|Following Governor Brown’s announcement that the State of Oregon is re-opening for business, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is providing a status update to the temporary and permanent rules and processes put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 21-15 on June 25, 2021. Subject to limited exceptions, effective June 30, 2021, EO 21-15 rescinded the risk-level framework that placed operational restrictions on many different sectors, including OLCC licensed recreational marijuana businesses.
In response to restrictions placed on licensed businesses during the pandemic, the OLCC created allowances or exceptions to certain requirements to provide flexibility to businesses operating under the restrictions. The OLCC recognizes that there will be a period of transition as licensees reconfigure their businesses now that COVID restrictions have been lifted.
The COVID-19 Business Continuity page on the OLCC website has now been changed to ‘Reopening Oregon Resources.” The information in the table below can also be found here on the Business Continuity Information – Marijuana section under the “Reopening Oregon Resources” tab.
In-person payments for licensing fees or administrative violation fines at the OLCC:
The OLCC is still taking license and violation payments in person, in order to make a payment in person you must call the OLCC at 503-872-5151 to schedule an appointment.
If a licensee prefers, they may send a money order or a check. Please note that the OLCC will not approve the payment for 21 days to ensure that the check is valid.
For licensing actions that require payment the licensee may also submit their payment using a credit card through the online licensing portal. All other payments need to be check or money order mailed to the OLCC at 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie, Oregon 97222. The check or money order must contain documentation so it is clear who the payment is coming from and what it is for.Examples of the kind of payments include but are not limited to: Worker permits, change of ownership and fingerprints payments.
Marijuana Worker Permits:
We will be continuing to allow applicants to work on an application until December 31, 2021 if the conditions outlined below are met.
Please note: Once an application has been approved, the applicant will be notified that the permit application is in Ready for Pay status and will have 30 days to pay the permit fee per OAR 845-025-5520 (4). If payment is not received the application shall be considered incomplete and inactivated. Once inactivated, the worker permit application is not eligible to be used as meeting the above condition to work for an OLCC recreational marijuana licensed business. The applicant will need to reapply.
Should additional information to process a worker permit application be needed in order to complete the application, the applicant will have 30 days from the date of OLCC’s request to provide additional information and/or complete any outstanding action request corrections. Failure to complete the corrections or provide the requested additional information within 30 days from the request shall result in the application being considered incomplete and will be inactivated. Once inactivated, the worker permit application is not eligible to be used as meeting the above condition to work for an OLCC recreational marijuana licensed business. The applicant will need to reapply.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson – along with Council members Kenyan McDuffie, Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau, Brooke Pinto, Christina Henderson, and Mary Cheh – introduced the most comprehensive, progressive, and equitable legislation to regulate the sale of recreational Cannabis in the District of Columbia.
“This legislation is the culmination of over a year of work by my office and external stakeholders,” Mendelson said. “It creates a comprehensive regulatory framework for the cultivation, production, and sale of recreational cannabis and most significantly, this bill centers reinvestment and opportunity for people and communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.”
The “Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021” differs from previous iterations of recreational marijuana sales bills in that it establishes:
- A Social Equity program that mandates at least half of all licenses to be set aside for Social Equity applicants (defined as residents who have been previously convicted of cannabis-related offenses or have lived ten of the last 20 years in areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment and arrests);
- A Cannabis Equity and Opportunity Fund to provide financial assistance to Social Equity applicants. This is especially important given that traditional financing options are unavailable for cannabis and especially difficult for social equity applicants. Thirty percent of tax revenues from cannabis sales would be deposited into this fund;
- A Community Reinvestment Program Fund that would provide grants to organizations addressing issues such as economic development, homeless prevention, youth development and civil legal aid in areas hardest hit by the drug wars. Fifty percent of tax revenues from cannabis sales would be deposited into this fund;
- A robust public education campaign that will inform District residents of the law and focus on responsible use and harm reduction strategies for residents of legal age who consume cannabis;
- Automatic expungement of cannabis-related arrests and convictions, and opportunities for resentencing for individuals currently serving sentences for cannabis-related convictions;
- Protections for District residents who legally possess and consume cannabis pursuant to the Act so that they do not lose benefits, employment, or access to other critical resources; and
- Authorization for banks in the District to conduct business with cannabis licensees, and allowances for local tax deductions for cannabis licensee business expenses.
Product still in stores “locked” in Cannabis Tracking System to prevent new sales
OREGON:The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is issuing an immediate health and safety recall after identifying pesticide contaminated marijuana products sold through OLCC recreational marijuana licensed retailers. The OLCC has notified retailers to place a hold on all affected products.
