WASHINGTON: WSLCB September 16 Board Activity

WASHINGTON: The WSLCB Board met yesterday, September 16, 2020. During the meeting, the following actions were taken:

Oregon: OLCC Commission Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on August 20, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved six marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements. 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):

  • KALEAFA GRESHAM in Gresham will pay a fine of $7,000 for one violation, consolidating multiple packaging and labeling violations, against its recreational marijuana retailer license.

Licensee is: 1450 SE Orient, LLC; Chris Ostlund, Member; WWMP, LLC, Member; 3 Kids, Inc., Member; John Widmer, President/Stockholder; Julie Widmer, Secretary/Stockholder; Visionary Enterprises, Inc., Member; Rod Maguire, President/Stockholder; Melissa Maguire, Secretary/Stockholder.

KALEAFA will pay a fine of $28,000 for one violation, consolidating multiple packaging and labeling violations, against its recreational marijuana wholesaler license.

Licensees are: WWMP, LLC; 3 Kids, Inc., Member; John Widmer, President/Stockholder; Julie Widmer, Secretary/Stockholder; Visionary Enterprises, Inc., Member; Rod Maguire, President/Stockholder; Melissa Maguire, Secretary/Stockholder.

  • CANNA FLOW FARMS will pay a fine of $6,435 OR serve a 39-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: CannaFlo Farms, LLC; Jeffrey Schlageter, Member.

  • IVY CANNABIS will pay a fine of $4,125 OR serve a 25-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are: Attikus Enterprises, Inc.; Matthew Schwimmer, President/Stockholder; David Schwimmer, Vice President/Secretary/Stockholder.

  • MODERN FOREST in Lebanon will pay a fine of $14,025 OR serve an 85-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensee is: Modern Forest, LLC; Charles Troxell, Member; Laura Troxell, Member; Sven Roberts, Member; Amber Roberts, Member.

  • BUTTE CREEK FARMS will pay a fine of $14,850 OR serve a 90-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.

Licensees are: Butte Creek Ranch Farm 1100, LLC; Thor Thompson, Member; Deborah Gadberry, Member; Tyler Lennick, Member.

Office of Marijuana Policy Unveils New Details On Planned Launch Of Adult Use Marijuana In Maine

Retail sales to the public permitted to begin on or after October 9, 2020.

MAINE: The Office of Marijuana Policy, a part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, unveiled plans for the issuance of Maine’s first active licenses for adult use marijuana establishments. The Office intends to issue the first active licenses to recreational cannabis businesses on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Retail sales of adult use marijuana to consumers 21 years of age or older will be permitted starting on Friday, October 9, 2020.

The issuance of active licenses will continue the Office of Marijuana Policy’s structured rollout of Maine’s nascent adult use industry, which had been indefinitely postponed in April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The public’s health and safety are at the forefront of every decision we make at the Office of Marijuana Policy,” said OMP Director Erik Gundersen. “While we were poised to launch this new industry earlier this year, we were unwilling to sacrifice the high standards we have set for this program by launching during an emerging public health pandemic and in the absence of a testing facility. With the support of the public health community, municipalities across the state, and the industry we regulate, we have used the last few months to ensure this new industry is introduced to Maine consumers in a manner that is as responsible as possible.”

Active licensure is the culmination of a three-step application process which also includes conditional licensure and local authorization, respectively. An active license is required for adult use establishments to come into possession, process and sell adult use marijuana, including initiating plant transfers from Maine’s existing medical marijuana program.

It is expected adult use licensees will utilize the time between active licensure and Maine’s retail sales launch date to harvest and process marijuana, ensure those products satisfy the mandatory testing requirements, and move product through the supply chain to stock retail store shelves. Additionally, businesses which will conduct retail sales will prepare to implement and support social distancing and other public health guidance at a time when public interest may attract a significant consumer presence to their retail locations.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in honoring the will of Maine voters and a significant step toward launching a new industry in the state,” added Gundersen. “Many of the business owners we have spoken with during the application process are ready and eager to commence operations.”

The application process required by the adult use law requires state regulators to review application materials for form and substance, with an eye toward details such as ensuring that all applicants have completed their required state and federal criminal history record checks; that the establishment’s operation, facility, and security plans satisfy the requirements of both the Marijuana Legalization Act and the adult use program rule; and that the designated host municipality has provided the applicant with authorization to conduct business in their community.

OMP expects to issue licenses in each of the four categories of adult use establishments: cultivation, products manufacturing, retail sale, and testing. Information on the specific number of licenses issued and the identities of active licensees will be made available on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The Mills Administration created OMP within DAFS in February 2019. The Office is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized marijuana, including Maine’s existing Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

Nevada CCB Launches Investigations Into Three Nevada Dispensaries, Selling Potentially Unsafe Product

NEVADA: The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) has opened investigations into three dispensaries for selling product that twice failed microbial testing.

