Oregon farmers could put in a crop of industrial hemp next spring if a panel of experts can satisfy federal officials with a set of tightly drawn rules. The committee of agricultural experts and state policy officials has been selected by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and will come together in December, the Oregonian reported .
The committee hopes to set up a program that will meet what the federal government calls a “robust” standard, said Jim Cramer, a market and certification official in the department. He said the goal is to do so in time for planting.
Oregon is one of seven states with laws permitting industrial hemp — a strain of marijuana with only a trace of the plant’s psychoactive chemical.
Hemp’s historic use has been for rope. These days it is put to hundreds of uses: clothing and mulch from the fiber, for instance, and foods such as hemp milk and cooking oil from the seeds, as well as creams, soap and lotions.
Oregon officials have held off implementing the state’s 2009 law, saying they would wait until the federal government reclassified marijuana from a substance pr. . . . . READ MORE
Seeking to make it easier for medical pot users to get their medicine and harder for the black market to get its hands on Oregon weed, the state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would legalize and license marijuana shops.
Under current Oregon law, nearly 55,000 cardholders must grow the drug themselves or designate someone to grow it for them. Medical pot users say dispensaries are needed, to give them a reliable place to get their medicine.
Medical marijuana dispensaries that exist now operate without oversight and run the risk of being shut down by law enforcement. Some counties have taken a hands-off approach and allowed the establishments to remain open. But dispensaries in other counties have been raided by police and forced to close.
Another major concern of Oregon’s medical pot program is that the weed supposedly intended for medical marijuana patients is getting sold on the black market.
Architects of the bill passed on Wednesday say it will give cardholders certainty that they can acquire their medicine, and that it is safe. They also hope the bill will keep excess pot from being siphoned . . . . . READ MORE
The House narrowly passed a bill Monday that would license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, a proposal that some lawmakers argue would allow more patients to safely access the drug but others worry could heighten abuse of the program.
The state currently allows patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to grow their own marijuana or designate someone else to do it but there isn’t a place to legally purchase the medicine.
Under House Bill 3460, the Oregon Health Authority would set up a registration system of medical marijuana dispensaries, authorizing the transfer of the drug and immature marijuana plants to patients. The facilities would also have to comply with regulations for pesticides, mold and mildew testing, which supporters say will help ensure the drug isn’t contaminated.
The bill passed on a 31-27 vote and is now headed to the Senate.
Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, told lawmakers on the floor that when his father-in-law was dying from lung cancer a doctor recommended medical marijuana to help with appetite and chemotherapy.
While he considers marijuana a ga. . . . . READ MORE