Tag Archives: pot

Three more states legalize recreational pot

Voter support for marijuana legalization reached a new high as California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot, joining four other states and Washington, D.C., with similar laws.

Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas passed medical marijuana measures, pushing the number of states with such laws past two dozen.

The California vote makes the use and sale of recreational cannabis legal along the entire West Coast and gives legalization advocates powerful momentum. Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi to allow recreational use.

The victories could spark similar efforts in other states and put pressure on federal authorities to ease longstanding rules that classify marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug with no medical benefits.

“I’m thrilled,” said Northern California marijuana grower Nikki Lastreto. “I’m so excited that California can now move forward.”

California was the first state to approve medical marijuana two decades ago. It was among five states weighing whether to permit pot for adults for recreational purposes. The other states were Arizona, which defeated the idea, and Maine, where the question remained undecided early Wednesday.

Montana voted to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

In general, the proposals for recreational pot would treat cannabis similar to alcohol. Consumption would be limited to people 21 or older and forbidden in most public spaces. Pot would be highly regulated and heavily taxed, and some states would let people grow their own.

State-by-state polls showed most of the measures with a good chance of prevailing. But staunch opponents that included law enforcement groups and anti-drug crusaders urged the public to reject any changes. They complained that legalization would endanger children and open the door to creation of another huge industry that, like big tobacco, would be devoted to selling Americans an unhealthy drug.

“We are, of course, disappointed,” said Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association. Corney said his organization plans to work with lawmakers to develop a driving-under-the-influence policy.

The California proposal sowed deep division among marijuana advocates and farmers. In Northern California’s famous Emerald Triangle, a region known for cultivating pot for decades, many small growers have longed for legitimacy but also fear being forced out of business by large corporate farms.

“I’m not necessarily stoked nor surprised,” said Humboldt County grower Graham Shaw, reflecting the ambivalence of the region to the measure. “I am very happy that the war on cannabis in California is finally over.”

If “yes” votes prevail across the country, about 75 million people accounting for more than 23 percent of the U.S. population would live in states where recreational pot is legal. The jurisdictions where that’s already the case — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia — have about 18 million residents, or 5.6 percent of the population. Twenty-five states allow medical marijuana.

According to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization.

Proposition 64 would allow people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of weed and grow six marijuana plants at home. Varying tax rates would be levied on sales, with the money deposited into the state’s marijuana tax fund.

The exit poll of 2,282 California voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 30 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 744 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups

Associated Press writers David Crary in New York and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco contributed to this report.

 

Pot-legalization movement seeks first foothold in Northeast

Having proven they can win in the West, advocates for recreational marijuana hope the Nov. 8 election brings their first significant electoral victories in the densely populated Northeast, where voters in Massachusetts and Maine will consider making pot legal for all adults.

Supporters believe “yes” votes in New England would add geographical diversity to the legalization map, encourage other East Coast states to move in the same direction and perhaps build momentum toward ending federal prohibitions on the drug.

“We have to get to a point where we can win legalization voter initiatives in other parts of the country,” said Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, a leading group in the legalization movement.

Three other states — California, Arizona and Nevada — are also voting on recreational pot. If the California initiative passes, marijuana will be legal along the entire West Coast. Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have already voted to permit it. The District of Columbia also passed a legalization measure in 2014, but it has no regulatory framework for retail sales and possession remains illegal on federal property.

Several Eastern states are among the 25 that already allow some form of medicinal marijuana, but none in the region has approved recreational pot.

Big money is at stake, which helps explain why marijuana supporters have raised more than $6 million in Massachusetts and about $1.3 million in Maine, most from outside those states.

Analysts from Cowen and Co. issued a report last month forecasting a $50 billion legal cannabis market in the U.S. by 2026, a nearly tenfold increase over today. But such growth would be predicated on federal legalization. Passage of the November state referendums would be a “key catalyst” toward that end, analysts wrote.

Higher marijuana usage in the West may help explain why the region has been a more fertile ground for legalization, said Matt Simon, New England director for the Marijuana Policy Project, another major pro-legalization group.

