OLCC Streamlining Marijuana License Applications

Temporary Rule Changes

OREGON:  On October 15, 2020, the Commission adopted temporary rules intended to provide relief to the industry and allowing OLCC greater flexibility in the processing of marijuana license applications. The main changes implemented in these temporary rules are:

  • Revising the definition of who needs to be identified as an “applicant” for the license, including raising the threshold from the 10% to 20% ownership.
  • Changing license application requirements, including reducing the amount of information and documentation which was previously required.
  • Modifying when OLCC may request fingerprints for a background check to once per license year, rather than specifically in conjunction with a renewal application.
  • Applicants can change the location of their proposed licensed premises prior to licensure, except for Producers who are prohibited by law from making that type of change until January 2022.
  • Changes to notification and pre-approval requirements when licensees make changes to business structures or financial interests (see below).
  • Simplified paperwork requirements for Producer propagation endorsement and medically designated canopy registration.

In the coming months, the Commission will go through a permanent rulemaking process to finalize the rules, making adjustments based on feedback from the industry and other stakeholders. Anyone wanting to provide comment or input on proposed rules should subscribe to OLCC’s email updates to stay apprised of the most recent activities, including dates and deadlines for public comment.

 

License Application Streamlining

In light of the current licensing backlog, Commission staff have been developing a comprehensive strategy to improve the processing time frame for all licensing actions. The agency believes that implementing the flexibility afforded by this temporary rule package and making internal process adjustments will significantly reduce the time it takes staff to evaluate each license application. The goal is to make the entire licensing process more efficient, timely, and predictable.

There are three main features that characterize the agency’s new streamlined approach to licensing:

  1. Collecting fewer documents as part of the license application.
  2. Relying on the applicant’s attestation that they have provided complete and accurate information.
  3. Giving the applicant the responsibility for knowing and understanding the laws and rules around marijuana licenses, and ensuring that their business will comply with those rules.

As part of the streamlining process, OLCC will ask applicants to complete updated paperwork which aligns with the temporary rule. We recognize that many applicants have already filled out and submitted paperwork for the license application, but the new set of paperwork is straightforward and will significantly reduce the time it takes OLCC staff to evaluate the license application.

Under the streamlined licensing process, a complete application will typically include:

  • An Application Packet for the appropriate license type. These forms have been streamlined to collect the minimum necessary amount of information. They also now include attestations that OLCC staff will rely on to be accurate when determining whether a license can be issued.
  • A Marijuana Applicant Questionnaire, along with an Individual History form for each individual who qualifies as an “applicant” for the license. The Applicant Questionnaire replaces all of the business structure forms that OLCC has historically collected. OLCC license investigators will no longer routinely collect detailed paperwork describing the structure and ownership of the business and analyze that information to determine which individuals and legal entities are “applicants.” Instead, it is the responsibility of the business to completely and accurately identify all “applicants.” The investigation process will not routinely consider other persons with a “financial interest,” although OLCC retains the authority to do so if necessary.
  • A map or sketch of the proposed premises and a floor plan for any indoor areas. New Premises Map Instructions are available that identify what information needs to be included on the map and floor plan. OLCC staff will rely on the applicant’s attestation that the map and floor plan(s) are complete and accurate.
  • A Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS). This requirement has not changed. An application must include this form, signed by the local government where the proposed premises is located, showing that the proposed license type is not a prohibited use at the proposed premises.

OLCC staff will continue to evaluate each applicant’s relevant criminal history and their record of compliance when previously licensed before issuing a license.

If an applicant has previously submitted fingerprints for a background check with another marijuana license application, OLCC staff will use the results of that license investigation rather than having the person submit new fingerprints. If an applicant has not previously submitted fingerprints, they will need to do so before the application is assigned to a license investigator.

OLCC will continue to contact applicants to confirm that they are prepared to complete the licensing process within 60 days before assigning them to a license investigator. As part of this contact, OLCC staff will provide instructions for applicants to submit fingerprints.  Do not submit fingerprints until you have received these instructions from OLCC staff.

The licensing timelines established in OAR 845-025-1135 still apply:

  • An applicant must complete the application process within 60 calendar days of being contacted by their license investigator.
    • If an applicant does not complete the process in 60 days and has not previously been in a “hold” status, the OLCC will un-assign the application and place it on hold until the Commission is able to reassign it; the reassignment will NOT take place until after other applications have been processed. Due to the volume of other license actions waiting to be processed, there could be a significant wait time before the OLCC reassigns the application.
    • If an applicant does not complete the process in 60 days and has previously been in a “hold” status, the application will be deemed incomplete and inactivated.

