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Oregon Economist Beau Whitney Releases Cannabis Jobs Report

12,500 Cannabis Jobs in Oregon Generating $315 Million in Wages

OREGON: Cannabis industry economist Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics today released the results of “Cannabis Employment Estimates,” a report compiled at the request of the Oregon State House of Representatives Committee on Economic Development and Trade on the number of jobs associated with the Oregon cannabis industry and a projection of the economic impact the industry is having on the state.

“On a national basis, the $50 billion cannabis market is essentially the equivalent to the U.S. wine market ($55 billion),” Whitney said. “And there are more than 1,000 businesses in Oregon that touch cannabis. I suspect that this is a very conservative estimate based on limited data from the Department of Employment and the OLCC.

In summary, Whitney’s report found:

  • As of February 21, 2017, there are 917 OLCC licensed cannabis businesses and an additional 1,225 applications for a cannabis business. 2,142 in total. The Oregon Employment Department lists 776 cannabis businesses inOregon
  • There are approximately 12,500 jobs associated with the cannabis industry in Oregon. These are jobs that directly touch cannabis and are not jobs associated with auxiliary businesses such as security, regulatory, accounting, consulting, real estate, etc. This is a very conservative estimate and these numbers are expected to increase once the more detailed analysis is completed
  • At an average wage of $12.13/hour, the total annual wages associated with these jobs are $315 million. With a multiplier of 4, this implies that there is $1.2 billion in economic activity related to these wages

The report does not extend into the supply chain for “shovels or picks,” meaning lights, greenhouses, insurance, real estate, accounting, security, etc.

“At present, I feel there are roughly 300,000 – 400,000 cannabis-touching jobs in the USA,” Whitney said. “That number will grow to more than a million as more states come online as legal markets. Cannabis is a job-creation machine.”

Whitney said a more comprehensive jobs report will be researched and published later in 2017, but this initial update should demonstrate the cannabis industry is a powerful force in the Oregon economic engine.

USDA To Present At Oregon Hemp & CBD Connex Conference

OREGON: The HEMP & CBD CONNEX CONFERENCE will take place January 29-30, 2020 at the Portland Expo. 

GROWING HEMP IS NOT THE “FIELD OF DREAMS”
What you need to know before you grow: From seed to harvest to shelf, invest in two days in educating yourself in all aspects of the industry.

When the farm bill passed in December 2018, there were 500 farmers growing 11,000 acres of hemp. We saw a demand for hemp biomass and smokable flower with a limited supply. Biomass was selling for $35-$45 a pound. Fast forward to 2019: this looked like the “Field of Dreams”. Applications increased to 1,900 farmers registered and over 60,000 acres farming hemp. We estimate that over 50% of the crops failed in 2019 for many reasons: lack of planning, bad genetics, and harvest and drying roadblocks. Mother nature brought record rainfall and a hail storm that damaged over 1,000 acres. With any new industry and no limit to how many acres could be grown, farmers planted too many acres, not realizing the massive undertaking and hurdles they would encounter. In 2019, farmers soon realized this was not the “Field of Dreams” with overproduction and prices plummeting to $5-$15 per pound and finding reputable buyers makes for a challenging year.

The Hemp & CBD Connex Conference is a collaboration of the entire hemp supply chain from seed to harvest to products on the shelf. Invest two days in educating yourself in all aspects of the industry. Here is your chance to have one-on-one contact with the pros that will guide you in best practices for your business. Oregon & Washington Department of Agriculture and the USDA will present updated rules and regulations and offer clarity to the confusing, evolving nature of these regulations. The conference will feature hands-on displays and demonstrations, will address roadblocks and offer solutions for best production and profit. Visit the “Farmers, Processors & Buyers Lounge” to consult on selling your biomass. Learn about crop insurance, farmer co-ops, futures contracts and partnering with processors for splits and toll processing.

