OLCC Approves Marijuana License Stipulated Settlement

Starts Additional Rule-making Affecting Bottle Bill & Milk Beverages

OREGON: At a special meeting on January 30, 2020, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved one marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreement.

Cura CS, a licensed recreational marijuana wholesaler, will pay a fine of $110,000 for two violations.

Licensees are: Cura CS, LLC; Cura Partners, Inc., Member; Cameron Forni, President/Director/Stockholder; Nitin Khanna, Director/Stockholder; David Thompson, Secretary; Nicholas Slinde, Director; Kali Mata, LLC, Stockholder; Nitin Khanna, Member; Karan Khanna, Member; Serpico, LLC, Stockholder; Nicholas Slinde, Member; Phil Nelson, Member.

The Commission also undertook the initial step to rescind previous rulemaking that established a definition of “milk” for determining whether or not specific categories of beverage containers are exempt from collection and redemption under the Oregon Bottle Bill.  The Commission initially adopted the rule in December 2019 (OAR 845-020-0005(11)).

To better align with the barriers to accepting empty containers of milk and plant-based milk beverages that do not fall under the statutory exemption, the OLCC has initiated rulemaking to again look at the definition of “milk.”

This rulemaking could result in rescinding the language that was added during the 2019 rulemaking process.  OLCC will work with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, grocers both large and small, and manufacturers of milk and milk-beverage products that are or might be exempt from bottle bill redemption, to provide for and ensure orderly compliance within the marketplace.

 

OLCC Commission Adopts Updated Rules For Marijuana Program

Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OLCC logo

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on January 16, 2020, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved five marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.  The Commission also adopted changes to the rules for the Recreational Marijuana Program that address technical fixes and changes made during the 2019 legislative session.

Many of the approved changes in the Division 25 rules affect all licensees while some apply to a specific license type.  The new rules take effect February 1, 2020.

Under the new rules, all licensees must notify the OLCC at least 15 days in advance of losing access to their licensed premises.

Additional rule modifications that effect all licensees include:

  • Clarifications regarding video surveillance and quality control samples;
  • A deadline change for daily reporting into the Cannabis Tracking System; and
  • An adjustment to the tracking of marijuana items transported around the state.

There are news rules for licensed marijuana producers regarding:

  • Canopy area designation; and
  • Providing proof of consent from the property owner for the location where the producer is growing their marijuana crop.

For producer, processor and wholesaler licensees there are new trade sample limits, and new THC concentration and testing limits for OLCC certified hemp growers and handlers (processors.)

Commission staff plan to release guidance and other communications to licensees and stakeholders before the new rules take effect February 1, 2020.

Additionally, the Commission approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions, license surrenders, or marijuana worker permit surrender based on stipulated settlements:

Nutritional High* will pay a fine of $4,950 OR serve a 30-day recreational marijuana processor license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Nutritional High (Oregon), LLC; NH Operations, LLC, Member; Nutritional High (Colorado), Inc., Member; David Posner, President; Adam Szweras, Secretary/Treasurer; NHII Holdings Ltd., Stockholder; Nutritional High International, Inc., Stockholder; Vernon Frazier, President.

Oregon Cannabis CO in Albany will pay a fine of $4,450 OR serve a 27-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for three violations.

Licensee is: Oregon Cannabis Co Rec, LLC; Colin Andries, Receiver; Michelle Gold, Member; Bert Gold, Member.

World Famous Top Shelf Cannabis in Brookings will pay a fine of $16,830 ANDserve a 32-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR serve a 134-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for eight violations.

Licensees are: Smart Choice Investments, LLC; Thomas Beckley, Member; David Grove, Member; Kevin Claussen, Member; Ryan Salas-Mitchell, Member.

Black Market Distribution* will pay a fine of $16,335 OR serve a 99-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for six violations.

Licensees are: Black Market Distribution, LLC; Aaron Mitchell, Managing Member.

