Bill Introduced to Legalize Med. Marijuana Retailers in Oregon - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bill Introduced to Legalize Med. Marijuana Retailers in Oregon

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SALEM, Ore., - Oregon legislators are considering a bill to legalize medical marijuana retailers.

A legislative analysis shows there could be 225 state-licensed dispensaries in two years if the bill is approved.

The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland, calls the bill a step toward regulating medical marijuana.  Law enforcement officers say a lot of medical pot is diverted into the black market and it's also available in a growing number of unregulated cafes, lounges and collectives.

Pot retailers would pay $4,000 a year.

Store owners would have to pass criminal background checks, document the marijuana coming into their establishments and verify it's from state-registered growers.  The bill wouldn't require routine inspections by the state or by law enforcement agencies.

Critics, however, say the bill doesn't attack the black market.

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