With 30+ educational seminars and nearly 60 speakers, the CCC 6.0 Hemp + CBD Connex offers educational sessions, providing up-to-date data on Regional and Federal legislation. We are honored that USDA Under Secretary, Greg Ibach has the Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Plan for the USDA, Bill Richmond, joining us to review and provide updates on the Interim Hemp Regulations. Ben Thiel, USDA Risk Management Agency Regional Director, will discuss NEW Hemp Crop insurance as well as Whole Farm Revenue Protection. Regionally, both Oregon and Washington will be providing updates via their Departments’ of Agriculture representatives, Sunny Summers and Steve Howe, and via their cannabis programs with Steve Marks and Rick Garza.

Dr. Jeffrey Steiner from the Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center will touch on Hemp Research. Economic analysts Beau Whitney and Chase Hubbard will discuss issues regarding economic impact and global market hemp supply chain that limited the market in 2019, and what it will take to be successful in the future. Additional topics below will be covered by representatives from the likes of Big Sky Scientific, Canopy Growth, CO2 Dynamics, Empower Bodycare, Lazarus Naturals, Strength of Hope and Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

The INDUSTRIAL HEMP SHOWCASE will feature displays of the many industrial uses made from hemp-fiber, including hempcrete, biofuel, livestock feed, paper, rope, bioplastics. The is even discussion about Hemp as a replacement for Kevlar. Hemp offers many different uses that can promote a more sustainable world. Hemp products can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. Proponents of hemp claim that it can help reduce global warming because it takes out large amounts of carbon dioxide per acre, more than most plants.

The CBD MARKETPLACE, a shop within the expo, will offer a wide variety of hemp and CBD products to review and purchase, from health food products, topicals, transdermal patches, edibles, beverages, pet brands and much more. On January 30th, consumers are invited to try products, meet the producers and consult with medical professionals about the benefits of CBD products.

In this 6th year of the conference, we explore the expansion of the Hemp industry highlighting the vast potential of HEMP and CBD products. We are grateful for the many people who donated their time to help others in this industry, including top pros and regulators sharing their insights. We’re proud to offer this conference at an amazing value compared to other higher-priced events. Oregon is at the forefront of establishing a business model that can be shared with other states. We’re focused on fostering the innovators so they can learn, share and help build the industry. The Hemp & CBD Connex Conference is brought to you by the Cannabis Collaborative Conference.

 

Herbonomics: Looking at Portland, OR Cannabis Licensing Trends

By Beau Whitney

OREGON: In advance of my talk this week at the CCC Show in Portland, I want to share an analysis I put together on the City of Portland, Office of Neighborhood Involvement Marijuana Licensing.

I initially reported on this in a press release of a white paper published on 12/12/16. Although there has been some movement on the retail side, not much movement has been made in the other categories.

I tracked the number of additional licenses issued for non-medical licenses since 10/10/16. I also listed the percentage of licenses issued versus applications submitted.

Over the past four months, there have been 3 new producer licenses issued, 4 processing and 5 wholesaler licenses. The change in the ordinance helped retailers with an increase of 47 new licenses since the ordinance change.

Percentage of Total Licenses Issued versus Applications Issued.

  • Retailers:             34.4%
  • Producer:            6.4%
  • Processors:         4.9%
  • Wholesalers       14.0%

Given that only 12 new non retail licenses have been issued in four months, this is an indicator that some additional reform is needed. Although it is in Portland, this can impact the entire Oregon industry.

The data speaks volumes. How is it that only 16 non retail marijuana licenses have been issued in four months. This is creating extreme economic hardship for many businesses.

portland licensing report

Oregon Cannabis Industry Survey Predicts $10 Million Tax Revenue Decrease Due To Changes In Testing Protocol

OREGON: Cannabis industry economist Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics and the Oregon Cannabis Business Council today jointly released the results of a survey conducted this November that predicts a $10 million drop in fourth-quarter state tax revenue, a $187.5 million uptick in black-market sales, and layoffs and dispensary closures statewide due to Oregon Health Authority (OHA)’s new testing rules.

