Oregon bill would legalize medical pot retailers

Oregon State Capitol
The Oregon State Capitol in Salem (April 2013)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon legislators are considering a bill to legalize medical marijuana retailers.

The Oregonian reports a legislative analysis shows there could be 225 state-licensed dispensaries in two years if the bill is approved.

The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland, calls the bill a step toward regulating medical marijuana. Law enforcement officers say a lot of medical pot is diverted into the black market. It’s also available in a growing number of unregulated cafes, lounges and collectives.

Pot retailers would pay $4,000 a year. Owners would have to pass criminal background checks, document the marijuana coming into their establishments and verify it’s from state-registered growers. The bill wouldn’t require routine inspections by the state or by law enforcement agencies.

Critics, however, say the bill doesn’t attack the black market.

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