An Oregon council of lawmakers will be voting on 866 and the dash amendments. They have gotten a huge wave of correspondence from the Oregon Medical Cannabis community that has been operating since 1999.
866 and the dash amendments are extremely interesting as they do nothing to help further the Propostion 91 and the “Recreational Commerce” that will be taking place after July first 2016 and as of 2017 and instead focus on the grower + patient relationships and regulations on medicinal oriented operations.
From the start, the committee has made a target of OMMP as a major loophole that needs further regulation. This committee is not taking into account, that had Proposition 91 contained any such language, it would have never been supported by the thousands of patients, caregivers, and growers that made up the medical cannabis community that has been called OMMP for Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
This logical truth is not be acknowledged by the committee and this “Backdoor Statism” where legislation gets blown out of proportion and scope by zealous legislators and legislative writers looking for bring futures in powerful lobby groups. In military terms, this “Mission Creep” is an insidious feature of government-oriented legislators that feel that regulation creates a fair playing field and creates an atmosphere of “perceived safety” for their constituents. Many of these legislators are ex-prosecutors and have had some hand in the drug war, the prison complex, and the vast majority of them live in affluent neighborhoods where cannabis use and growing is done in obscure grow structures created specifically for doing so undetected by anyone without a look at the electricity meter.
If you add regulations to Proposition 91 rule-making that takes it beyond it’s original scope, it negates the authenticity of the public vote that passed it. A very large portion of the approval vote was the vast body of medicinal community members. These are the very people that are watching their regulations get tossed in the blender by individuals on the committee who have no understanding of cannabis horticulture or it’s medicinal value.
What’s even more insidious about the nature of the legislative process and it’s body of rules is that the committee is not required to hold public hearings and receive public testimony on amendment-based rule-making. This in essence, locks out the public from having a voice, while the public watches a committee that is neither informed nor interested in medicinal cannabis make choices regarding plant counts, databases containing medical-related info and the wholesale re-organization of the zoning of residential and non-residential grow operations.
This committee is unable to extrapolate the results of their legislation, line by line, and they will not hear public testimony so this 866 legislation and it’s amendments are going to be the start of a bad wave of “Over-Regulation” that will illicit many people in the medical community to simply “Go Grey” where neither the regulation nor the chance of prosecution will offer any hindrance to their grow, extraction, and baking activities. The major mis-understanding by the committee regarding the OMMP community is that members will not modify their behavior to match the likes of a committee that does not respect the original legislative wording and intentions. Life and quality of life is on the line and medicine will continue to be grown, processed, and moved to the hands of the patients and non-registered medicinal users that are surely out there using the excess that is surely available to them.
The Human Network with regards to OMMP is very strong and the Committee, while seeing card stacking and large-volume grows as being a major problem for any recreational market to be unaffected by it’s waves of abundance, is making a huge misjudgment by creating sweeping regulation that would have jinxed the Proposition 91 bill to begin with.
The OHA can pinpoint the card-stacking organizations and anyone who’s name comes up on the OMMP registry more than 4 times as either a caregiver or grower. These organizations can be visited and vetted to see where they stand according to pre-defined scope of identification. The organizations need to be categorically assembled in to low, medium and high risk to offer black market goods. This would not be hard to do considering the close-knit nature of the Oregon medical community. Many people have good reputations and many have lost their reputations a long time ago. No investigation will take very long as to the activities of the large-scale grower/caregiver operations and where their “excess medication” is being funneled.
This focused targeting will gain the OHA and OLCC the confidence of the larger medical community as it will allow the program to be free of individuals and organizations that are profit motivated – where the OMA and the OMMP legislation was never worded to allow for profit.
Where would this focused targeting leave vertically integrated dispensary caregiver operations? It would leave them in a very dubious situation where the OMMP may finally shine a light on the card stacking cooperatives who are creating “business models from medicine” where the vertical integration keeps the profit as high as possible and the large volume of plants being harvested and moved through a narrow funnel at a minimum of 100% margin and usually in the range of 400% when total control on processing and packaging is available.
We can hope this committee can remain receptive to the thousands of emails and phone calls they are invariably receiving. The amount of glad-handing and self-congratulating by the committee members during sessions is almost baffling. They have made extremely little progress to get Oregon to the point where recreational cannabis can be commercially commerce’d at locations designated for doing so and to offer hemp farmers and genetics producers a chance to enter the market fairly. We have until July 1st to get progress in this area, as the bill enables partially and millions of people will be inaugurating their home gardens with 4 “recreational plants”.
Please stay optimistic and engaged in the process. Please contact the members of the committee and let them know that we’re not approving of regulation that subverts the public vote. Patients are the most impoverished voters in the state, and the committee can ask OHA to get their profiteers under control while they make legislation that offers framework for the new recreational market. If the Propostion 91 regulation is created in a balanced and rational way, profiteers will naturally steer their course towards the legal regulated market where the bottom line is always the bottom line.