“October was a defining, if not catastrophic, month for Oregon’s cannabis industry, which, until then, was growing at a very fast rate,” Whitney said. “OHA’s new testing rules, which very few existing operations can presently comply with, virtually crippled the supply chain of adult-use and medical cannabis, from grower to retailer.”

Deployed on October 1, a change in Oregon Health Authority (OHA)’s testing certification, test limits and enhancement of a banned substances list for Oregon cannabis products resulted in longer test throughput times, a lack of available supply of cannabis products in both the medical and adult use markets, job losses and economic hardship.

The Whitney Economics/OCBC survey, conducted from November 14 to November 30 among 683 Oregon cannabis businesses, indicates:

  • Supply constraints due to the changes in testing protocol in Oregon have significantly impacted the Oregon Cannabis industry
  • On an annualized basis, black market activities have increased a projected $187.5 million due to a combination of higher prices and lower supply
  • Oregon tax revenues are projected to decrease by a minimum of $10.0M in Q4. This is conservative and is likely closer to $15 million – $20 million, as OLCC-licensed outlets are allowed to sell more product to an individual than is currently allowed in medical dispensaries. This was poised to increase sales by 2x to 4x current levels. The OHA rules constrain the industry at a time where there should be exponential growth
  • 22 percent of survey respondents indicated they are going out of business, and a large majority of 
survey participants plan to lay off employees for one to three months starting in fourth quarter 2016

Per survey results, as the new testing rules went into effect, very few laboratories were fully certified by the state regulatory bodies, so thus every medical and adult use business was required to use the certified labs to bring post-October 1 product to market. This created a bottleneck in the supply chain and, as a result, product availability was constrained. Test throughput, originally modeled by regulatory policy analysts to average five days, ended up in the range of 14-21 days, making products scarce. To make matters worse, the expanded testing criteria resulted in more failed tests. Product that was compliant on September 30 was now failing in large numbers for pesticides and other banned substances, as the thresholds for failure were tightened significantly.

Although official failure percentages are not available today, based on inputs from the laboratories themselves, data indicates between 40-60 percent of all submissions failed the enhanced testing standards (although government officials claim it is closer to 20-30 percent).

Given the perfect storm of a bottleneck at test, increased throughput times and a high percentage of test failures, the legal Oregon cannabis market is highly constrained for supply, Whitney said.

“Immediate action by the regulatory body, the OHA, and the Governor’s Office must take place now, before it is too late,” Whitney said. “The industry strongly supports public safety policies, but some reform must be made now that gradually increases standards rather than implementing them retroactively. Otherwise it will create an even larger public policy issue via a massive spike in illicit market sales, which will in turn increase access via black market channels to our youth.”

The survey results can be downloaded here:

The Clinch On Cannabis: Immature Industries Eventually Grow-Up

By Beau Whitney, Whitney Economics

The cannabis industry is still taking shape. Legislative and regulatory policies can have a profound impact on the direction the movement takes. There are many academic sources available, but what differentiates this report from others is that this author is able to combine economic rigor with direct industry experience.  The author has a background in economics, experience in high tech business operations as well as a background in the cannabis industry as a chief operating officer, a governmental affairs officer and a compliance officer. These practical experiences in the cannabis industry has further enabled the author to take the next step and assess the impact policies have on the industry and to make policy recommendations to address them.

Front Runner, an agglomerated cannabis data website, commissioned Whitney Economics to conduct an analysis of the Washington cannabis market. The initial genesis of the project was to ascertain whether or not the 222 additional retail outlets proposed by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board were an appropriate number based on the BOTEC analysis.

Once the research commenced, the project extended beyond the initial scope and examined such topics as; the total demand forecast for the market, the total supply available to support the market, the elasticity of demand, taxation and how to maximize the conversion from the black market to the retail market. The data used in this report cites multiple sources, includes original analysis and forecasts, as well as data taken directly from the Washington Liquor Control Board (WLCB) and BioTrackTHC. The empirical data was analyzed and the findings contained herein are an interpretation the impact of policy decisions have on the Washington cannabis market.