On March 5, 2020, the Department of Taxation and CCB issued a directive to all dispensary/retail stores to immediately stop selling the product, Cherry OG F3, which failed laboratory testing for yeast and mold, coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae and Aspergillus.

At that time, the CCB instructed dispensary/retail stores to destroy or return the affected product to the cultivator and communicate that they took such action with the State. Despite the CCB’s directive, it appears three dispensaries retained their inventory of Cherry OG and began selling the product again in May.

Approximately 375 grams of the Cherry OG product were sold between May 19, 2020 and June 29, 2020 at the following Retail Stores/Medical Dispensaries:

1. Waveseer of Las Vegas, LLC (Jenny’s Dispensary), 5530 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130 (License # 83760475147127946601);

2. Paradise Wellness Center, LLC (Las Vegas ReLeaf), 2244 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 54283805068313943868); and

3. Desert Aire Wellness, LLC (Sahara Wellness), 420 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (License # 25729455103203031356)

On May 16, 2020, a hold on the product was temporarily lifted due to a CCB error that occurred during an unrelated investigation. However, the CCB’s health and safety advisory remained in effect; and under the directive, dispensaries should not have had the product in their inventory.

The CCB advises those who have purchased the product to avoid consuming it. Consumers should check any Cherry OG products for the source package # 1A404030000076F000006649. The CCB notified the aforementioned dispensaries and initiated investigations which are ongoing. There are no known reports of illness.

OLCC Marijuana Advisory Committee Meeting Is Thursday July 9, 2020

OREGON: The next OLCC Marijuana Advisory Committee Meeting will take place Thursday, July 9, 2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are holding our meetings virtually. An audio recording of the meeting will be posted on our website.

You can listen live using your phone: 1 (872) 240-3311 Access Code: 786-241-877

 

OLCC Commission Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on May 28, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved four marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements:

MANA FARMS * will pay a fine of $2,640 OR serve a 16-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.

Licensee is: Mana Holdings, LLC; Gordon Massie, Member; WWM, LLC, Member; Morgan Whitford, Member; Shadow Ray Unltd, LLC, Member; Reuben Ray, Manager/Member; Joint Holdings, LLC, Member; Sean Carriger, Manager/Member.

TKO RESERVES* will pay a fine of $4,950 AND serve a 69 day recreational marijuana producer license suspension, OR pay a fine of $9,900 for two violations.

Licensees are: TKO Holdings, Inc.; Charlie Cassidy, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Joanne Beckett, Secretary; Tracy Bouchard, Treas/Dir/Stkhldr; Bruce Beckett, Director/Stkhldr.

TAP RELOOP* will pay a fine of $6,105 OR serve a 37-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Tap-ReLoop, LLC, Co-Licensee; High Spirit Acres, LLC, Co-Licensee; Patrick Pooler, Member.

AJ’S NIRVANA FARM* will surrender its recreational marijuana producer licenseAND each licensee agrees to accept a letter of reprimand for two violations.

Licensees are: AJ’s Nirvana Farm, LLC; Michael Petrin, Member.

NECTAR in Portland will pay a fine of $3,465 OR serve a 21-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are:  Nectar Markets, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR* will either serve a 79-day suspension OR pay a fine of $11,880 AND serve a seven-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for eight violations.

Licensees are:  Nectar Markets, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR/APPLEGATE VALLEY (AVO) (#A0F3)* will either pay a fine of $4,950 OR serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are:  Applegate Valley Organics, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Managing Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR/APPLEGATE VALLEY (AVO) (#E7E2)* will either pay a fine of $8,250 OR serve a 50-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for five violations.

Licensees are:  Applegate Valley Organics, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Managing Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR/APPLEGATE VALLEY (AVO) (#7A3E)* will either pay a fine of $4,950 OR serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are:  Applegate Valley Organics, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Managing Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR/APPLEGATE VALLEY (AVO) (#3833)* will either pay a fine of $19,800 OR serve a 120-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.

Licensees are:  Applegate Valley Organics, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Managing Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

NECTAR/APPLEGATE VALLEY (AVO) (#8267)* will either pay a fine of $13,200 OR serve an 80-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.

Licensees are: Applegate Valley Organics, LLC; Nectar Holdings, Inc., Managing Member; Jeremy Pratt, Pres/Dir/Stkhldr; Jeffrey Johnson, Vice President; Michael Olson, Sec/Treas.

