Ban on med­i­cal mar­i­juana sweets leaves bad taste

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

For­get the hash brown­ies. That’s what the Ore­gon Health Author­ity ruled re­cently in an­nounc­ing reg­u­la­tions for items al­lowed at the state’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries, which be­gan open­ing last week.

Al­though med­i­cal mar­i­juana will be avail­able at the dis­pen­saries, the agency wants to ban sweets con­tain­ing the drug be­cause they could be at­trac­tive to young people.

But dis­pen­sary ad­vo­cates said pa­tients who take the drug orally need the sweet­ened pot prod­ucts. They say a lit­tle su­gar helps the bit­ter medicine go down.

“It just stinks,” Gary Steven­son of Port­land told the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Steven­son, who has cancer, said he prefers to take the mar­i­juana in food be­cause it’s more po­tent and longer-last­ing. As a mem­ber of the group Ore­gin-fused Kitchen, he also makes and dis­trib­utes the types of pot-in­fused foods that would be banned at dis­pen­saries.

He said he doesn’t want to go un­der­ground. “I’m striv­ing for le­git­i­macy,” Steven­son said.

The reg­u­la­tions are de­signed to im­ple­ment bill SB 1531, which the Leg­is­la­ture passed this month and Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law March 19.

Scott Grenfell, gen­eral man­ager of an al­ready ex­ist­ing dis­pen­sary, called “stun­ning” the pro­posed rule that would ban from dis­pen­saries all mar­i­juana-in­fused prod­ucts in the form of “cake-like prod­ucts, cook­ies, candy, or gum, or that other­wise may be at­trac­tive to mi­nors be­cause of its shape, color, or taste.”

Med­i­cal mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries in Ore­gon won’t be able to of­fer munchies made with pot.

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