2 medical marijuana dispensaries face off in cutthroat fight for prime Portland turf

It can be a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to the 226 medical marijuana dispensaries that the state has approved for business.

Case in point? One Southwest Portland medical marijuana dispensary filed a $400,000 lawsuit this month against the owners of another dispensary, claiming the second business lied on a state registration application to "poach" the first business' clientele.

Oregon law allows only one medical marijuana dispensary per every 1,000 feet -- and that's a problem for the Portland Medical Cannabis Club, which is the plaintiff in the lawsuit.


Oregon's state marijuana chief Tom Burns fired by OLCC

Tom Burns, director of marijuana programs for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, was fired Thursday.

Burns, who oversaw the implementation of the state's medical marijuana dispensary program and has been instrumental in launching efforts to establish a recreational market, confirmed his termination in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive Thursday afternoon.

He declined to comment further, referring questions to Steven Marks, the OLCC's executive director. Marks could not be reached immediately for comment. The liquor control commission's chairman, Rob Patridge, declined to comment on Burns' firing, calling it a "personnel matter."

Will Higlin, the agency's director of licensing, will assume the job's duties until a permanent replacement is named.


The new ganjapreneurs: welcome to Oregon's hip marijuana dispensaries

You might expect someone running a pot dispensary to have few reservations about legalising marijuana in Oregon, but Lauren Terry is of two minds. “As a manager, I think this business will probably be fine. As a patient, I worry about new taxes. I worry about growers.”

Terry knows the business inside out. But like many working at the retail end of the industry, and many patients, she is nervous about how Salem will reconcile the coming world of legalised recreational sales with Oregon’s large, innovative medical marijuana industry.


Consistency Key When Testing Edibles

In Oregon, edible labels seem to say one thing, while potency testing seems to say another. As the state’s marijuana testing industry suffers from a lack of regulation, edible packaging may not always reveal the truth about how much THC is contained within a marijuana-infused treat.


City of Portland Mulling a $1,500 Weed Business Permit

Portland City Hall still doesn't know whether the Oregon Legislature will allow it to levy a 10-percent sales tax on marijuana. 

But city officials are already considering another way to pay for local marijuana regulation: a $1,500 permit to operate a pot business in Portland.

city budget document shows officials in theOffice of Neighborhood Involvement still aren't sure if such a permit is allowed underMeasure 91, which legalizes recreational weed. But they are planning to make the price steep.


Oregon city considers penalizing pot growers for smelly marijuana

The Oregon city of Medford, where officials say residents have long grumbled about the odor of marijuana growing operations, is considering a regulation that would fine pot growers if their marijuana is too smelly, city officials said on Wednesday.

The city's legal staff has drafted an ordinance that would fine both medical and recreational marijuana growers whose operations are too malodorous up to $250 a day and would give the city power to seize plants if growers don’t come into compliance.

In addition to containing odors, marijuana growers would be required to keep their plants locked up and out of sight in Medford, a city of nearly 80,000 people in southern Oregon whose economy is at least partly based on conventional agriculture.


Girl Scouts rack up cookie sales outside marijuana dispensary

Talk about smoking the competition.

Sisters Aurora and Eden Ray not only sold more than 100 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies on Friday, they did something maybe no other Oregon Girl Scouts have ever done: sell the organization’s famous Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and other cookies outside a medical marijuana dispensary.

“It’s actually great to sell here at this place because none of our Girl Scouts have done this before,” said Aurora, 11, standing Friday afternoon with her sister and parents, Ralph and Belinda Ray, outside the Oregon Microgrowers Guild on Cross Street in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood.

“We’re hoping to show people that we’re just trying to make a difference and help people and stuff,” Aurora said.


Oregon medical marijuana patient says edibles more effective than smoking for pain relief

Severe arthritis has taken a toll on Susan Lind-Kanne.

The 59-year-old's knees, back, shoulder and even her toes ache. Her fingers bend awkwardly, making it impossible to lift a smooth water glass. Her hands can only grasp mugs with handles.

When the pain is too much, she resorts to Vicodin. The rest of the time she relies on cannabis-infused candies.

Her favorites: cherry blaster, cherry cola and watermelon flavored Gummiez, small candies popular on Oregon's medical marijuana market.

Gummiez are sold according to potency. Lind-Kanne sticks mostly with ones that contain 10 milligrams of THC, since it's pain relief she's after, not a high. Depending on how she feels, she sometimes opts for the candies with 25 milligrams.


Oregon marijuana law could face legal challenge, city and county associations say

Oregon's new marijuana legalization law is on shaky legal ground when it tries to limit the ability of local governments to tax and regulate retail sales of the drug, lawyers for cities and counties argued Wednesday.

The warning of potential legal action came as the counties and cities continued to press the Oregon Legislature to rewrite the marijuana measure approved by voters last November.

The local governments want the ability to levy their own taxes on retail marijuana sales, and they want more latitude to prohibit local sales altogether.

"Frankly, I would prefer to work with you than go to court," Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, told legislators studying the implementation of Measure 91.


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