Senate Bill 863 Signed Into Oregon Law, Protecting Recreational Marijuana Consumers
Anyone who has visited a retail marijuana store knows that prior to being admitted into the facility’s limited access area, they must remit their photo ID to the shop’s authorized personnel.
It is customary to have a designated employee handle the intake of visitors into a facility, and generally it is this person’s job to enter a few bits of information into their point of sale systems. This data is garnered from a customer’s identification credentials. Collected information is typically used for discounts, coupons, marketing information, and helping cannabis companies generate “big data” for the industry as a whole.
As shown in last month’s issue, many patrons have voiced concern that sensitive information such as names, birthdates, and home addresses are being stored in databases at marijuana shops. What does the dispensary do with this information? How is this information shared? Are retail marijuana stores gathering information for the government? Some patrons question if they must give up their sense of privacy in order to purchase legal cannabis.
On April 19th, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 863 into law, which became effective immediately. SB 863 “Prohibits marijuana retailers from recording, retaining and transferring type of information that is contained on passport, driver license, military identification card or other identification card that bears picture of person.” Importantly, the bill also requires retailers to destroy any existing information that they have obtained. Retailers have until May 19 to do so.
Sponsored by Senators Prozanki, Beyer, Burdick, Ferrioli, Kruse, and Representatives Lininger, Fahey, Helm, Olson, and Wilson, the bill garnered strong, bipartisan support. “I think it’s appropriate under the circumstances,” said Governor Brown, possibly alluding to the tone the White House has taken regarding marijuana policy reform.
Oregon has taken a proactive stance to protect the state’s adult use marijuana program, a move that may prove beneficial in the upcoming months, as an official stance from Washington continues to develop.
Minnesota NORML’s Cannabis Rise 420 Rally at the State Capitol
Minnesota NORML took a constructive approach to the 420 holiday this year by involving their state’s lawmakers in the celebration. The Minnesota chapter brought together citizens and lawmakers on April 20th for the “Cannabis Rise 420 Rally” to discuss two bills recently introduced, HF926 and HF927. “At no time in history has MN ever had a bill in play for legalization, before NOW!” declared the Cannabis Rise 420 Rally page on Facebook.
HF926 proposes amendments to Minnesota state law to incorporate an adult-use marijuana program complete with cultivation, processing, and retail sales ala Oregon and Colorado. The bill is sponsored by nine Minnesota State Representatives. HF927 establishes rules and regulations to implement the provisions of 926. This bill is sponsored by nine Minnesota State Representatives.
From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, citizens gathered inside the State’s Capitol Rotunda to hear those legislators discuss the merits of the two bills, as well as their roles in the movement to end marijuana prohibition.
The Cannabis Rise 420 Rally describes itself as a “peaceful” rally of “like-minded people using their rights to freedom of speech and assembly.” They offer public support for those who need safe access to legal marijuana as an alternative to opiates, and they serve as a resource for those who have been persecuted under current laws.
The State of Minnesota currently houses a limited medical marijuana program like those in use on the East Coast. “We got ripped off with medical cannabis,” Michael Ford, executive director Minnesota NORML, has stated in the past. “It’s a hard program for patients to get into and it’s extremely expensive.”
West Virginia 29th State to Allow Medical Marijuana Program
On Wednesday, April 19th, Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386, making West Virginia the 29th state to allow the use of marijuana for a limited list of qualifying medical conditions. The bill was signed at the state capitol in Charleston.
In a model that is becoming more and more prevalent on the East Coast, the law doesn’t authorize the sale of cannabis for smoking, and patients can’t grow their own plants.
West Virginia’s medical marijuana program allows doctors to recommend or prescribe medical marijuana to patients who meet the state’s criteria of being terminally ill, having seizures, cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS, or other specified conditions. Patients will be able to access the medical marijuana in a pharmacy-like environment, dispensed as pills, oils, topical gels, or liquids.
The State Bureau of Public Health will oversee implementation of the law. It is estimated that by July 2019, West Virginia patient identification cards could start being issued.