Oregon Marijuana Retail Licensees Allowed To Provide Curbside Delivery

Temporary Rule Aligns With Governor’s Executive Order to Promote Social Distancing

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved a temporary rule that supports social distancing to promote prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside their licensed premises.  The action will permit retail licensees to take orders and deliver product from the retail store to a person who is outside of the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

At an emergency meeting to consider temporary rules impacting the business activity of OLCC licensees in the alcohol and marijuana industry, the Commission took its action to promote social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.  The Commission’s action aligns with the Governor’s Executive Order that prohibits public gatherings of 25 people or more, and encourages people to distance themselves by at least 3 feet while in public.

The temporary rule also increases the amount of flower that OMMP cardholders and caregivers can purchase to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month. This change temporarily increases the daily purchase limit for OMMP cardholders to match their personal possession limit. This rule does not change the total monthly amount a cardholder or caregiver is currently permitted to purchase from an OLCC-licensed retailer.

The temporary action that the Commission has taken is designed to balance the protection of public health while at the same time helping struggling businesses.  Marijuana industry guidance can be found here.

“Every single decision that this agency is making, both for the liquor and the marijuana industries, are there for the consideration of helping people make a living and continue to make a living,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair.

During the period of March 1-18, 2020, OLCC marijuana retailers have seen a 25-30% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.  Retail marijuana stores remain open, but these changes will let them operate in a way that is consistent with the guidance from the Executive Order by decreasing in-store activity.

However the OLCC made it clear that if individual licensees take advantage of the temporary rule by disrupting public safety or public health that the rule could be suspended for the whole industry.

“We’re asking our retailers to make sure to work with the community and local officials so that this can happen in a safe and non-obstructive way to city services, otherwise we’ll need to make changes,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.

Oregon Delivery, Curbside Pickup Rules Eased To Help During COVID-19 Crisis

Applications Prioritized, Temporary Action Eases Delivery Requirements

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission took action designed to ease the economic hardship faced by the hospitality industry as result of public health mandates to help stop the spread of the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19).  The Commission’s action relaxes some of the requirements relating to delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider by licensees who qualify for same-day delivery.

At its monthly meeting today the Commission approved emergency rules to enable licensees that currently have an Off-Premises license – or a license that includes Off-Premises Sales Privileges with Same-Day Delivery approval to make delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider to customers at curbside. Home delivery was already permissible, but with the Commission’s action today, the hours for same-day delivery of alcohol have been extended to 2:30 a.m.

Separately, Commission staff have created a streamlined application process for existing Limited On-Premises Sales and Full On-Premises Sales Licensees (restaurants & bars) to start selling malt beverages, wine and cider to go. Qualified licensees can apply for a “90-day Authority To Operate” (ATO) with an Off-Premises Sales license.

“We are looking to help our licensees – economically helping them get every dollar they can, but also administratively by giving them the tools they need,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “These are difficult times for all our industries, and we are looking across our licensee types to do what we can do to help business.”

Curbside delivery includes delivery to a location that is within 100 feet of the boundary of the licensed premises. Licensees can utilize e-commerce operators (beverage & food-delivery app couriers) for delivery provided that the e-commerce providers and the licensees comply with amended delivery rules and the temporary policy which can be located here OAR 845-006-0392 and OAR 845-006-0396.

Licensees seeking to apply for a 90-day ATO with an Off-Premises Sales license can begin the process online here. Statewide there are approximately 5500 eligible licensees for this license; the processing time for each application will vary and a timeframe for granting the ATO cannot be specified.

The Governor of Oregon declared an emergency under ORS 401.165 due to the public health threat posed by the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor has ordered that immediate implementation of social distancing and community mitigation measures necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Governor’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 20-07 further prohibits on-site consumption of food and drink at restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.   The penalty for failure to comply includes immediate suspension of the license of the licensed premises.

Licensees that have general questions about their license should contact Licensing Services at olcc.liquorlicenseapplication@oregon.gov.

Click here for the COVID-19 Temporary Changes: Off-Premises Sales & Delivery Fact Sheet

Illinois: Pritzker Administration Announces Revenue Figures For First Month Of Adult Use Cannabis

Screenshot 2020-02-25 16.04.04

ILLINOIS: The Illinois Department of Revenue announced that adult-use cannabis sales generated $7,332,058 in cannabis tax revenue during the month of January, with an additional $3,147,928.29 generated in retail sales tax revenue. Governor Pritzker’s recently released budget conservatively estimated the state would collect $28 million in cannabis tax revenue during the remainder of the fiscal year, ending June 30, 2020. Today’s announcement puts the state on track to surpass that estimate.

Once administrative fees are accounted for, 45% of the adult-use cannabis tax revenue will be reinvested in communities disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs and used to fund substance abuse and mental health programs. The $3,147,928.29 in sales tax revenue will be divided between the state’s general revenue fund and the local governments where purchases were made.

