Klamath Falls, Ore. – Most commercial marijuana growers in Oregon have made the switch from medical, to the recreational market.
That’s hurting a medical dispensary in Klamath Falls – but state lawmakers might come to the rescue.
Dispensary owner Ed Medina says the supply of Oregon Health Authority approved marijuana is dwindling, as more growers go recreational.
“I’ve laid off two employees already, this week alone.” Notes Medina. “At this point, if something doesn’t change, I will not be renewing out license come April – which means we will be closing.”
But, Oregon Liquor Control Commission board chair Rob Patridge is heading to Salem Tuesday to meet with state lawmakers.
He’ll discuss combining Oregon’s medical and recreational programs under the O.L.C.C.
“It will actually be better for those medical dispensaries, they’ll have constant supply.” Says Patridge. “They’ll know how much supply is available out there, and it will be clean and tested.”
Medina cautions that currently, there’s a big difference in Oregon Health Authority and O.L.C.C. cannabis products. “Medical products are a different potency than recreational products.”
But, Patridge says merging the two programs would avoid duplication of effort. “It would create government efficiency, it would hopefully save money.”
“If so, that does help us.” Medina said, with a caution: “If not, then we’re stuck in the same boat.”
Recreational sales, or processing currently aren’t allowed in Klamath County.
Medina says he hopes he can continue helping those who rely on medical cannabis. “There has to be a clear path for us to get medical potency products on our shelves, and continue to provide that for our patients.”
There are currently about 30 bills involving marijuana laws before the Oregon State Legislature.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.