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    Marijuana Maneuvers

    Last night we reunited the Joint Committee to Implement Measure 91 for the first time since the Big Breakup. By breakup, I mean the Senate’s decision to form its own breakaway committee to push through a bill that will allow local governments to prohibit legal medical marijuana businesses without a prior vote of the people. You can watch Sen. Burdick and I debate the issue on KATU’s Your Voice, Your Vote in the video below.

    The evening began when our Senate colleagues convened a meeting of their breakaway committee to work their medical marijuana bill, SB 964. They declined to hold a public hearing on the controversial opt-out provision and passed it to the Senate floor for a vote.

    Senate Special Committee on Implementing Measure 91

    Here are the Senators at work – plus Sen. Ferrioli, hiding.

    At 5:30 p.m., I convened our Joint Committee to Implement Measure 91 and legislative counsel Mark Mayer walked us through a draft framework to support implementation of M91.

    The framework includes elements to support:

    • Licensing for growers, processors, retailers, and providers of cannabis seeds and immature plants,
    • Certification to support marijuana research,
    • Seed-to-sale tracking for marijuana plants,
    • Compliance with state land use rules,
    • Taxation at the point of sale for marijuana products,
    • Reduction and expungement of marijuana crimes,
    • Civil enforcement of marijuana rules , and
    • Preemption against local governments prohibiting all recreational marijuana businesses without a public vote

    We’ll hold our first public hearing on these ideas Wednesday, and we welcome your input.

    A friend of mine recently observed that if you like law or if you like sausage, you probably don’t want to watch either one of them getting made. The lawmaking process for our Joint Committee has been a little grisly, for sure. That said, I think our committee members share enough common ground – a commitment to Oregon families, communities, and small businesses – that we can still do good work together to implement legal marijuana in Oregon.