On February 21, 2019, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission adopted its permanent rules for hemp entering the OLCC-licensed system. The new rules go into effect March 1, replacing the stopgap provisions adopted at the end of 2018.

Highlights of the new rules include the following:

  • New definitions for “harvested industrial hemp,” “hemp item,” and “industrial hemp.”
  • Increasing the fee for a hemp certificate from $500 to $1,000.
  • Expand and clarify the requirements for a certificate application and denial criterion under OAR 845-025-2700 (grower) and 845-025-2705 (handler):
    • Notably, an application can be denied for not meeting the application requirements, submitting false or misleading information, or the Commission “has reasonable cause to believe” the applicant lacks a good record of compliance with applicable provisions of Oregon marijuana laws (Chapter 475B) or hemp laws (Chapter 571);
    • There are now standards and procedures for revoking a certificate; and
    • There also is now a ten-day window to submit a written request to reconsider a finding that the certificate application was incomplete.
  • Adds privileges and prohibitions for growers:
    • May deliver industrial hemp to an OLCC-licensed processor (with hemp endorsement) or wholesaler.
    • The grower must have the delivered hemp tested per applicable OAR Chapter 333 requirements, including potency, and must comply with ORS 475B.010-.545, 475B.550-.590, and 475B.600-.655 and OLCC rules. The grower must provide a copy of any test results conducted on the hemp to the licensee.
    • The grower may not transfer any hemp that fails testing (including potency), any living industrial hemp plants, or industrial hemp seed.
    • Deliveries must comply with CTS tracking requirements and OLCC transportation requirements under specific applicable subsections of OAR 845-025-7700.
    • Transfer of industrial hemp that fails testing is prohibited.
    • Procedures were added for remediation of failed potency testing and disposal of failed batches.
  • Adds privileges and prohibitions for handlers:
    • May deliver industrial hemp or hemp items to an OLCC-licensed processor (with endorsement), wholesalers, or retailer. The handler is under similar requirements for transportation and limitations for prohibited transfers as for growers (see above).
    • The testing requirements for hemp or hemp items under this rule is measured by equivalent marijuana products (i.e., the hemp item is subject to the testing requirement applicable to the equivalent marijuana item, such as a hemp edible being tested like a cannabinoid edible).
  • Adds privileges and prohibits for processors with hemp endorsements.
  • Sets THC concentration levels for harvested industrial hemp and hemp items.
  • Adds CTS tracking requirements.
  • Grandfathering in certain hemp items at THC levels before the March 1, 2019 rules took effect. Specifically allows until December 31, 2019 the transfer, sale, transport, purchase, possession, or receipt of any hemp item exceeding the new THC limits in OAR 845-025-2760 that were manufactured by a processor (with endorsement) prior to March 1, 2019.
  • Generally updating certain rules to extend application to hemp or hemp items, such as OAR 845-025-1335 (promotional events) 845-025-2800 (retailer privileges; prohibitions), and 845-025-3500 (wholesaler privileges; prohibitions).

The full set of adopted amendments may be found here.

Written by Bethany Ace, Esq.

Note that this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended for legal advice. Reading of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship. We cannot and do not offer any warranties or guarantees about anything said in this article. It contains a basic summary of a detailed and nuanced legal position that we hold and was arrived at for our own purposes with our lawyer. If you have any questions or concerns you should consult with an attorney.