Medical marijuana bill signed by Gov. Kitzhaber - KPTV - FOX 12

Medical marijuana bill signed by Gov. Kitzhaber

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill into law that allows medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Oregon.

Right now, patients have to grow it themselves or have someone else grow it.

The governor said he has two main goals – to ensure overall safety and to allow patients safe access. The law gives the Oregon Health Authority power to develop rules, regulations and testing procedures. The OHA will also set fees for dispensaries that will fund the state oversight. 

"I look forward to somebody regulating what's on (pot) and what's in (pot), because there isn't much (regulation), but on the other hand, I really look forward to the accessibility factor. I would love to be able to go anywhere and buy the same medicine for the same price," said Jason Barber, who hopes the law will stabilize the price because it varies right now from grower to grower.

The retailers will be allowed to set their own prices, and others fear pot will become too expensive for low-income patients.

Opponents of the legislation said Oregon's medical marijuana program is already out of control, and the new law doesn't go far enough to regulate the industry.

An Oregon Health Authority representative said they will now start the process of making the rules. They will gather a group of stakeholders, including law enforcement, patients and growers.

The law takes effect on March 1, 2014.

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