Oregon House Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana Dispensaries - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon House Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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SALEM, Ore.  - Medical marijuana dispensaries are one step closer to becoming legal in Oregon.

The state House has passed a bill to legalize and regulate dispensaries. Now, the bill goes to the state Senate. 

Currently, the state's nearly 55,000 medical marijuana cardholders must grow the pot themselves or find someone to grow it for them.

Experts say right now there are about 200 medical marijuana retail outlets in Oregon, but they're unregulated and operate in a legal "gray area."

The bill would require dispensaries to register with the state medical marijuana program and meet certain quality standards. 

Supporters say dispensaries will help patients access marijuana, but opponents argue the bill doesn't do enough to stop people who abuse the state's medical marijuana system.