue to try and keep us distanced from it.

  2. Jim Engel says:

    Wondering just what tax benefit the City will receive as they do with liquor establishments. Bet they won’t turn down their share! J.E.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Some of the earnings of the state liquor monopoly are shared with local government as a matter of law. The pot dispensaries would not be state operations, let alone a monopoly, and as far as I know local governments would not share in the earnings if any. Presumably the dispensaries would pay property taxes like every other private property owner. (hh)


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