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Oregon Lawmakers Mull over Marijuana Cafes Legislation

Medical Cannabis

Senate Bill 639 hopes to legalize marijuana cafes in Oregon. The bill has had its first hearing. The House has introduced similar legislation.

Legislation does have a chance of passing this session, The Bend Bulletin notes according to a statement by Sam Chapman of New Revenue Coalition. Oregon renters aren’t allowed to smoke marijuana in their rented homes. Consumption isn’t allowed in rental cars, parks or sidewalks. Deliveries can’t be made to hotels or rental units.

This makes using a legal substance by Oregon’s standards difficult for many since not everyone resides in a privately owned home.

Chapman said, “It’s an issue of social justice and equality. When it was legalized in 2014, the law didn’t include any public accommodation. There’s no legal place to consume cannabis for those who don’t own their own home. This bill normalizes cannabis for folks.”

Sam Stapleton predicted that a new aspect of the industry could open to support marijuana consumption lounges. Stapleton owns the Diamond Tree recreational marijuana store.

Stapleton said, “It would be fun. Everyone might try it once or twice to say they did it. It might be like an after work kind of thing.”

The bill goes a step further than just allowing marijuana cafes, deliveries to rental properties (vacation homes) and hotels would also be allowed. Tours would also be permitted. Municipalities would be able to “opt in” if they want these establishments in their cities and towns.

Senator Lew Frederick said, “I have a significant industry in my district that deal with retail and they wanted to be able to have events and have customers sample before they buy. Folks came to me and asked if we could do this.”

The legislation might see some pushback from those that support the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act. Local law enforcement agencies are expected to oppose the legislation due to a potential increase in stoned driving.

It’s unknown when the legislation will see more attention, but it’s expected to be a heated debate. A work session may occur to make amendments to the bill so that it is more appealing to those that oppose it.