Butte Creek Farms* will surrender its recreational marijuana producer license and each licensee agrees to accept a letter of reprimand for seven violations.

Licensees are: Butte Creek Ranch Farm 1801, LLC; Stephen Day, Jr., Member.

Oregon: OLCC Issues Marijuana Product Recall

Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend Pre-rolls Failed Pesticide Test 

Portland, OR — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is issuing an immediate health and safety advisory due to the identification of potentially unsafe pesticide residue on plant material used in a packaged retail marijuana product.  The product in question was cultivated by licensed marijuana producer Ard Ri and packaged for sale to retailers by licensed wholesaler DYME Distribution.

The affected marijuana flower failed its pesticide test, because it exceeded the acceptable level, known as the “action limit”, for the insecticide Imidacloprid*.  The flower was incorporated into pre-rolled joints marketed under the Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend; the strain name is Trap Star.

The impacted product (see above images) has a Unique Identification (UID) number of 1A4010300022859000015892.

The OLCC has locked down the product in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to prevent further distribution or sale to consumers.  The product was sold through nine OLCC licensed marijuana retailers around Oregon.  DYME distributed approximately 700 units of the contaminated pre-rolls; retailers have pulled the remaining 328 packages from their shelves.

Screenshot 2020-01-17 07.43.34The impacted Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Products were sold from December 17, 2019 through January 8, 2020 at the following licensed retailers:

  • Spark, 5103 NE Fremont Street, Portland
  • Ancient Remedies, 2350 State Street, Salem
  • Puff Oregon, 47700 NW Sunset Highway, Manning
  • Rogue River Herbal PMC, 510 East Main, Suite C, Rogue River
  • The Joint, 3270 Market Street NE, Salem
  • Stoney Only Clackamas, 10289 SE Highway 212, Clackamas
  • Tsunami Marijuana LLC, 36412 Highway 26, Seaside
  • Track Town Collective, 3675 Franklin Blvd., Eugene
  • Green Room, 2521 NW 9th Street, Corvallis

Initial test results for the source marijuana flower produced by Ard Ri was entered into CTS by PREE Laboratories in Corvallis on December 4, 2019; the test results indicated that both test samples failed.  PREE re-analyzed one of the samples, as allowed under marijuana testing rules, on December 11, 2019 and the sample passed.  However marijuana testing rules then require a second lab to re-sample and re-test the original product That verification test never took place.

Because of PREE Laboratories’ incorrect entry of test results into CTS the tracking system designated the marijuana flower as having passed its pesticide test.  Subsequently DYME Distribution packaged and distributed the contaminated marijuana as pre-rolled joints.

The OLCC detected the discrepancy January 6, 2020 when conducting a monthly audit on products that have failed pesticide tests at the point of origin – in this case the marijuana flower.  When the OLCC initiates an administrative hold of a product it automatically puts a hold on any product produced from the original flower.

OLCC is investigating both the contamination test failure, and the licensees’ use of CTS.

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.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture maintains a guide list for Pesticides and Cannabis that be found here.

*The Oregon Health Authority is responsible for establishing pesticide and solvent action levels for marijuana testing.

 

 

WSLCB Issues Emergency License Suspension For Herban Legends In Seattle

wslcbWASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued an emergency suspension and revocation of marijuana retailer “Herban Legends,” License No. 420291, located at 55 Bell St. Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121. The licensee has held a marijuana retail license since February 2016.

This emergency suspension follows complaints from employees, vendors, nearby businesses and Seattle Police Department (SPD) officials. Concerns include the licensee engaging in erratic and criminal behavior on the license premises. The substance of the complaints was validated by the WSLCB during onsite visits, interviews with complainants, and the SPD.

There have been several SPD-involved incidents at the license premises, including a Nov. 21, 2019 incident where SPD responded to a report that the licensee was throwing marijuana products and other merchandise into the parking lot and street of the license premises. Upon arrival, SPD confirmed marijuana products were on the ground outside the business and they were told by individuals in the parking lot that the owner was giving away product – a violation of state law. Over the past several weeks there have been additional law enforcement actions and arrests of the licensee.

