Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Portland Business Journal

Lawmakers propose new cannabis commission, Port sues Monsanto and Oregon Supreme Court will decide if Port’s ocean carrier subsidies are legal.

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1. OHA may lose oversight of medical marijuana dispensaries

A bill has been proposed that would take dispensary oversight away from the Oregon Health Authority and form a new Oregon Cannabis Commission, the Portland Business Journal reports. The OHA has regulated medical marijuana since 2014. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission oversees recreational marijuana. 

2. Port of Portland sues Monsanto

The Port filed a lawsuit alleging Monsanto knowingly produced toxic chemicals and relied on the Port to fund cleanup, the Oregonian reports. The Port joins eight West Coast cities, including Portland, in suing the agriculture giant for its use of polychlorinated biphenyl. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for past, present and future cleanup costs.

3. In other Port news, the Oregon Supreme Court will decide if the Port can subsidize ocean carriers

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was reviewing the legality of the Port’s financial system which paid ocean carriers to stop at Terminal 6. The appeals court said the law is unclear and it was hesitant to expand on Oregon law, OPB reports.

4. Portland wins Superfund cleanup case

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled the city had the right to use revenue from sewer bills to clean up the Portland Harbor, Willamette Week reports. The city has charged ratepayers about $50 million of the $60 million spent to prep the Superfund site for cleanup. Ratepayers filed suit against the city in 2011 objecting to the charges. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue its final harbor cleanup plan today.

5. Fall-protection measures increased in construction

A new state regulation mandates that Oregon contractors ensure workers cannot fall if work is more than six feet above a surface, the Register Guard reports. The regulation used to stipulate protections were required at 10 feet. The rule will largely affect home builders.

6. From the Magazine: Trumped

The 45th president exposes rift between urban and rural business owners.

7. The case for hospital rate setting commissions

City Club State of Reform panelists make the case for setting hospital rates to control costs and improve quality.