The marijuana flower and extract products initially failed pesticide testing (for the analyte Abamectin) with a subcontracted laboratory, but the primary lab – Ecotest – marked that it passed testing in March 2020. The OLCC in September 2020 issued an immediate license suspension to Ecotest due to a number of violations, including the loss of accreditation from the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) for failing to meet required testing procedures and standards (see OLCC press release). Later, the OLCC formally cancelled Ecotest’s license.
The contaminated marijuana originally entered the Oregon market from a medical grower transferring it into the OLCC regulated system. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program growers are allowed, with prior approval, to sell no more than 20 pounds of marijuana flower annually into the recreational system.
The contaminated product includes several strains of marijuana flower pre-rolls, and “Purple Slurry” extract. Due to the incorrect entry of results by Ecotest, when making the
Consumers can identify the affected products with the following information:
“Emerald Extracts Purple Slurry”
- Manufactured by Emerald Treasure LLC (030-1008341A083)
- Label Id = 2805
- Made on 9/9/20
- Tested by MW Labs (010-1008606C050) on 9/14/2020
Marijuana flower pre-rolls
- Strains of “Qurkle,” “BP Oil Slick,” or “Green Crush”
- Tested by Ecotest (010-1008170B3B6) on 3/12/2020
- Sold from Bernie’s Universal Dispensaries in South Beach, OR
Consumers who have these recalled products should dispose of the products or return them to the retailer where they were purchased.
A table listing the retailers that sold the items and the approximate dates the products were sold is attached to the press release version of this communication, which can be found on the OLCC website.
The contamination issue was reported to OLCC on December 29, 2020 by a second processor whose extract product failed pesticide testing; their product was never sold to consumers. Using data from the Cannabis Tracking System, OLCC staff were able to verify the failed subcontracted test, trace the affected items in the system, and issue guidance to licensees to set aside the contaminated product.
Consumers who have these recalled products should dispose of the products or return them to the retailer where they were purchased. Consumers can follow these instructions found on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program website to destroy marijuana on their own.
There have been no reports of illness. The possible health impact of consuming marijuana products with unapproved pesticide residues is unknown. Short and long-term health impacts may exist depending on the specific product, duration, frequency, level of exposure, and route of exposure. Consumers with concerns about their personal health should contact their physician with related questions. Consumers with questions or concerns about recalled product or pesticide residues in marijuana products are encouraged to contact the product retailer and/or the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
Receives updates on Portland’s Cannabis Equity program, Voter-approved ballot measures
OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on November 19, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved eight recreational marijuana license stipulated settlements. Additionally, the City of Portland’s Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT) provided the Commission with an update on the Portland Cannabis Program.
CPOT reviewed its efforts to make equity the center of all decision-making efforts related to cannabis regulation, including ensuring that patients should have access to cannabis for medicinal purposes. CPOT is also reworking its cannabis grant program to focus on distributed funding to BIPOC recipients.
OLCC staff provided assessments of how two ballot measures approved by Oregon voters earlier this month could impact the agency.
Measure 109, which establishes a program for the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to enter into an agreement with the OLCC to use the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to prevent psilocybin diversion from therapy program. OLCC has initiated conversations with its CTS vendor the OLCC has deferred further action, until OHA currently busy with pandemic can begin implementing the program.
One provision of Measure 110 reclassifies some drug convictions which will impact the evaluation process of OLCC licensee and permitee applicants. Currently the OLCC rarely makes a license or permit decision based solely on drug convictions, but there are differences between the OLCC’s alcohol and recreational marijuana licensing and permitting criteria that will now be reconciled; this might require the OLCC to enter into rulemaking.
The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):
LA MOTA (#28CC) in Portland will serve an 18-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR pay a fine of $2,970 fine for two violations.
Licensee is: La Mota, LLC, Co-Licensee; Aaron Mitchell, Member; Rosa Cazares, Co-Licensee.
VIBRANT HIGHS will surrender its marijuana processor license suspension for one violation.
Licensees are: OGX, LLC; Paul Luttrell, Member; Jonathan Showker, Member; Kathy Cook, Member.
LA MOTA FRONT AVE in Portland will serve a nine-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR pay a fine of $1,485 fine for one violation.
Licensees are: La Mota Front Ave, LLC, Co-Licensee; Aaron Mitchell, Member; Rosa Cazares, Co-Licensee.
EVIO LABS MEDFORD in Medford will surrender its recreational marijuana laboratory license suspension for four violations.
Licensees are: Smith Scientific Industries, Inc.; Anthony Smith, President/Director/Stockholder; William Waldrop, Secretary/Director; EVIO, Inc., Stockholder; Lori Glauser, Director/Stockholder; William Waldrop, Director/Stockholder.