The data assesses the empirical results from January 2015 through March 2016 and extrapolates into the 2016 fiscal year and beyond.The methodology was to examine specific aspects of the market to ascertain if the Washington market was able to be sustained at the proposed retail levels, whether the current policies support the development of the market, what policies need to be changed and what indicators to examine moving forward.

The conclusions derived from the data were meant to answer questions about the market that are fundamental to the foundation of economics. For if the data cannot support the most basic fundamentals of economic theory, then the data or policies must be viewed with skepticism.

The findings of this report are simple. The consumer is extremely price sensitive. The black market plays a large role in the marketplace and without a reduction in tax, the market will not realize its true potential. The level of demand is able to support the retail expansion, but without converting the demand over from the black market, the retail system will face challenges in growth. The allocation of the retail outlets can support the demand, but the allocation by county needs adjustment. The supply of product in the market is appropriate for now, however the amount of supply capacity is well in excess of what the market will bear. This, in turn will lead to further commoditization of prices, compression of retail margins and maintain a vibrant black market.

The insights contained in this report are much more applicable to an investor, a policy maker or a regulator than many previous works and that is what differentiates this report from others currently available.The report also provides a list of indicators to track on a regular basis that will allow the investor or regulator to ascertain the health of the industry and the success of the public policies as they currently exist.

DOWNLOAD full white paper

LCB Says Licensed Marijuana Canopy Enough To Meet WA Recreational And Medical Marijuana Market Demand

WASHINGTON: The amount of marijuana allowed to be grown by state-licensed producers in Washington is enough to satisfy both the medical and recreational marijuana markets, a University of Washington study finds.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) tasked the UW-based Cannabis Law and Policy Project (CLPP) with calculating the “grow canopy,” or square footage, required to supply the state’s medical marijuana market as it becomes folded into the state’s retail system, as required by the 2015 Cannabis Patient Protection Act. The group’s report estimates that between 1.7 and 2 million square feet — or the equivalent of 30 to 34 football fields — of plants is needed to satisfy the medical marijuana market, and concludes that the 12.3 million square feet of canopy currently approved by the LCB is enough to supply the state’s total marijuana market.

Beau Whitney, a leading economist in the cannabis space, has looked into the proposed expansion of the retail stores thinks that is misleading, “Sure on the surface, there is enough supply to support the expansion, but the system is unsustainable at the current tax level of 37% + 9% local tax. With such high levels of taxation, we are looking at sustaining over $320M in black market demand-based activities. The only way to ensure a viable retail system is by lowering prices, through reduced taxes, and driving more people into the regulated systems.”

Mr. Whitney recently published a white paper on the Oregon retail market, and will publish a Washington retail white paper in early June. He is also the VP of Regulatory (Compliance) and Governmental Affairs for Golden Leaf Holdings. 

Medical marijuana dispensaries must either obtain a state license or close by July 1, 2016. Of the 343 retail stores licensed by the LCB, approximately 81 percent have sought endorsements to their license to sell marijuana to authorized medical patients.

“It was important to design this study the right way and engage in careful empirical research reaching out directly to medical dispensaries and growers across the state,” said Sean O’Connor, principal investigator for the report, CLPP faculty director and Boeing International Professor at UW Law.

CLPP Executive Director Sam Mendez described the survey process: “There’s no master list of these dispensaries, so we used a variety of resources to identify as many as possible. Once the survey was complete, we applied the findings to other published research regarding averages of marijuana output per square foot, outdoor and indoor growing market share and amounts used for edibles and concentrates to reach our estimates.”

The report found that:

  • There were an estimated 273 medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington in January 2016
  • Dispensaries sell an average of 9.55 pounds of marijuana flower monthly
  • The average price of marijuana per gram sold by these dispensaries is less than $10
  • Marijuana flower comprises 60 percent of sales at dispensaries, followed by concentrates (22 percent) and edibles (18 percent)
  • The potential market value based on 10 million square feet of canopy is more than $8 billion

Study Methodology

Determining the size of Washington’s medical marijuana market was no easy task for the UW team, since dispensaries and collective gardens have gone mostly unregulated until recently. The UW researchers, which included five law students, started by compiling a list of possible Washington dispensaries using the databases of three websites — leafly.com, weedmaps.com and headshopfinder.com — among other sources. They came up with 467 possible contacts and called them for phone surveys in January and February 2016.

