The Oregon Health Authority is recommending the state make a new policy aimed at curbing the growing number of dispensaries in Portland, but some residents say they don’t feel the change will go far enough.
A state audit released in March found that the state had not done enough to keep up with demand for herbal medicine and other products, and said the regulatory agency was unable to enforce rules governing where, when and how to sell them.
The audit found that more than a third of Portland dispensaries are clustered in areas with low population density, which has a strong effect on sales, according to a report by the Portland Bureau of Labor and Industries.
It also found that about one-third of dispensaries are located in the downtown area.
A spokesman for the Oregon Health Agency, David Daley, said the agency is working with state regulators to make the policy changes that will address the problem.
But, he said, the agency’s policy will take time.
Daley said the Oregon State Bureau of Consumer Protection is reviewing the audit report to ensure that it was conducted appropriately.
The agency did not respond to a request for comment.
“We’re continuing to work with our regulators to improve the regulatory framework,” he said.