MR NICE GUY RETAIL in Corvallis will serve a 10-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR pay a fine of $3,630 fine for two violations.
Licensees are: MNG Holdings, LLC; Michael NG, Member; Patrick Martin, Member.
MR NICE GUY RETAIL in Salem will pay a fine of $280 for one recreational marijuana retailer license violation.
Licensees are: MNG Holdings, LLC; Michael NG, Member; Patrick Martin, Member.
NECTAR in Salem will serve a seven-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR pay a fine of $1,155 fine for two violations.
Licensees are: Nectar Markets, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Member; Jeremy Pratt, President/Director/Stockholder; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice-President; Michael Olson, Secretary/Treasurer.
ALBION FARMS will serve an 18-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR pay a fine of $2,970 fine for two violations.
Licensees are: MediRec, LLC; Vandaly Industries, Inc., Member; Eric Buckner, President.
OLCC Recreational Marijuana Licensee Wildfire Impact Survey
Survey designed to pinpoint problems, help create collaborative solutions
OREGON: Wildfires around the state have had a devastating impact on Oregonians. Authorities still don’t know how widespread the impact is. For evacuees and business owners who lived or worked in the fire zone there are plenty of challenges ahead.
If you’re an Oregon Liquor Control Commission Recreational Marijuana licensee impacted by the state’s wildfires please take 3 to 5 minutes to fill out this short survey.
Some recreational marijuana licensees have already notified the Oregon Liquor Control Commission that their businesses were destroyed by the fire. The OLCC is aware that there are many other licensees located in burn zones around the state. What OLCC doesn’t know is the extent of the damage to those licensed recreational marijuana businesses.
The OLCC wants to be able to help and advise licensees while ensuring that marijuana product remains secure, and accounted for in Oregon’s Cannabis Tracking System.
Licensees directly impacted by wildfire
That’s where we need help from our licensees. If you’re a licensee impacted by the fires please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey. If you know of an impacted licensee please let them know about the survey, and if need be help fill out the survey on their behalf.
Licensees not directly impacted by wildfire
If you have questions related to OLCC’s wildfire response, or have suggestions on how to address the regulatory situation and complexities caused by the wildfires please direct your questions by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Use the keywords “Wildfire Response” to start the subject line title.
Wildfire response by OLCC
The agency is working on an approach to address regulatory issues so we can accommodate licensees and help them maintain their operations.
The agency is also considering ways to best utilize our licensing staff to assist wildfire impacted licensees, while still maintaining our commitment to improve licensing processing for new applicants and licensees seeking renewals.
We’ll use the findings of the survey to directly inform temporary rules and licensing actions to help licensed businesses maintain operations to the greatest extent we are able. The more information you are willing and able to provide, the better able we will be to be responsive to the needs of our licensees.
Direct link to the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Licensee Wildfire Impact Survey:
OREGON: OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Division 25 – Recreational Marijuana Rules Package
Date and Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Friday, November 15, 2019
Location: Oregon Liquor Control Commission
9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222
The 2019 legislature made several changes to Division 25 of Chapter 845 which constitute Oregon’s recreational marijuana provisions. These rules implement those changes. Additionally, during the operation and management of the marijuana program, staff identified areas that needed amendments to make language more clear and concise and to ensure continued viable operation of the regulated marijuana program. Senate Bill 218 created a pause in marijuana production licenses. House Bill 2098 added a definitions for “kief” and changed the definition for “prescription drug,”
added new requirements for worker permits, and added new forms of qualifying identification.
Public comment period: November 1, 2019 thru December 1, 2019.
Flavored Vaping Ban Spotlighted in Latest Episode of “In the Weeds — The Ultimate OLCC Potcast”
OREGON:The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has published the latest episode of its occasional podcast, “In the Weeds – The Ultimate OLCC Potcast.” Episode Four of “In the Weeds” focuses on the THC vaping respiratory illness crisis and Oregon’s ban on flavored THC vaping products.
“In the Weeds” launched in April 2019 using the podcast format to provide more digestible details and nugget-sized information about the regulations and rules governing Oregon’s regulated marijuana industry. The podcast, aimed at OLCC recreational marijuana licensees, their employees and others interested in the legal marijuana industry, is a more conversational approach to explain the expectations and guidelines for operating a legal marijuana business.
“It’s just the three of us – sometimes with a guest – sitting around talking about the rules, which is something we do every day anyway,” said Amanda Borup, OLCC Recreational Marijuana Policy Analyst, and one of the co-hosts of “In the Weeds. “And although listening to our discussion should be helpful, it doesn’t mean listening to the podcast is a substitute for reading the rules.”
