Oregon’s law allowing medical cannabis dispensaries to sell to customers without medical cards expires at the end of the year, leaving at least 300 fewer options for recreational customers, according to an Oregon Public Broadcasting report. Medical dispensaries that continue selling to non-medical users will face fines starting at $500 per violation.
Currently, fewer than 100 shops have been granted retail licenses by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and while dispensaries can apply to shift to adult-use sales, some municipalities have already passed regulations barring recreational sales.
Andre Ourso, manager of the medical marijuana program for the Oregon Health Authority, indicated that the agency will begin checking on medically licensed shops to make sure they are not violating the law.
“We will have a presence in the field and we will be dropping in and doing some spot checks on medical dispensaries to make sure that they are only selling to cardholders,” Ourso said in the report.
The adult-use measure was approved by voters in 2014, but rules and regulations for the recreational market did not allow recreational sales to begin until October 2015 and medical dispensaries were permitted to fill the void. It is expected that the number of retail locations will grow as dispensaries are granted retail licenses.
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