Number Of “Big” Medical Marijuana Growers In Oregon On The Decline
Joe | Apr 11, 2012 | Comments 0
Whether it’s recent federal raids of “big” medical marijuana growers in the state or new state laws that are the cause, the Associated Press is reporting that the number of gardens that are registered as severing multiple patients will decline from 2011 to 2012 in Oregon.
The number of registered patients is also down, slightly, since the Legislature doubled medical marijuana fees to $200.
At harvest time last fall, federal agents heaped hundreds of plants on dump trucks and hauled them away from five large cooperative medical marijuana gardens in Jackson County, which lies at the tip of the Green Triangle of prime marijuana growing country in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
In October, increased registration fees enacted by the Oregon Legislature went into effect. They also included a new $50 fee to register someone else as your grower.
The U.S. attorney for Oregon, Amanda Marshall, is not willing to say the raids led to the decline in big medical marijuana gardens. She said the federal government is keeping up the pressure being exerted in Oregon and other states that have made marijuana legal for medical purposes.
She is now focused on the rising number of medical marijuana dispensaries, which are not specifically authorized in Oregon. Since June the number of dispensaries identified by federal agents in Oregon has jumped from 70 to 170, she said.
“We are identifying dispensaries that are selling marijuana,” she said. “Then we are making sure they have adequate notice and an opportunity to do the right thing. Then we are moving forward to complete the investigation where they haven’t chosen to do the right thing.”
She said agents are warning building owners and dispensary operators they could forfeit their property.
One has to wonder whether the fact that the dispensaries aren’t specifically authorized under state law makes any difference. After all, Colorado has a very extensive legal and regulatory framework around their medical marijuana industry and they have been targeted by the federal government.
In the end though, the feds hope intimidation can work in most states, but as we have seen in California, Montana, Washington and Oregon, they will use muscle where bullying has failed.