“More people have direct experience with marijuana or know someone who has, and that leads to it being demystified,” Simon said.

Recent polls on the New England ballot questions, which propose significantly lower tax rates than those in Colorado and Washington, indicate the “yes” sides trending ahead in both states. Still, passage is far from guaranteed.

In Massachusetts, a socially liberal state, voters previously decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and approved it for medicinal use. This year’s initiative has met formidable opposition from politicians, business leaders, clergy and even billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who recently donated $1 million to opposing groups.

The state’s popular Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston’s Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh are among many elected officials fighting the idea. Their arguments include concerns that edible pot products resembling candy or other treats could fall into the hands of children, and that marijuana can be a “gateway” to far more dangerous drugs.

“The availability of marijuana for adolescent users already constitutes an environmental factor for the later use of other illicit drugs,” the state’s four Roman Catholic bishops said in a recent statement. “Its legalization will only serve to worsen this problem.”

A TV ad urging a “no” vote imagines a neighborhood overrun by pot shops and a mother shocked to see her own son emerge from one of the stores. Legalization proponents dismissed the ad as a “smear-and-fear” tactic.

“There is a puritanical streak that runs through New Englanders,” said NORML’s Stroup, a onetime Boston resident.

The Puritans lost their influence centuries ago, and the phrase “banned in Boston” is an anachronism. Yet uneasiness persists when it comes to issues that would have once been considered sinful. Massachusetts, for example, only recently authorized casino gambling and did so in a limited and highly regulated form.

In Maine, critics worry about disrupting the state’s well-established medical marijuana program.

“We want to make sure patients don’t lose access and that small growers will still be able to flourish,” said Catherine Lewis, director of education for Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine.

Portland, the state’s largest city, legalized possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in 2013, but the statewide prohibition still makes buying and selling the drug illegal.

Marijuana companies that have focused largely on Western states are watching developments closely, sensing new regional opportunities for investment and growth.

“The Northeast specifically is going to be a very powerful market because of the population density,” said Derek Peterson, chief executive of Terra Tech Corp., which operates cannabis cultivation, production and retail facilities.

Marc Harvill, client services and training manager for Denver-based Medicine Man Technologies, said the firm has already fielded inquires for consulting services from potential retail operators in New England should the ballot questions pass.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said.

Pot and profit: Business owners replace idealists in marijuana movement

Business owners are replacing idealists in the pot-legalization movement as the nascent marijuana industry creates a broad base of new donors, many of them entrepreneurs willing to spend to change drug policy.

Unlike in the past, these supporters are not limited to a few wealthy people seeking change for personal reasons. They constitute a bigger coalition of business interests. And their support provides a significant financial advantage for pro-legalization campaigns.

“It’s mainly a social-justice movement. But undoubtedly there are business interests at work, which is new in this movement,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, a one-time pot-shop owner and now head of a Denver marijuana consulting firm.

The donors offer a wider foundation of support for the marijuana-related measures on the ballot next month in nine states. The campaigns are still largely funded by national advocacy organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project and the New Approach PAC. But those groups are less reliant on billionaire activists.

On the other side, legalization opponents are attracting new support from businesses as diverse as trucking, pharmaceuticals and even gambling.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to pass ballot initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana for adults. Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed in 2014. The result is a bigger pool of existing businesses that see expansion potential in more states authorizing use of the drug.

Take Darren Roberts of Boca Raton, Florida, co-founder of High There!, a social network for fans of pot. He donated $500 this year to a campaign to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Florida. Roberts is also encouraging his customers to donate to legalization campaigns in their own states.

“I would say it’s a combination of both the philanthropic social interest and the potential financial interest,” Roberts said.

All five states considering recreational marijuana _ Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada _ have seen more money flowing to groups that favor legalization than to those fighting it. The same is true in the four states considering starting or reinstating medical marijuana _ Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota.

The donors who contribute to anti-legalization efforts have changed, too.

Some deep-pocket donors who drove opposition campaigns in years past are opening their pocketbooks again.