Due to the public safety risk of the licensee being unable or unwilling to demonstrate that cannabis product is beings secured on the premises and entered into the state traceability system, the Board issued the emergency suspension. Because the license is held by a single individual, the legal oversight of the business cannot be temporarily assumed by another individual.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal in every way. The WSLCB issued one emergency suspension in 2017, four in 2018 and two in 2019.

Illegal Marijuana Sales & Other License Violations Prompt WSLCB To Issue Emergency License Suspension For The Smoke Shop In White Center

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) today issued a Board Order of Suspension for The Smoke Shop after an investigation found multiple violations of their state licenses and violations of state and federal drug laws. The suspension is for the licensee listed below:

The Smoke Shop: 9817 16th Ave SW, Seattle WA  98106

The suspension covers the licensee’s cigarette retailer, other tobacco product retailer, vapor product and beer/wine specialty licenses.

The suspension follows an investigation by the WSLCB and the King County Sheriff’s Office including onsite visits and several undercover sales of marijuana products. The licensee does not have a license to sell marijuana.

The licenses will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, after which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation due to the aggravating circumstances of the case.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.

OLCC Affirms Authority To Prohibit Marijuana Adulterants, Ban Vitamin E Acetate From Marijuana Vapes

OLCC logo

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on November 21, 2019, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission affirmed the OLCC’s existing authority to ban adulterants, such as Vitamin E acetate, from inclusion in marijuana products.  The Commission also approved eight marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Public health investigators with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have identified Vitamin E acetate as a potential culprit in the national vaping respiratory illness outbreak.  Forty-two people, including two in Oregon, have died from the illness.  More than 2,100 individuals have been afflicted with the lung injury, including 18 Oregonians.

Previously the OLCC had not expressly allowed or banned Vitamin E acetate from being mixed into marijuana vaping products.  Ingredients for marijuana products are already screened as part of the OLCC’s packaging and labeling pre-approval process.  The Commission’s action supports both the public health finding and the agency’s ability to ban Vitamin E acetate.

“We’re making it clear that to protect consumer health we will vigorously scrutinize what goes into marijuana products sold in Oregon’s legal marketplace,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.  “The Commission is taking steps with our regulatory partners to put in place additional consumer safeguards.  Just this week we discussed with the legislature establishing a state-run reference lab so that regulators can test marijuana products in an effort to better protect consumers.”

Under Oregon law, the OLCC can prohibit recreational marijuana licensees from selling a marijuana item that contains “injurious or adulterated” ingredients. See ORS 475B.232(2) for reference.

Under existing OLCC administrative rules “adulterated” is defined to mean in part “a foreign, inferior, poisonous or deleterious ingredient or substance that renders the marijuana item injurious to health.  See OAR 845-025-1015(2) for reference.  Based upon the CDC finding, the OLCC has determined that Vitamin E acetate is an adulterant.

Vitamin E acetate may continue to be included in non-inhaled marijuana products, such as lotions and edibles, so long as its introduction into those products meets all other OLCC requirements.

The Commission approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions, license surrenders, or marijuana worker permit surrender based on stipulated settlements:

Deshe’ in Gladstone will pay a fine of $4,950 and serve a 15-day marijuana retailer license suspension or serve a 45-day license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Emily Lumachi, President/Director/Stockholder; Jeremy Lumachi, Secretary/Director /Stockholder; Shane Hutchins, Director/Stockholder; Alan Hutchins, Director/Stockholder.

Decibel Farms* will pay a fine of $1,485 or serve a nine-day marijuana producer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Decibel Farms, Inc.; Shawn Bishop, President; Horace Wilson, Secretary

4-Twenty Market in Eugene will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license for two violations and the licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.

Licensee is: Seed Soil Sun, LLC; Kevin Blum, Member.

