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Vancouver marijuana shop opens medical pot dispensary in Portland


New Vansterdam, one of the first legal marijuana stores to open in Vancouver, is getting ready for sales in Oregon once the drug is legal here.

The company just opened a new store in the Portland area that sells medical marijuana. Employees say it's the first step in a plan to expand to other states.

"We're creating a model, basically," employee Brent Royce said. "So we want to have both states up and running before we move forward with anything else."

New Vansterdam's goal is to become a chain of stores as marijuana becomes legal in other states.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is still going through the process of establishing rules and regulations for the sale of recreational marijuana in Oregon.


Higher taxes and caution in marketing can keep weed away from kids

Even though several US states have voted to legalize marijuana, it's still not clear how best to regulate it. But there are steps that legislators can take to prevent the newly legal drug from falling into the hands of minors, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. A new report in the medical journal Pediatrics outlines four tested tactics for proposed regulation.


Fifteen Oregonians tapped to help shape rules for regulating marijuana

A committee representing a cross-section of professions and expertise has been established to develop rules for the state's regulated marijuana industry.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Executive Director Steven Marks said the committee "will provide a balanced approach" to marijuana regulation. The committee will be chaired by Chris Lyons, a Gresham resident and former executive director of the Oregon Lottery.

In addition to the 15-member rules advisory committee, the agency also appointed members to two permanent subcommittees that will deal with technical issues. One will focus on licensing, compliance and law enforcement. The other will provide advice on tracking marijuana from seed to sale as well as marijuana testing labs.


Pot-sniffing dogs out of a job as marijuana becomes legal in Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. — Narc and Cody are finding out there's truth to the adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks."

The two drug-sniffing canines that work for Medford police could face early retirement because they are too good at detecting marijuana, which will become legal July 1.

"It's kind of sad," Deputy Chief Brett Johnson said. "Nobody wants to see a dog lose its job."

The issue arises because drug-sniffing dogs are often used to provide leads - probable cause - that can allow police to search people or property for drugs. If a suspect were carrying marijuana and heroin and a dog trained to smell both indicated the presence of a drug, any arrest could be invalidated, because the dog may have been smelling legal marijuana.


White City cannabis lab speaks out

WHITE CITY, Ore.- - A lab in White City is speaking over concerns regulations when it comes to testing marijuana.
“Currently the cannabis testing lab industry here in the Southern Oregon market is unregulated with very little government oversight” said Jason Wilson, a scientist at Kenevir Labs.
Wilson earned his Master of Science Degree from Southern Oregon University, specializing in Biology and Education. He said his company approaches this from a scientific approach and are concerned about the implications of inadequate testing.
“We view ourselves as providing a public service toward pubic and safety. That’s really our primary concern” said Wilson.


Linn County takes lead in marijuana MIP legislation effort

Linn County officials are encouraged by a unanimous 60-0 vote by the Oregon House Judiciary Committee for HB 2313 which will allow schools to deal with students who have consumed marijuana the same as those who come to school intoxicated.

“This all got started after I talked with West Albany Principal Susie Orsborn,” explained Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist. “She told me about the challenges schools face when it comes to dealing with kids who come to school with marijuana in their systems.”

Currently, schools can suspend the students, but they can’t push the matter into the legal system or get the student help through the local Juvenile Department.


The people who march for marijuana: Scenes from the 2015 Global Cannabis March in Portland

A small crowd gathered around a stage set up on the far corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square. People dressed in marijuana-themed outfits, some wore small green ribbons on their shirts, a few held signs: "Free the Weed," "Help End Marijuana Prohibition," "F*** the DEA."

It was Portland's local demonstration in a worldwide day of protest called the Global Cannabis March. This year marks the 16th for the event, which is expected to go on in nearly 300 other cities.


Oregon utilities prepare for demand spike from marijuana legalization

Dive Brief:

  • Oregon's electric utilities are steeling themselves for an anticipated spike in demand after marijuana becomes legal for recreational use after July 1, Oregon Capital Insider reports.
  • Well-known as an energy hog when grown indoors, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC) estimates four plants draw as much power as 29 refrigerators.
  • The state is considering efficiency measures, but federal money that typically pays utilities to convince consumers to use less cannot be directed towards cannabis operations..

Dive Insight:


Rising marijuana sales leave pot shops flush with cash they can't deposit

Two months from now, on July 1, Oregon will become the fourth state to allow residents to legally purchase marijuana for recreational use. In anticipation of legalization, the governing body that will oversee marijuana licensing and sales is preparing for something unexpected: A huge influx of cold, hard cash.

Legal marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington have surpassed revenue expectations in their first few years. But when marijuana businesses try to pay their taxes, the federal law that makes marijuana illegal limits their access to financial institutions.


Medical marijuana patients fret about new grower limits being considered by Oregon legislators

A bill that would limit the size of medical marijuana growing operations in Oregon is generating angry opposition from some patients and activists.

The proposed measure, unveiled late Friday afternoon, is aimed at curbing the black market while prodding larger growers to supply the legal recreational market the state is developing.

This approach is winning wide support on the House-Senate committee charged with implementing the marijuana legalization initiative approved by Oregon voters in November. It also has varying degrees of support from many marijuana industry figures who want to develop a successful legal market in the state.


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