Merger of Oregon medical, recreational marijuana programs proposed

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.

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