Casino owner Sheldon Adelson of Nevada, for example, gave some $5 million in 2014 to oppose a medical-pot measure in Florida. This year, as his home state considers recreational pot and Florida takes a second look at medical marijuana, Adelson has spent $2 million on opposition in Nevada and $1 million to oppose legalization in Massachusetts.

Other casinos are donating to Nevada opposition efforts, too, including MGM Resorts International and Atlantis Casino & Resort. Nevada gambling regulators have warned that marijuana violates federal law.

Some new opponents have also emerged, moving beyond the typical anti-pot base that includes law enforcement groups, alcohol companies and drug-treatment interests.

A pharmaceutical company that is working on a synthetic version of marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, Insys Therapeutics Inc., has given at least $500,000 to oppose full marijuana legalization in its home state of Arizona.

The company did not return a message for comment on the donation. Company officials said in a statement last month that Insys opposes the Arizona ballot measure because marijuana’s safety has not been demonstrated through the federal regulatory process.

Other new names popping up in opposition disclosures include U-Haul, which gave $25,000 to oppose legalization in Arizona, and Julie Schauer, a Pennsylvania retiree who gave more than $1 million to a group opposing legalization. Neither returned messages seeking comment on their donations.

Smaller donors to opposition campaigns say they are hopelessly outgunned by the young pot industry, but are giving out of a sense of duty.

“Everyone’s talking about it like it’s a done deal, but I can’t sit by when I’ve seen firsthand the destruction that marijuana does to people,” said Howard Samuels, a drug-treatment therapist in Los Angeles who donated some $20,000 to oppose recreational legalization in California.

Samuels and other marijuana opponents insist that the pot industry cynically hopes to get more people addicted to the drug to line its own pockets, comparing pot providers to tobacco companies.

But marijuana-industry donors insist that they are simply carrying on a tradition started by the tie-dye wearing drug activists who pushed legalization long before there was any business model attached to it. They insist they would contribute financially even without any money-making potential.

“When a movement becomes an industry, of course the advocacy picture gets shuffled,” said Bob Hoban, a Denver attorney specializing in marijuana law and a $1,000 donor to the Marijuana Policy Project. “It shifts away from activists to more traditional business interests, because the skill sets don’t exactly transfer.”

Arizona joins four other states voting on recreational marijuana in November

A voter initiative to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the November ballot in Arizona. The state’s Supreme Court last week rejected a final legal challenge to the measure.

A lower court judge had thrown out the challenge, saying the group called Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy didn’t have a right to sue.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry’s ruling went on to reject all of the reasons opponents laid out for keeping the initiative off the ballot.

The opponents said initiative backers used illegal and unconstitutional “bait-and-switch tactics” and that the initiative violates Arizona’s statutes in three ways. They include a misleading 100-word summary that leaves out important provisions, an “incoherent” text and title that obscures the extent of its impact on other laws, and a failure to provide a legal funding mechanism.

The high court sidestepped the right-to-sue argument, with Chief Justice Scott Bales calling Gentry’s reliance on a 2015 rewrite of a law “murky at best, and rather than wade into those waters, we turn to the merits.”

Bales went on to affirm Gentry’s ruling rejecting the merits of the opponents’ lawsuit, saying the summary substantially complied with the law’s requirements for initiatives.

The ruling means that Proposition 205 is on November’s general election ballot.

Four other states will also have recreational marijuana initiatives on their ballots, including California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada.

Voters in Florida, Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas will vote on medical marijuana.

Under the measure, adults 21 and older could carry up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults could also cultivate up to six marijuana plants in an enclosed space and possess the marijuana produced by the plants. No more than a dozen plants would be allowed in a single residence.

The system would regulate pot in a way proponents say is similar to alcohol, with a 15 percent tax on all retail marijuana sales. Most of the new state revenue would go to Arizona public schools and education programs.

Barrett Marson, spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said it was “a good day for voters who want to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona.”