“Today marks another milestone in the successful launch of Illinois’ legal cannabis industry. Our goal has been to build the nation’s most socially equitable program that includes new opportunities for the communities most harmed by the failed war on drugs. Revenue raised in this first month will soon begin flowing back into those communities to begin repairing the damage done by the failed policies of the past and creating new opportunities for those who have been left behind for far too long,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor to Governor Pritzker for Cannabis Control.

The state collects cannabis revenue in two ways: a variable excise rate dependent on THC potency and type of product, and a 7% cultivators excise tax imposed on the sale of cannabis to retailers. Earlier this month, the state announced that over $39 million in adult-use cannabis product was sold at retail stores.

Last Wednesday, Governor Pritzker released his Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which projected cannabis sales would generate $28 million in cannabis tax revenue for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 (ending June 30, 2020). As the industry matures, revenues are estimated to grow to $127 million in FY21, of which $46 million will go to General Funds.

Background:

CANNABIS TAX RATES

• Cannabis Cultivation Privilege Tax:

o 7% of the gross receipts from the sale of cannabis by a cultivator or a craft grower to a dispensing organization

• Cannabis Purchaser Excise Tax:

o 10% of the purchase price – Cannabis with a THC level at or below 35%
o 20% of the purchase price – All cannabis infused products
o 25% of the purchase price – Cannabis with a THC level above 35%
o This tax is not imposed on cannabis that is subject to tax under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

ALLOCATION OF STATE REVENUE

• Minus administrative costs, the remaining state revenue will be allocated as follows:

o 35% for the General Revenue Fund,
o 25% for the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund to support the R3 program,
o 20% for the Department of Human Services Community Services Fund to address substance abuse and prevention, and mental health concerns,
o 10% for the Budget Stabilization Fund to pay the backlog of unpaid bills,
o 8% for the Local Government Distributive Fund to support crime prevention programs, training, and interdiction efforts, including detection, enforcement, and prevention efforts, relating to the illegal cannabis market and driving under the influence of cannabis, and
o 2% for the Drug Treatment Fund to fund public education campaigns and to support data collection and analysis of the public health impacts of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.

Governor Cuomo Announces He Will Visit States That Have Legalized Cannabis Programs to Help Inform His Efforts to Pass Legislation as Part of Budget

Builds on Regional Cannabis Regulation and Vaping Initiatives Previously Announced With Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Governor Cuomo: “I’m going to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and California or Colorado, which are three states that have legalized it and have different versions, and bring my team to meet with them, discuss what they’ve done, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked.”

Screenshot 2020-02-25 09.14.01NEW YORK: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he will visit states that have legalized cannabis programs to learn more about their programs to help inform his efforts to pass similar legislation in the state budget this year. This builds on the regional cannabis regulation and vaping initiatives previously announced with Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to establish a set of core principles on issues related to market regulation and empowerment; public health; public safety and enforcement; and vaping best practices.

VIDEO of the Governor’s announcement is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks are available below:

Governor Cuomo: One other point on marijuana, which is another issue that is in this budget. I said yesterday it is a major priority. I also want to make sure that it is done correctly, and you look at states that have legalized marijuana, many of them have generated more questions. One of those issues that everybody has goals, we want a goal of social equity, we want to make sure young people can’t get it, et cetera. We want to make sure there are advantages to communities that have been oppressed. But, then you look at the aftermath and many of those goals haven’t been met, right?

So, I’m going to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and California or Colorado, which are three states that have legalized it and have different versions, and bring my team to meet with them, discuss what they’ve done, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked. Has the social equity piece worked? Has the law enforcement piece worked? So that we have the best bill and the best system when we pass it, and I want to pass it by April 1. […]

The conclusion is we want to coordinate our laws the best we can. In other words, you don’t want New York competing with New Jersey, you don’t want New York competing with Connecticut. You don’t want people driving to New Jersey, because they can get more in New Jersey, or a higher percentage in New Jersey, or they have a different age in New Jersey, or a lower tax rate. So, it’s regional coordination. But then if you look at what has happened in states that have done it, about 11 states have legalized marijuana. Everybody talks about the goals, we want a social equity component, we want to make sure it’s policed. They have all these goals, but many of the programs once they’ve been implemented and they went back and looked, they didn’t meet those goals.

You know, our political debate now is all about “I have a plan.” Yeah, everybody has a plan, but can you actually get it done and does it turn out the way you planned it, right? That’s the big question, and that’s where government usually gets into trouble. So, I want to make sure we learn from them. We have the regional coordination piece. We are the first state that has really been looking through that lens. I now literally want to go to California, Illinois, Massachusetts, sit with them, what was your plan, how did it work out, what did you learn, what can we incorporate.