Some rules aimed at keeping cannabis out of black market.

A committee charged with setting regulations for the marijuana medical industry is set to hold its inaugural meeting Nov. 9.

Oregon Health Authority policy and legal staff selected 15 members to serve on the committee and notified applicants earlier this week by email.

“This is the very last piece of the regulatory puzzle,” said committee member Amy Margolis, attorney with Emerge Law Group and executive director of Oregon Cannabis Association. “Everything else is now regulated: recreational and dispensaries. We know how taxes are going to work, and hanging out there has been this unregulated piece of puzzle: medical growers, processors and edible makers. It’s exciting to wrap it up.”

Setting rules for a statewide system to track medical marijuana from seed to harvest is part of the committee’s task.

That tracking system is crucial to keeping federal authorities from interfering with legalized marijuana production and commerce in the state. The goal of the tracking system is to keep legal cannabis out of the black market.

“The whole system requires a robust regulatory network in order for us to receive federal forbearance,” said committee member Scott Winkels of League of Oregon Cities. “We need a system that is workable for industry but also which public safety experts have confidence in.”

The work group has until spring to craft recommendations for the rules. Temporary medical marijuana rules expire March 19.

Lillian Shirley, state public health director, will be responsible for approving the permanent rules, said Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the health authority’s Public Health Division.

The committee is made up of scientists, health advocates, public safety experts and marijuana industry representatives.

Some of the committee members, including Margolis and Winkels, have served on previous marijuana rulemaking committees.

“I want the rules to make sense, be easy to follow, be practicably applicable and work well with all the accompanying regulatory pieces because we have done this in patchwork fashion,” Margolis said.

The liquor control commission set temporary rules for recreational marijuana Oct. 22 and will begin permanent rulemaking early next year.

By Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau Reporter
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