“Voters will get the opportunity that they requested — more than 258,000 people signed a petition to put this before the voters,” Marson said. “The Supreme Court agreed voters should have the final say on whether adults should have the right to legally purchase marijuana.

The Secretary of State confirmed that about 177,000 of those signatures were valid, more than the approximately 151,000 need to qualify for the ballot.

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, which includes two prominent county attorneys and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, said they will now turn to urging voters to reject the measure.

“Our goal now is to make sure that every Arizonan enters the voting booth in November with a full understanding of both the intended and the unintended impacts of the 20 pages of new laws in Prop 205,” Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said in a statement. “We hope all citizens will read the lengthy legalese before voting and will learn how devastating Proposition 205 would be to our state if passed.”

Opponents say backers have not told voters about changes to DUI laws, child custody issues, employment law and many other laws.

In another development, a Maricopa County judge ordered one change to the ballot description voters will see but rejected other revisions sought by the backers.

Judge James Blomo agreed with the measure’s backers that the description crafted by Secretary of State Michele Reagan wrongly said marijuana will be legal for people over 21, when it should be 21 and older, and ordered it changed.

Blomo rejected efforts to insert language showing that a 15 percent marijuana tax would mainly funds schools and enforcement efforts and another minor change. Blomo said omitting the descriptions aren’t misleading and Reagan has the discretion to leave them off.

 

Feds won’t reclassify marijuana, say it has no accepted medical use

The Obama administration will keep marijuana on the list of the most dangerous drugs, despite growing popular support for legalization, but will allow more research into its possible medical benefits, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week.

The DEA said the agency opted not to reclassify marijuana after a lengthy review and consultation with the Health and Human Services Department, which said marijuana “has a high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.”

“We are tethered to science and bound by statute,” DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said Thursday.

The decision to keep marijuana in the same class of drugs as heroin and peyote comes amid growing national support for the legalization of pot. More than half the states have legalized the drug for either medicinal or recreational use.

The DEA said it plans to make it easier for researchers to study possible medical benefits by expanding the number of entities that can legally grow marijuana for research purposes.

Currently only researchers at the University of Mississippi are allowed to grow pot, as part of a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Allowing for further research is the latest step forward in the federal government’s evolving position on the drug, although legalization advocates claim it doesn’t go far enough.

The DEA’s latest review was prompted by requests from the former governors of Rhode Island and Washington. They requested that marijuana be considered a Schedule II drug, along with cocaine, morphine and opium.

The decision was announced in a lengthy notice in the Federal Register.

Medical marijuana edibles debut in Illinois

Edible medical marijuana made its Illinois debut Saturday, ending a wait for patients who prefer eating to inhaling. To some, cannabis-infused foods seem milder than smoke or vapor, but the products carry their own risks.

It takes longer to feel the effects when marijuana is eaten, so it’s easy to eat too much with unpleasant — or even dangerous — results.

“As exciting as bringing edibles to market is, we want to make sure that every patient takes small portions, and wait at least an hour before taking more, until you understand and get comfortable with consuming medical cannabis in its edible forms,” said Ross Morreale, owner of Ataraxia, an Illinois company with marijuana chocolates hitting the market.

Under the state’s pilot program, edible products must be manufactured by licensed cultivation centers, the same businesses growing cannabis in locked indoor facilities. Ataraxia shipped marijuana chocolates to two dispensaries, which will start selling them Saturday, Morreale said.

The square-inch chocolates contain 10 milligrams of THC, marijuana’s leading active ingredient, and come in three flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate-raspberry. They’ll be priced at $7 to $9 per square.

“We taste it blank so it has a good flavor foundation,” Ataraxia chef Joseph Pierro said. “We have not tasted it with the (cannabis) oil, but we’re confident flavor will be there strong and true.”

Regulated pot sales began Nov. 9 in Illinois, but companies didn’t have edibles ready until now. Other cultivation centers reached by The Associated Press said they will ship edibles starting in January or February.

Dispensaries are required to provide information about the various forms and methods of cannabis administration, and possible side effects.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is drafting guidance for patients regarding edible forms of cannabis and will distribute shortly, state officials said. The state already requires warnings on the products, meant to distinguish them from regular candy and food.