Interviewees were asked whether the dispensary grows its own marijuana, how much marijuana it sells, the average price of various products and what proportion of sales are flower, edibles, tinctures and concentrates, among other questions. Some refused to participate. Others did not appear to be affiliated with a dispensary or seemed to be out of business. The researchers also posted an online survey, sending it to all applicants for recreational marijuana retail licenses and promoting it widely through social media. All told, they found 273 likely dispensaries.

A report released in December 2015 by BOTEC Analysis Corp. estimated that the state’s marijuana market is divided roughly into thirds for medical, recreational and illicit use. Since February 2014, as an interim policy, the LCB has restricted marijuana producers to a single license. That decision will later be put into rule.

The Cannabis Law and Policy Project was launched in 2014 to provide thoughtful leadership on the responsible development of recreational and medical marijuana industries in Washington State and across the country. The group, which is based in the UW School of Law, but draws on experts in various other departments, focuses on advising the state on regulatory issues related to marijuana.

 

The report’s lead authors are O’Connor and Mendez, with contributing law student authors Ada Danelo, Harry Fukano, Kyle Johnson, Chad Law and Daniel Shortt. Dr. Nephi Stella, a professor in the UW School of Medicine, was a consultant on the report.

Too Few Licenses Impacts Oregon Cannabis Market

 An Analysis of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Marijuana Program Statistics

By Beau R. Whitney, Whitney Economics

Highlights

  • 19 out of 355 recreational licenses (or 5.4%) submitted to the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement have been issue in 2016
  • This represents an impact of $22.25M of monthly revenue to all Portland based cannabis businesses
  • Based on a 3% rate, the impact due to the lack of retail operations is approximately $232,500 in potential lost tax revenue for the City, and $1,317,500 in potential lost state tax revenue (based on 17%) each month
  • Although the OLCC is processing over 900 licenses state wide in order to get them licensed by 12/31/2016, the 336 city businesses impacted by this issue will not be allowed to operate if they do not also have a City of Portland Marijuana license.
  • This will drive more businesses to lay off employees and shut their doors. It will also drive the demand across the border to be satisfied by Washington Cannabis retail outlets or on the black market

Summary

In addition to the state licensing requirements by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”), the City of Portland implemented additional local licensing requirements. The City of Portland has received in excess of $250,000 in application fees and stands to receive close to $2.0M in licensing fees related to its Marijuana program. As of 12/05/2016, the City of Portland Marijuana licensing dashboard ( http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/67575)  has listed only 19 out of 355 recreational cannabis business applications have been licensed. The lack of licensure so far has cannabis business owners concerned about whether or not they can last through the licensing process. Taking very conservative revenue numbers of $100,000 per month for processors, $50,000/month for retailers and $100,000 month for producers, the lack of licenses represents a total of $22.25M in potential lost revenue for the cannabis businesses on a monthly and a potential loss of $89.0M in economics activity to the city and state.

Background

Whitney Economics has consulted for firms in the process of starting a cannabis business inside the city limits of Portland. Unlike the OLCC process, the city process involves multiple touches and handoffs between various city agencies. Without sign off from each of these agencies, the city will not allow a business to begin operations. According to the ONI administrative rules, there is no mechanism to allow for any waivers or deviations from the process. Everything is done serially. For example, a site inspection cannot be scheduled by the city prior to having all documentation submitted, all permits finalized and signed off on and public improvements to the outside of the building completed. Given the serial nature of the process, and the huge demand for marijuana licenses, permits alone are taking 8 – 12 weeks to be reviewed, even longer if there are proposed changes. If the project involves improvements that are valued above approximately $150,000, this will trigger addition improvement requirements to the outside of the building, such as adding sidewalks, bicycle storage facilities, parking spaces and trees. These improvements must also be permitted, potentially adding another 8 – 12 weeks to the project. This also adds a minimum of 10% of the cost of the improvements to overall spends for the project.