The other co-hosts of the “In the Weeds” podcast are TJ Sheehy, Manager of the OLCC’s Marijuana Technical Unit, and Mark Pettinger, OLCC spokesperson.
“We figured this would be a good way to help people working in the industry understand what is and isn’t allowed in the rules,” said Sheehy. “People in the industry, whether they’re in the front office or on the farm in-the-field, can listen and hopefully share what they learn.”
The fourth episode of “In the Weeds” includes a discussion about the ban on flavored THC vaping products; a conversation with Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director, about the vaping crisis and on-going compliance activities. The podcast also covers changes in the marijuana license application and renewal process.
The podcast is available through SoundCloud as well as on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, and TuneIn.
CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s leading cannabis delivery marketplace, announced a new partnership with Recreational Embassy, an elemental curator of cannabis and hemp solutions for the luxury hospitality market, to bring high-touch cannabis experiences to luxury hotel guests with the launch of Eaze Hospitality. The Eaze Hospitality concierge service will debut at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica, marking a first-of-its-kind intersection of tourism and the cannabis industry.
“The partnership with the Fairmont and Recreational Embassy is another proof point that cannabis is normalizing,” says Sheena Shiravi, Senior Director of Marketing at Eaze. “Offering adults in-hotel access to safe and legal cannabis at California’s luxury tourism destinations reinforces how beneficial it is to incorporate cannabis into every aspect of your life.”
Eaze Hospitality is designed to meet the needs, tastes, and lifestyle of the luxury cannabis consumer. Features include a concierge service that serves as a resource for guests’ questions and supports a positive cannabis experience. Eaze Hospitality is committed to educating both new and existing customers about the benefits of cannabis and the innovative products available to them.
“Hotels should have a safe, legal and thoughtful approach to meet the needs of the modern luxury hotel customer,” says Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Director of Sales and Marketing, Rebecca Huetter. “By partnering with Recreational Embassy, we are able to provide the contemporary level of hotel amenities our guests have come to expect.”
“Being present is what the new modern luxury travel experience is all about, and cannabis is the key wellness product to help you get there,” said Lauren Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Recreational Embassy. “As we guide the hospitality industry along this fresh customer journey with integrity, Eaze Hospitality reinforces the overlap between the new cannabis consumer and the modern luxury traveler.”
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California is the first property to leverage Eaze Hospitality to facilitate access to legal, compliant and brand-aligned hemp and cannabis products and services. Guests aged 21+ will have access to customized in-room menus that feature low-dose and non-inhalation hemp and cannabis products. Through Recreational Embassy, the hotel will also offer bespoke CBD products including a custom scented fig CBD-infused bath bomb inspired by the property’s signature fig tree.
The potential to holistically reshape the signature elements of a luxury property hotel-stay by integrating hemp, cannabis and CBD products offers an unprecedented opportunity for hotels to drive incremental revenue. “We bridge the gaps between both those experienced with cannabis and those we call ‘canna-curious’ who are interested to learn more,” says Brian Applegarth, Chief Education Officer of Recreational Embassy. “The most common questions we hear from visitors are about how to get cannabis products and where to enjoy them. Our goal is to minimize confusion for hotels and their guests while maximizing on-property experiences and driving incremental value.”
OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission provided its recreational marijuana licensees with guidance regarding the inventory and sale of marijuana products that public health officials are scrutinizing in their investigation of the national vaping related respiratory illness outbreak.
In a letter to licensees Executive Director Steve Marks asked processors and retailers to take a series of voluntary steps to review vaping devices and vaping cartridges containing additives that may be of public concern.
The actions are cautionary steps, in the absence of conclusive evidence, as public health investigators across the country attempt to zero in on a cause(s) for the respiratory illness.
Marks is asking licensed processors to report any previously undisclosed additives in their marijuana products, including Vitamin E oil, “tocopheryl acetate” or “alpha-tocopherol.”
Additionally licensed retailers are encouraged to review their vaping products, and if they think product labels lack clarity consider asking product manufacturers to provide additional information.
The OLCC is also asking retailers to post a consumer information bulletin based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2012, the two states of Colorado and Washington sent shockwaves through the United States when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis. With these states legalizing, a domino effect has started around the country. As of 2019, the majority of states now have passed legalizations for recreational cannabis (11 states, including the District of Columbia), or medical cannabis (33 states).
People everywhere benefitted from these laws being passed. Consumers were able to go to the dispensaries for the first time to buy cannabis legally. Business owners set up dispensaries that people would flock to, and these businesses meant new employment opportunities for job seekers. Legal cannabis also saw revenue in cannabis-friendly states go nowhere but up.
