Measure 33

Explanatory Statement

Ballot Measure 33 allows the creation of licensed non-profit dispensaries regulated by the Oregon Department of Human Services to produce, possess, and sell marijuana to registered patients and/or caregivers. The measure requires dispensaries to pay license fees, keep records, submit monthly reports, be subject to inspection, and pay 10-20% of gross revenue to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to fund the program. The measure requires a program for indigent patients to receive medical marijuana at no cost from licensed dispensaries. Dispensaries must distribute to indigent patients an amount at least 20% of the dollar amount sold to registered patients each month. Dispensaries must report monthly to the department how much medical marijuana was dispensed to indigent patients. Penalties for non-compliance will be established by the department. If no dispensary exists in a county within six months of passage of this measure, the department shall grant the county health department a medical marijuana dispensary license, waiving the signature and license fee requirements. Licensed dispensaries are subject to felony prosecution if they are found to be out of substantial compliance with the department's regulations or to have distributed marijuana to persons other than caregivers, patients, or other dispensaries.

Current law allows a caregiver to serve an unlimited number of patients. The measure limits caregivers to serving up to 10 patients without a medical marijuana dispensary license. The measure allows designated medical marijuana caregivers to be compensated by their registry identification cardholders in any manner agreed on by both parties.

The measure increases the amount of marijuana that may be possessed by a registered patient or designated medical marijuana caregiver to 10 marijuana plants and one pound of usable marijuana at any one time. However, if a registered patient or designated medical marijuana caregiver has provided information to the state demonstrating that the person is growing only one crop per year, that person may possess up to six pounds per patient immediately following that one harvest. With physician approval, patients may exceed statutory limits.

The measure amends the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act to include licensed Naturopaths and Nurse Practitioners in the definition of "attending physician" for purposes of the Act. The measure expands "debilitating medical condition" to include any other medical condition for which the use of marijuana would benefit the patient as determined by the attending physician.

The measure requires law enforcement agencies to contact the department prior to obtaining a search warrant in any marijuana investigation unless they have specific credible evidence that unlawful activity has occurred. The measure retains criminal penalties for non-medical use of marijuana.

The department shall promulgate rules to implement this act and shall establish the Oregon Medical Marijuana Commission to oversee the management of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, administered by the department. The Commission would have authority to propose rules, veto staff decisions, and suggest legislative changes.

The department shall engage in scientific research as to the safety and efficacy of marijuana as medicine and annually publish a report of the data and results.

Committee Members / Appointed by
Edward Glick / Chief Petitioners
John Sajo / Chief Petitioners
Sheriff Bernie Giusto / Secretary of State
Anna Peterson / Secretary of State
Don Smith / Members of the Committee

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.215.)