The lengthy processes are driving companies out of business.

One business rented a 10,000 square foot warehouse that was just bare walls, was zoned for agriculture, distribution or manufacturing. The owners submitted a permit request to build out some grow rooms and after realizing how long the process was going to take, made a request to the city to allow them to grow inside the facility using tents and requiring no structural changes. The company feared that they would run out of money before they would be able to generate cash flow and lose their $1,000,000 investment and then be on the hook for years on personal guarantees for rent and other items. The short termed growing solution would allow the company to generate revenue until the permits were approved, then would allow them to bridge the period when they would cease operations during the construction phase. The question from the business owners were, does it make sense to restrict a business operation, when no work needs to be done to get up and running in an appropriately zoned facility?

Another processing company with whom Whitney Economics interfaced with during a recent conference, has obtained their processing licensed by the OLCC, but is anticipating an additional 8 – 12 weeks of non-operation due to a last minute notification by the city’s Bureau of Developmental Services (“BDS”) that bicycle storage and trees needs to be added to their project in addition to parking spaces. This is costing the company millions of dollars in monthly revenue and the company is considering moving out of the city.

After hearing story after story of businesses not being able to navigate through the regulatory bureaucracy the city has set up, Whitney Economics decided to look into the licensing process to determine how many licenses have actually been issued. So far, 19 out of 355 recreational applications have been granted licenses. This makes up on 5.4% of the total applications. Although some retail applications are dependent upon the OLCC and that some of those retailers are holding off on obtaining their OLCC license due to market issue, even after adding in the 29 retailer applications pending payment at the OLCC, assuming they are all in Portland, this would only increase the number of issued licenses to 13.5%.

The OLCC is putting forth a concerted effort to issue both retail and processing licenses by the end of the year by ensuring over 900 applications are assigned to investigators so that they can be processed by the end of the month. The main issue driving this effort is a law from the 2016 Oregon Legislative Session that mandates that in order to produce extracts and edibles, a business must be licensed by either the OLCC or the OHA. If businesses are not licensed they cannot operate in the state. Although a company is issued an OLCC license, a cannabis business in the Portland city limits still cannot operate unless also licensed by the City of Portland. If the City does not license significantly more cannabis businesses in December, this could have a profound effect on the overall Oregon Cannabis Market.

By the numbers:

Overview:

  • 19 out of 355 licenses submitted to the city of Portland have been licensed (5.4%).

o   This compares to 514 out of 1760 applications at the OLCC (29.2%), however by adding in the 906 assigned applications for the December push, this increases the OLCC total to 80%

  • A total of $22.25M is lost monthly revenues are impacting the not yet licensed businesses
  • With a 4x multiplier, this represents $89.0M in lost economics activity for the city of Portland and for the state of Oregon

Retailers

  • 13 out of 168 retailers have been issued licenses
  • At a very conservative average of $50,000 per month in revenue, this implies that there is approximately $7.75M in lost monthly revenues for these businesses

o   Note: This is conservative since there was over $79.0M in total sales in Q3 in Oregon. If spread out over 400 outlets, this is an average of $65,833 per month

  • At 17% tax, this is impacting the state tax revenues by $1,317,500 per month and the City of Portland by $232,500 per month (based on 3%)

Processors

  • 0 out of 74 processor applications in the City of Portland are licensed.
  • At a very conservative average of $100,000 per month in revenue, this implies that there is approximately $7.4M in lost monthly revenues for these business

Producers

  • 3 out of 74 producers have been issued licenses.
  • At an average of $100,000 this represents a total of $7.1M in potential lost monthly revenue

Note: The tax impact does not include any taxes associated with labor, income or other business taxes.

The Data:

screenshot-2016-12-15-10-22-29

Source: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/67575

screenshot-2016-12-15-10-23-12Source: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/67575

screenshot-2016-12-15-10-22-49Source: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/67575  OLCC license data as of December 7th, 2016

What can we extrapolate from this data?