In Colorado, the state responded to the 2014 death of a college student who jumped from a hotel balcony after eating a potent marijuana cookie by reducing the amount of THC allowed in a serving. Dispensaries and advocates there have spread cautionary messages including “Start Low, Go Slow.”

Sarah Wright, 61, of Rock Falls, uses medical marijuana for fibromyalgia and looks forward to edibles.

“I worry about the mailman coming and smelling it,” Wright said. “You smoke it and smell it all through the house. That gets old.”

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Illinois medical marijuana sales start Monday

More than 3,000 patients with Illinois-issued ID cards will be able to buy medical marijuana legally for the first time on Nov. 9, according to the state official overseeing the pilot program.

Eight licensed dispensaries are authorized to start selling cannabis on that day, program director Joseph Wright told The Associated Press. The number will grow to a dozen dispensaries by the end of the month and up to 25 by the end of the year, Wright said.

More than two years after Illinois enacted its medical cannabis law, growers began shipping their products to dispensaries around the state, following instructions sent to them by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. A statewide digital tracking system has been launched to prevent any diversion of marijuana to the black market.

“It’s a safe industry with a strong infrastructure here in Illinois,” said Ben Kovler, CEO of Green Thumb Industries, which has started shipping marijuana from its Rock Island cultivation facility to its dispensary in Mundelein and other retail shops. “We’re all in touch with local police. There will be no surprises.”

Kovler cautioned patients that they must have their ID card and have designated a dispensary with the Illinois Department of Public Health before they can make a purchase. “I’d hate for somebody to drive and learn that at the end of the drive,” Kovler said.

Transportation from cultivation center to retail shop will be governed by official instructions sent to growers. They can transport marijuana only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Vehicles carrying it must be staffed by at least two cultivation center employees.

Growers must enter unique product ID numbers into the system before they can ship. Florida-based BioTrack THC, which has the Illinois contract for tracking medical marijuana from seed to sale, has similar state contracts in Washington, New Mexico and New York, said CEO Patrick Vo.

In Illinois, BioTrack will be paid $230,000 to get the system running, with annual hosting and maintenance costs of $37,000, Wright said.

The tracking system allows state officials to monitor in real time the location of seedlings, sale products and even plant waste scheduled for destruction. “In the system, any change in quantity requires some type of action or description,” Vo said.

The system also is designed to catch violators who might add black-market marijuana to the legitimate system, Vo said. Tracking each product protects patients with weakened immune systems from marijuana that hasn’t been tested for harmful microbes, poisons from fungus, pesticides and solvents.

“I’m certain there are a lot of people on the fence” about Illinois’ pilot program “and people who are staunchly prohibitionist,” Vo said. “Accountability, transparency and safety are things both sides can get behind.”

Illinois has 3,300 patients approved for the program. The Illinois Department of Public Health started mailing patients their official program ID cards last week.

The eight licensed dispensaries are located in Marion, Mundelein, Canton, Quincy, Addison, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Ottawa.

Illinois is among 23 states with medical marijuana programs.

“We’re thrilled,” said Bradley Vallerius, spokesman for Revolution Cannabis-Delavan, a cultivation center in central Illinois, which plans to ship products to dispensaries this weekend.

Oregon retailers sold $11 million in marijuana in first week of recreational sales

Retailers sold more than $11 million of marijuana during Oregon’s first week of legal recreational sales, outpacing the early business done in other states that have legalized pot, according to the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association.

Oregon retailers had sales of $3.5 million by the end of opening day, Casey Houlihan, executive director of the association, told the Statesman Journal. By contrast, Colorado’s first week of sales reached $5 million. In Washington, sales during the first month hit $2 million.

Under the state law approved by Oregon voters last year, possession of marijuana in limited quantities has been permitted since July 1. 

But there was no legal way to buy it until Oct. 1. Pot shops that already sell medical marijuana made big plans for the historic day, with some opening just after midnight. 

