New Year, New Rules

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has released a draft of a host of new proposed amendments to Chapter 845, Division 25 of the Oregon Administrative Rules.  Here are some of the highlights.

Medical marijuana now tracked through METRC: Perhaps the most significant change for the new year is that PRMGs (persons responsible for a medical grow site) must use the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to track and trace their marijuana medicine, even from growers directly to patients.  Previously, medical marijuana was not subject to the seed-to-sale tracking system.

Start-up Inventory: For licenseeswishing to introduce new strains, this rule change extends the deadline (from 12/31/2017 to 7/1/2018) for the “immaculate conception” rule, in which a marijuana producer may receive immature marijuana plants and seeds from any source in Oregon for up to 90 days following initial licensure.  After the 90 days following initial licensure, producers are limited to working with plant genetics already logged in the Cannabis Tracking System. (Get in the queue now!)

 Marijuana Promotional Events are now sanctioned and regulated under the OLCC.  Specifically, all licensees may transfer to Commission-approved trade shows or exhibitions marijuana items of the following amounts: Up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana, 4 mature plants, 10 immature plants, 500 seeds, 16 ounces of solid cannabinoid products, and 72 ounces of liquid cannabinoid products.

“Principal officer” of a licensee is defined in the OLCC rules for the first time; it’s revised to include anyone with an officer title, meaning anyone who bears the title “president”, “vice president,” “treasurer”, or “secretary” (or any other officer designated by the OLCC).  In other words, all of these people could be considered a licensee under the rules, regardless of their investment or percentage holding in the licensee.In practice, the OLCC has already reserved the discretion to require fingerprinting and background checks for individuals investing $50,000 or more in any licensee business.  This seems to be an effort by the OLCC to expand its ability to look into the backgrounds of those behind any effort to get licensed.

Industrial Hemp is defined within the OLCC rules for the first time.  Previously, the rules simply referred the reader to ORS 571.300.  Furthermore, the proposed rules would define “Hemp Grower”, “Hemp Handler”, and “Hemp Item” within the rules as well.

Tracking and tracing industrial hemp: Also for the first time, industrial hemp items must be tracked and traced through METRC. The cottage industries of hemp and medical marijuana are being absorbed by the OLCC.

Retailers within 500 feet of schools: A new rule allows retailers to reduce to500 feet (from 1,000 feet) the required distance from private or public schools, provided the Commission determines that there is a “physical or geographical barrier” capable of keeping kids away from the retailer.This would ostensibly assist riverside dispensaries looking for a loophole.

Walk-up retailers banned, too: In addition to banning any drive-up sales of retail marijuana, walk-up windows have also been specifically prohibited within the rules.

A little extra time to fix things: If an applicant for a license fails a first inspection, their response deadline is increased from 15 days to 30 days.  That said, it’s a lot easier to simply get it right the first time, so call us!