How to Balance Public Safety with Economics Growth

The City is in a tough spot. The question is how to balance public safety with economic growth. With the amount of revenue being impacted on a monthly basis, does this meet with objective of the City of Portland and Office of Neighborhood involvement of supporting economic development? How does the current process insure neighborhood livability? Is the industry being served given the fact that they have already paid approximately $250,000 in fees alone, with a process that may drive them bankrupt even before opening their doors? The Mayor of Eugene recently spoke at a Portland City Council meeting on the topic of marijuana regulation and stated that their low touch model has been very successful in limiting the impact on the community, while enabling economic growth. Perhaps more can be gleaned from other cities in Oregon

What is the impact to the cannabis industry if this logjam persists?

A majority of the processing and edible businesses are located in the Portland area (37% of the processor licenses are from Portland… 74 out of 199 applications). If these companies are not licensed by the end of December, then there will be a profound effect on the entire Oregon cannabis market. The impact will be similar to how the recent test capacity issue hurt the Oregon Cannabis industry, with layoffs and businesses shutting their doors. The lack of processed oils will also hurt the local retail system due to a lack of available products. Already Washington is seeing a spike in sales based on the Oregon supply constraint. This will only increase the level of cross border cannabis activities as well as other black market activities.

The Tax impact:

As stated above, once in operation, both Portland and Oregon stand to benefit greatly from the cannabis industry. By not licensing these businesses, the city and state lose precious monies that would otherwise go to support education, drug awareness and treatment and law enforcement. It seems contrary to the mission of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to ensure livability, by not doing more to get these businesses operating sooner.

Conclusion

The City of Portland and Office of Neighborhood Involvement have developed such a bureaucracy in its marijuana licensing process that it is literally driving the applicants out of business. A lower touch model in Eugene can serve as a guide to balance public safety with economic growth. The employees of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement are doing an exemplary job trying to manage the program within its current constraints, however without more flexible policies and a provision to get businesses operating sooner, both the City and the Oregon cannabis industry will see the devastating effect that these policies will have after January 1, 2017. Processing and edible operators will cease operations in the city and may not recover when the licensing constraint is resolved.

How Rescheduling Could Have Changed Cannabis Marketing

By Celeste Miranda

COLORADO: The DEA schedules substances, chemicals and drugs into 5 classified categories. Between Schedule 1 to 5 the level of potential for abuse gets more likely as the number goes down, so Schedule 1 is listed as the most dangerous for the public and Schedule 5 the least.  A Schedule 1 drug has been identified by the government as a substance with no potential for medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Aside from cannabis schedule I also includes ecstasy, peyote and heroin. This DEA scheduling makes cannabis highly illegal to carry without the proper permits and also bars any scientific research on the medicinal value of the plant.

For the last couple of months the DEA has been pushing back their announcement on rescheduling cannabis to Schedule II. Last week they announced that cannabis would remain Schedule 1 which has equally angered and saddened the cannabis community. Not only does this continue the war on patients that has been raging across the country, but the negative effects of federal restrictions are more severe than cocaine and oxycodone blanket every aspect of the plant from research to marketing.

Real scientific research feeds an educational marketing platform.  One of the biggest problems that cannabis has faced is a lack of scientific research. Being classified as Schedule I, any relevant scientific research outside of cannabis that comes from a sterile government garden and is carried out by only a few government approved scientists. The ability to prove that the plant has medicinal value and move past a Schedule I classification is being blocked by that same classification. If and when the feds finally reschedule cannabis we will be able to partake in valuable research that will only fuel marketing efforts. If all of the research analysts that have been dying to get well grown hydroponic, outdoor and aeroponic cannabis into their laboratories were finally able to, there would be a bounty of research to fuel new content that will bring in an entirely untapped target demographic. Educational based platforms are the only way to ensure that no target client is left out of a marketing campaign and currently the cannabis education is mostly just conjecture or experiential. With real, hard data proving the medicinal value of cannabis the entire industry could change.