One reason Oregon posted stronger early sales was the existing medical marijuana infrastructure. More than 250 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon have told the state they will sell to recreational customers. By contrast, Colorado had 24 stores on Day 1. Washington had just four, and a year later, still has fewer than Oregon.

Oregon also has a robust supply of marijuana that’s grown to support medical marijuana users and the black market. Companies have invested in massive warehouses in Portland to grow the drug indoors, and southern Oregon has some of the nation’s best conditions for outdoor cultivation of marijuana.

Growers don’t face strict regulations yet, so the supply can more easily flow into retail stores than it did in Washington and Colorado.

Houlihan says shops are seeing customers coming back to pot after years of not smoking it. 

“They’re telling me that customers lining up are in many cases 50 to 65 and haven’t purchased marijuana in decades, but they’re just happy to have the opportunity to do so,” he said.

Oregon marijuana shops begin sales to recreational users

Oregon marijuana shops began selling marijuana on Oct. 1 for the first time to recreational users, marking a big day for the budding pot industry.

Some of the more than 250 dispensaries that already offer medical marijuana in Oregon opened their doors soon after midnight— just moments after it became legal to sell to anyone who is at least 21.

At Portland’s Shango Premium Cannabis, co-founder Shane McKee said the first sale to an excited customer came about a minute after midnight, with many others waiting.

“It looks like there is about 60-70 in line out front,” he said in a telephone interview shortly after midnight. “They all seem extremely eager.”

That first buyer, Davia Fleming of Portland, said the sales launch was important.

“I was really excited about that,” said Fleming, who uses the drug for medicinal purposes. “It’s the end of a prohibition.”

She described the atmosphere inside the store as “beautiful. … very friendly; everyone is upbeat.”

Store owners say they’re hopeful they can avoid the shortages and price spikes that followed the start of legal sales last year in Washington and Colorado, the only other states where the drug can now be sold for recreational use. Alaska could begin retail sales next year.

Many stores in Oregon were trying to lure customers with extended hours, food giveaways and discounted marijuana.

McKee said his store offered its first 25 customer a 35-40 percent discount. The store was also handing out soda, coffee, juice and other refreshments.

But he also pointed to what he considered the significance of the moment.

“I think it’s not only historical for folks in Oregon but nationwide — anytime people start selling that as an alternative to alcohol or tobacco.”

Shoppers have one more incentive to buy early and often: Under Oregon law, pot purchases will be tax-free until January — a savings of up to 20 percent.

One store was offering a goody bag with T-shirts, but no free marijuana. Another will have a live band and 10 percent discounts. The marijuana review site Leafly will set up with food trucks at a handful of stores, giving away free meals to anyone who promotes the service on social media.

Several stores have erected billboards in Portland. A shop in Merlin is advertising on the radio.

“I’m just trying to basically stock up for maybe four or five times what the normal volume would be,” said Chris Byers, owner of River City Dispensary in the southern Oregon town of Merlin.

Customers can buy as much as seven grams at a time of dried marijuana flower and leaf — the part that’s generally smoked — plus plants and seeds. For the next year or so, marijuana infused candy, cookies, oils and lotions will be available only to people with medical marijuana cards as the state works on retail regulations involving those products.

Oregon has a robust supply system for marijuana that has supported medical marijuana users and the black market. Companies have invested in massive warehouses in Portland to grow the drug indoors, and southern Oregon has some of the nation’s best conditions for outdoor cultivation of marijuana.

Growers don’t face strict regulations yet, so the supply can more easily flow into retail stores than it did in Washington and Colorado.

Still, there’s concern. Summer has historically been a time of marijuana shortages in Oregon, and most of the outdoor crop isn’t ready to harvest. Indoor growers have had minimal time to ramp up production, since lawmakers only approved the Oct. 1 start date three months ago.

“We have kind of a seasonal growing market here in Oregon,” said Jeremy Pratt, owner of Nectar Cannabis, which has four stores in Portland. “We have lots of product in the fall, and then it kind of gets tight this time of year anyway.”