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OLCC pot survey closes, will help guide new rules

Government — Regulators wanted to gauge the public's take on marijuana as it approaches legal status


The Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s online community survey has closed, giving the new marijuana regulators plenty to think about.

The nonscientific survey was intended to find out what is on Oregonians’ minds as marijuana approaches legal status.

The survey asked readers to rank five subjects by how concerned they are: Marketing to kids, keeping retail marijuana outlets away from schools, DUI standards, quality control and restricting recreational marijuana licenses to Oregon residents.

According to OLCC spokeswomann Karynn Fish, more than 16,000 people answered the survey; 7,500 people signed up for email updates from the state since the measure to legalize recreational use of pot won in November.Photo Credit: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Gauging the public's wishes on pot - A    survey by the OLCC was designed to help plan a statewide ­listening tour to be announced later this month, which will visit nine to 12 Oregon communities during a month.

It was all about “asking Oregonians to share their hopes and concerns about the coming legal market for recreational marijuana,” Fish said.

When the survey launched, OLCC Chairman Rob Patridge said: “We need to hear from community members, parents, law enforcement, people who want to grow or sell recreational marijuana, and local governments. We want to know your priorities. What should marijuana regulation look like in your community?”

The survey is designed to help plan a statewide listening tour to be announced later this month, which will visit nine to 12 Oregon communities during a month.

Respondents also were given an open-ended space to voice any other concerns. The listening tour will involve public meetings that begin with a primer on the new law, followed by breakout sessions (with potential writing exercises), followed by an open mic for questions and comments to new pot boss Tom Burns.

Burns is leading the agency’s implementation of Measure 91. He served as the director of pharmacy programs at the Oregon Health Authority since 2008, and oversaw the implementation of Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensary program.

The results of the survey became available Monday at www.marijuana.oregon.gov.

After the listening tour, citizens can still have their voices heard at monthly commission meetings, as well as at the regular rules advisory committee meetings. The committee will be set up in March and the process is expected to wrap up in November.

Under the new law, possession of recreational marijuana becomes legal July 1. The OLCC must begin accepting applications for commercial licenses next January, with retail stores to open by late 2016.

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