Gold River Botanicals in Rogue River will pay a fine of $6,600 or serve a 40-day marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Gold River Botanicals, LLC; Richard Porta, Member; Norma Porta, Member

Top Hill Cannabis* will pay a fine of $6,105 or serve a 37-day marijuana producer license suspension for five violations.

Licensees are: Top Hill Cannabis, LLC; Loni Schaffer, Member; Robert Schaffer, Member

Sweet Leaf Cannabis in Eugene will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license for six violations and the licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.

Licensee is: Sweet Leaf Cannabis of Eugene, LLC; Jeremy Wheeler, Member

Sweet Leaf Cannabis in Springfield will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license for seven violations and the licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.

Licensee is: Sweet Leaf Cannabis LLC; Jeremy Wheeler, Member

Heavy Lids will surrender its recreational marijuana producer license for nine violations and the licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.

Licensee is: Heavy Lids, LLC; Jeremy Wheeler, Member

 

Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board Extends Interim Packaging and Labeling Requirements

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) extended Board Interim Policies 5,7,8,9,10-2018 regarding Packaging and Labeling requirements to July 1, 2020.

The WSCLB began a rule development project on May 29, 2019 to redesign packaging and labeling rules (View CR-101 and Issue Paper). This comprehensive rule overhaul project, designed to reduce the complexity, and increase readability of the current rules, will  provide opportunities for licensees to offer comment and input throughout the rule development process, including “Listen and Learn” forums that allow for in-person feedback.  You can expect more communication in the coming months.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Seeks Input On Recreational Marijuana Regulations

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will hold several Rules Advisory Committees (RACs) beginning in late summer and continuing into this fall. The purpose of an advisory committee is to increase the public’s involvement in the drafting and development of administrative rules.

These meetings will focus on reviewing legislative changes made during the 2019 session and address other issues that have arisen within the licensed and regulated marijuana industry.

In order to fill the RACs, the Commission is asking licensees, partner agencies and businesses associated with the cannabis industry, to apply to be on the committees.

The Commission will use this recruitment process to obtain fresh perspectives on both the condition of the industry’s operating environment and the current state of the rules and regulatory process.

To apply to be considered for appointment to the committee please fill out this survey by August 1, 2019.

The Commission will review all responses and fill the membership of the committees in a manner that best represents the industry and reflects a wide range of perspectives on industry issues.

Following the completion of the committee work, the Commission will hold both a Public Hearing and provide a subsequent two-week comment period in order to acquire additional perspectives on the proposed changes considered by the committees.

Stakeholders and other interested parties will be notified about all committee and hearing dates, and the information will be published on the Commissions’ website.

Click here to apply for the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program RACs.

Washington: WSLCB Notice Of Rulemaking – Mandatory Marijuana Signage


WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board would like your input on the following proposed rules. Following the comment period, the board will hold at least one public hearing before the rules are adopted.

wslcbProposed rule making (CR-102)   Mandatory Marijuana Signage

Individual notices can be found at lcb.wa.gov/laws/laws-and-rules under Proposed Rules.

Public Comment
Please forward your comments to the Liquor and Cannabis Board by mail, e-mail, or fax by the date/s indicated below. Please be sure to indicate the rulemaking you are commenting on in the subject line.

Rules Coordinator 
Liquor and Cannabis Board 
P.O. Box 43080
Olympia, WA 98504-3080

Email: rules@lcb.wa.gov

Fax: (360) 664-9689

Public Hearing Location
Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board – Board Room
3000 Pacific Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98504

Alaska: Regulators Move Forward With On-Site Consumption Rules

ALASKA: State regulators have voted in favor of plans to permit on-site marijuana consumption at designated retailers.

Under the plan, licensed retailers could designate specific areas for on-site consumption by their customers. Customers would not be permitted to bring their own cannabis.

Retailers who wish to permit on-site consumption would need to apply for a special license from the state.

It is anticipated that state lawmakers may also weigh in on the issue in 2019.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at: (202) 483-5500.