Morning Roundup: The future of medical marijuana; agencies take sides on Superfund plan

In today’s news, entrepreneurs consider the future of the medical marijuana industry, agencies take sides on the Superfund plan and Oregon’s economic recovery is solidified.

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1. What is the future of medical marijunana shops in a recreational market?

Come October, the Oregon Liquor and Control Commission will begin issuing licenses for recreational marijuana stores. What does that mean for the medical dispensaries who look to make the switch? The Statesman Journal spoke to several dispensaries in Oregon about the future of the industry. Many reportedly plan to make the switch to recreational shops while considering separate medical facilities to better serve patients. 

2. Comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s superfund cleanup plan are due today

Residents and policymakers have landed on both sides of the issue, arguing the plan either doesn’t do enough or can be pared down. The Portland Business Journal reports the Port of Portland thinks the plan could be improved. Deputy Executive Director Curtis Robinhold says the actual proposed cleanup will cost more than twice the EPA estimate of $746 million, and public entities don’t have the money to pay for the project in the first place. OPB reports the city of Portland says while the plan isn’t perfect, it’s good enough to move forward.

3. Employment report solidifies signs of economic improvement, for some

Wages for workers in the Portland metro area have increased 6% between 2010 and 2014, but only for white workers, according to a report from the Oregon Employment Department. Economic growth occurred more often in households with incomes topping $100,000, whereas those representing the middle class saw a 6% dip in wages. Willamette Week reports this analysis shows the increasing wealth disparity in Portland. 

4. Intel looks toward autonomous machines

Intel announced another step toward its shift away from computers Monday. The chipmaker will acquire Movidius which produces chips to better process what cameras capture. Intel will use the Movidius chips in its RealSense division, to improve autonomous machines. 

5. Meanwhile in the tech world, a tech college chain is closing

The for-profit technical school, ITT Techinical Institute, announced it will close all campuses immediately. The Oregonian reports the announcement comes after the U.S. Department of Education prevented the college from enrolling students who receive federal financial aid. ITT Tech has 138 campuses in the U.S., including its Portland and Salem locations. 

6. Bend considers the worth of reducing fossil fuel emissions

The city of Bend is in the midst of approving a plan to reduce fossil fuel emissions, but the Bend Bulletin reports it’s unclear if the cost to implement the plan would outweigh the environmental benefits. The proposed plan would shift all city facilities and operations to carbon neutral facilities by 2030. It also asks businesses to reduce fossil fuel use by 40%, upping the requirement to 70% in 2050. Cost estimates to this proposal are unknown, despite a city council vote planned for Wednesday.

7.  A conversation with Alando Simpson

OB editor Linda Baker spoke with the vice president of City of Roses Disposal & Recycling about the solid waste business, family values and a new generation of “inequity” refugees.