Dispensary owners in Oregon are concerned that the state’s lack of oversight on testing labs will create an unstable business climate, boost risks for medical marijuana centers and lead to quality and safety issues. While Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensary regulations require centers to test products for potency and contaminants, the rules do not address the laboratories conducting the tests. As a result, the testing market has become a “free for all,” dispensary owner Bee Young told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, adding that the rules force MMJ centers to vet testing companies on their own. Dispensaries therefore shoulder all the risks and could face repercussions from the state if they accept testing results that are inaccurate. Another result of the new testing laws: Prices have skyrocketed since Oregon distributed dispensary licenses in March. Young, who runs the dispensary Wickit Weedery, said she now pays $250 per test, up from $75. Given the lack of regulations and oversight on labs, she’s not sure the new price point brings any additional value to the tests. Under Oregon’s rules, dispensaries must test their products with either a third-party or in-house lab that has a “quality system” for testing that is compliant with various standards. But it is up to the dispensaries to make sure labs meet these standards, not regulators. Amy Margolis, a Portland attorney who served on the rules advisory committee, told the Post-Intelligencer that the process creates an “unfair burden” for dispensary owners, since a lay person cannot tell if a lab is...
Not one business submitted its preliminary review form to the Clark County Department of Business on Wednesday, which is when the office began accepting applications for dispensary and cultivation licenses. The deadline to submit 12 copies of the form - which must include a business plan, financial statements and an FBI-approved background check for each business owner – is 3 p.m. on April 22.
There are 10 dispensary licenses currently up for grabs in unincorporated Clark County, though there are no caps on the number of cultivation facilities. Those 10 dispensary licenses do not cover cities such as Las Vegas, where local lawmakers are drafting medical marijuana regulations of their own and hope to finish by early summer.
Al Marquis, a lawyer who is working with several businesses, said entrepreneurs are struggling to get their paperwork in order due to the short window to apply. Clark County announced its application process on March 19.
After filing the preliminary review form, businesses must then submit an application for a special use permit on May 2. That application must show that the business does not violate zoning or land use rules. Each application also carries a nonrefundable $5,000 fee.
Local officials have not provided a date for when they will name the winners.
No Grey Sky, a medical marijuana dispensary in California, has sued the United States Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, claiming that the federal crackdown is an illegal crusade that threatens to prevent thousands of patients from having safe access. The collective and its members are seeking an injunction agains the DoJ, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the DEA, whose agents raided its downtown storefront this month,j reports Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News. No Grey Sky said it has been licensed by the state of California to dispense medicinal cannabis, and that Atty. Gen. Holder is acting "in excess of the government's authority granted by the Controlled Substances Act" by threatening to shut it down. According to No Grey Sky, continuing its business is "vital to the safe and affordable distribution of medical cannabis to patients suffering from chronic and acute pain, life-threatening and severe illnesses, diseases, and injuries." The dispensary said it has complied with all state laws concerning distribution of medical marijuana. No Grey Sky maintains that medical marijuana dispensaries have operated lawfully and "transparently" to offer relief to thousands of patients after voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, and that Los Angeles established an ordinance to allow providers to distribute medicinal cannabis, according to the federal complaint. The dispensary further avers that marijuana collectives have provided "billions of dollars in revenues." The complaint points out candidate Barack Obama's 2007 promise that dispensaries following state medical marijuana laws would be left alone. But in 2010 L.A....