With all of these new laws being passed in favor of cannabis comes a new awareness about the plant itself. More research about its medicinal qualities has come out in recent years. Cannabis is non-addictive and offers a variety of benefits for both medical and recreational users alike.
The Medical Benefits of Cannabis
Cannabis offers many medicinal qualities to patients for all kinds of conditions. Recently, the DEA considered the reclassification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. While they regrettably didn’t reclassify cannabis, they did express their support to the further research of the plant, and worked on processes to make it easier for researchers.
Over the years, many studies have been made as to just what sorts of conditions cannabis can treat. Medical cannabis can help people with the following conditions:
- People with epilepsy: Cannabis (notably the CBD found in the cannabis plant) can be a big helper for people suffering from epilepsy and seizures. Studies done on people taking Epidiolex (an FDA approved drug made of CBD) who were suffering from seizures experienced a mild drop in seizure occurrences.
- People with severe pain and inflammation: Cannabis can help treat pain, as the effects felt after smoking may help to relieve the feelings of pain people with chronic issues experience.
- People with eating disorders: Folks with eating disorders can benefit from cannabis, because it can increase a patient’s appetite and encourage them to eat more.
- Cancer patients: Not only can cannabis help control the feelings of nausea associated with chemotherapy, but it can also help control the vomiting. Research suggests that cannabis might also be able to reduce or even kill cancer cells, and possibly even slow the growth of tumors.
- Depression: People who suffer from anxiety or depression can greatly benefit from cannabis. Cannabis can provide a feeling of happiness, and can help someone suffering from depression enjoy the little things more.
As you can see, cannabis offers medical patients a whole lot of healing qualities. What about recreational users, then?
The Recreational Benefits of Cannabis
Recreational cannabis has taken many states by storm. In some of the states where cannabis is legal, law enforcement has even seen a drop in drug related stops and arrests, as well as drops in drinking and driving incidents and violent crimes.
Recreational users experience several benefits from being able to enjoy cannabis. Not every recreational user is looking to “get stoned,” but rather enjoy the benefits offered by one of the most versatile plants on the planet.
- Liven up social gatherings. Someone having some friends over to their house might enjoy breaking out some cannabis and sharing it. Many friends and social circles were built on smoking together, and it is still a bonding experience among both friends and families today.
- Have a great nightcap! There are many people in the world who start drinking the minute they get home from work to deal with the day’s stress. Recreational cannabis users look forward to going home and sparking up, then just enjoying some music or a good show on the couch. Another bonus: there are no hangovers from smoking cannabis.
- Cannabis can bring out your creativity. Anyone who considers themselves creative can reap some benefits from cannabis. A lot of musicians, writers, artists, and actors get inspired after a good smoke. Certain strains can really unlock your creativity and get those neurons firing!
Now that you know some of the benefits offered by medical and recreational cannabis, you have to decide how you’re going to enjoy it.
Luckily, whether you choose to smoke or vape your weed, there are plenty of options around to enhance and personalize your cannabis experience.
Smoking is the tried and true method. It’s faster and a little cheaper initially than vaping. All you have to do is find your flower and put it in your preferred smoking device, and you’re off to the races.
Speaking of smoking devices, there is no shortage of them on the market. Beautiful glass pipes and water vases of all sorts of different designs, hookahs, and more are on offer for you to choose from at dispensaries and head shops. You can also just roll up a good old fashioned joint and pass it around.
Vaping has been in the public eye for a while in the form of nicotine delivery systems. Lately, legal states have sold a lot of cannabis vapes, too. You can choose from cannabis oil vaporizers or dry herb vaporizers.
Cannabis oil vapes are refillable tanks with batteries. You can buy your favorite type of THC or CBD oil and refill your tank whenever it gets low. These can be super convenient and very discreet.
Dry herb vapes are devices that heat up dried herb. These are perfect for relaxing at home. Just insert some fresh cannabis and press the button, and you’re good to go.
No matter which type of vape you want, you will have plenty of options available at your local dispensary or online. Many reputable and popular brands offer more vapor devices than ever nowadays, with popular kits like the Volcano Vaporizer for sale and more, you’ll find something that will agree with your personality and your wallet!
Puff, Puff, Pass
As we become more and more aware of the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis, more people will have access to it and more states will continue to legalize it. This is good news for anyone who is a cannabis enthusiast, or for anyone who depends on it for medical reasons.
What’s your story with cannabis? Are you a recreational or medical user, or maybe a little bit of both? Do you prefer smoking or vaping, and what are some of your favorite products?