 

Curaleaf Announces New Branding For All Connecticut Dispensary Locations

Curaleaf Brand Coming to Recently Acquired Arrow Alternative Care and Grassroots Dispensaries in GrotonHartfordMilford and Stamford

MASSACHUSETTS: Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the United States, announced new Curaleaf dispensary branding for all of the Company’s recently acquired Arrow Alternative Care and GR Companies, Inc. (“Grassroots”) dispensary locations in Connecticut. Curaleaf is the largest national retail dispensary brand in the U.S., and a premium mainstream cannabis brand available in 23 states as well as across a wide range of innovative products and form factors.

Joseph Lusardi, Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf, said: “Building on our market leading position in Connecticut, we’re pleased to bring the Curaleaf branding to all four of our local medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. The rebranding of these locations directly aligns with our strategy of building strong, national brands that are renowned for high-quality products, backed by science, that deliver exceptional customer satisfaction.  With our Curaleaf brand in health and wellness, and our Select brand ranked as the #1 cannabis oil brand, we remain focused on providing our products directly to an expanding range of Connecticut patients. Overall, we are extremely proud to be active partners within these local communities and we look forward to building long-lasting relationships with them.”

Curaleaf began cultivating and processing medical cannabis in Connecticut in 2014. Today, Curaleaf is one of four licensed growers in Connecticut and operates a 60,000 square foot cultivation facility in Simsbury that provides high-quality cannabis products to over 9,000 patients statewide through its four dispensaries as well as wholesale channels.

In April of 2020, Curaleaf achieved vertical integration in Connecticut with the completion of its acquisition of Arrows’ dispensaries in Harford, Milford and Stamford, three of the largest Connecticut metro-areas. Under Curaleaf’s branding strategy, all three former Arrow dispensaries have been rebranded as Curaleaf dispensaries. Strategically placed in key metro areas, Arrow established itself as a market leader in Connecticut, operating three out of the 18 total dispensaries in the state. The Hartford dispensary opened in 2016, followed by Milford in 2017 and the Stamford store opening to customers in January of 2020. Additionally, in July of 2020, Curaleaf successfully completed the acquisition of Grassroots, including the Grassroots Herbology dispensary located in Groton, which has also been rebranded as a Curaleaf dispensary.

Curaleaf’s Connecticut dispensaries offers a broad range of flower, extracted oil and edible products manufactured to meet the highest product quality and regulatory compliance standards. Connecticut recently added as a qualifying medical condition Chronic Pain of at least six months duration associated with a specified underlying chronic condition refractory to other treatment intervention, which has the potential to significantly expand the size of the addressable market. In June of 2020, Curaleaf expanded its line of Select brand products into Connecticut with Select Elite Live cartridges available at local medical dispensaries across the state. Select, America’s #1 cannabis oil brand, can be found in 14 states including ArizonaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFloridaMarylandMichiganNevadaNew YorkOhioOklahomaOregonMassachusetts, and Maine. As a recognized industry leader, Select is committed to meeting high quality control standards and testing transparency as well as delivering a smooth, flavorful experience with all products formulated with strain-specific terpenes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Curaleaf dispensaries have been deemed an essential service in many states, including Connecticut. Curaleaf continues to serve patients and customers while implementing heightened safety and hygienic measures including increased cleaning protocols, social distancing, mobile pre-ordering, and curbside pickup for at-risk populations.

For additional information about Curaleaf’s Connecticut dispensaries please visit https://ct.curaleaf.com/

NECANN Announces Largest Digital Cannabis Industry Event In The World

NECANN Online Debuts September 14-16

Three fall NECANN shows in VT, MA and NJ rescheduled to 2021

MASSACHUSETTS: The New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN) today announced it will host the largest Digital Cannabis Industry Event in the world September 14-16, while also rescheduling three fall conventions to new dates in 2021.

NECANN Online will feature over 500 exhibitors and 50-plus programming sessions covering all aspects of the industry. Participants will also receive a virtual swag bag and 2020 cannabis industry resource guide, and the all-digital event will feature live feeds from the 2020 New England Canna Community Awards Show and the NECANN Cannabis Competition Awards.

“As disappointed as we are to be moving three of our upcoming conventions into next year, we are incredibly excited to be presenting our exhibitors and attendees with NECANN Online, the largest and most content-packed digital event ever in the cannabis and hemp space”, said Marc Shepard, President of NECANN.

Programming will include four tracks running all three days, including expert speakers and panels from around the country speaking on technology & innovation, growing and extraction, business and careers, hemp, CBD, medical marijuana, and social justice & equity.

