Oregon Fines, Closes Pot Shops
Friday, September 05, 2014
The state fined Will Lupton, Portland Compassionate Caregivers operator, $6,500 for 13 serious violations including poor recordkeeping, failing to verify whether customers are registered medical marijuana cardholders or caregivers, and evidence of marijuana consumption on the premises, according to the Oregon Healthy Authority.
Since medical marijuana became legal in Oregon about 200 dispensaries have been operating in a legal gray area. The legislature passed a law last year officially regulating the establishments. As of mid-August, 183 had been approved for official operation.
“This penalty sends a message in no uncertain terms –you must comply with Oregon law or you will pay the price,” Tom Burns, Director of Pharmacy Programs for the Oregon Health Authority, said in a press release. Another facility has recently been served with a proposed license revocation and civil penalties totaling $29,500.
The state has also shut down nine dispensaries for operating without a registration. The state is looking at websites and publications that advertise dispensaries as well as public tips to track down unregistered weed shops.
“Unlicensed dispensaries put our communities and patients at risk,” Burns said. “When we find them, we will close them down.”
Dispensaries that get shut down for violations but want to reopen must pass an initial inspection and then submit weekly reports to the state and will only be allowed to give marijuana to a patient or caregiver once a day for a year, according to OHA.
“Most of Oregon’s dispensaries are following the rules put in place after the state’s new medical marijuana dispensary law took effect in March,” Burns said. Out of 70 inspections completed since May, three have received suspensions or revocations.
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