NECANN’s 2020 Burlington, VT, Springfield, MA and Atlantic City, NJ shows have been rescheduled to 2021. New dates are: May 29-30, 2021 for Burlington; June 19-20, 2021 for Springfield; and Sept. 10-11, 2021 for Atlantic City. NECANN’s 2020 conventions in Portland, ME, Chicago, IL and Boston, MA are still scheduled for respective dates in October, November and December.

“NECANN Online will feature much more than the virtual booths and webinars most shows present. We will have live awards shows, virtual gift bags and even a few surprise guests,” Shepard said.  In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the COVID 19 situation around the country and hope to be seeing everyone in-person again soon”.

 

NECANN 2020-21 Convention Schedule

NECANN ONLINE (Sep 14-16, 2020

 

Portland, Maine (October 17-18, 2020)

Chicago, IL (Nov. 20-21, 2020)

Boston, MA (Dec 10-12, 2020)

 

Burlington, VT (was Sept 29-27 2020), rescheduled to May 29-30, 2021

Springfield, MA (was Oct. 24-25, 2020), rescheduled to June 19-20, 2021

Atlantic City, NJ (was Sept 11-12, 2020), rescheduled to Sept 10-11, 2021

 

Oklahoma Mandatory Marijuana Products Testing To Begin July 1st

OKLAHOMA: Beginning July 1st, all marijuana product sold by a grower or processor will be required to be tested by an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) licensed laboratory.

The mandatory testing requirements were created by the Oklahoma Legislature and went into effect on Nov 1st, 2019. Since that time, the OMMA has been creating the rules and guidelines under the guidance of Laboratory Oversight Manager Lee Rhodes.

The OMMA has ten fully licensed laboratories in the state. There are many more in different stages of the licensing process. A fully licensed lab will have not only a license from OMMA but have been inspected by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Current requirements include:

  • Any dispensary customer may request the certificate of analysis from the dispensary. The document can be kept in either a paper or electronic format.
  • A processor or grower shall retain test results and related records for at least two years.

A list of the fully licensed labs can be found on the OMMA website.

Colorado Legal Cannabis By The Numbers 2/2020

COLORADO: Just how big is Colorado’s legal cannabis business?  Here are the official MED numbers, as of February, 2020.

2020 colorado cannabis nos

 

Medical Marijuana Business License Numbers:

  • 435 Centers
  • 462 Cultivations
  • 216 Infused Product Manufacturers
  • 11 Testing Facilities
  • 7 Operators
  • 7 Transporters
  • 1 Research and Development and Research Cultivation

 Retail Marijuana Businesses License Numbers:

  • 575 Stores
  • 680 Cultivations
  • 282 Product Manufacturers
  • 13 Testing Facilities
  •  9 Operators
  • 10 Transporters

Individual Licensees:

  • 1,712 Owners Licensees
  • 40,168 Employee Licensees

 

OLCC Commission Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on February 20, 2020, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved three marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements:

Slabtown in Portland will pay a fine of $5,280 AND serve a 32-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

  • Licensee is: Slabtown Proprietors, LLC; Portadelphia, LLC, Member; Albert Corrado, Member/Manager; Rose City Brands, LLC, Member; Troy Patterson, Member; CannaRefinery, LLC, Member; Alexandra lmholz, Member/Manager; Kyler Buck, Member/Manager.

Home Grown Apothecary in Portland will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license AND each licensee agrees to accept a letter of reprimand for three violations.

  • Licensees are: New Horizons Consultants, LLC; Randa Shahin, Member; Joshua Larkin, Member.

Oso Verde Farms* will pay a fine of $4,950 AND serve a 60-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR pay a fine of $9,900 for five violations.

  • Licensees are: Oso Verde, LLC; Britton Price, Managing Member; Kendra Freeman, Managing Member.

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 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

 

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Awards Dispensary Certificates Of Operation in Cincinnati, Maumee & Carroll

State_of_Ohio_Board_of_pharmacy_logo2COHIO:  The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today awarded Dispensary Certificates of Operation to the following entities:

  • Verilife, located at 5431 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati;
  • Bloom Medicinals, LLC, located at 1238 Conant St., Maumee; and
  • Ohio Provisions, located at 3560 Dolson Ct., Carroll.

The interactive map of Dispensaries with Certificates of Operation will be updated within the next 48 hours.

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Awards Dispensary Certificate Of Operation In Painesville Township

State_of_Ohio_Board_of_pharmacy_logo2C

OHIO: The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today awarded a Dispensary Certificate of Operation to Bloom Medicinals, LLC, located at 382 Blackbrook Rd., Painesville Township.

For a list of all Dispensary Certificates of Operation, please click here.