OLCC Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

Commission Hears Testimony on National Vaping Illness Problem from Oregon Health Authority Expert

             OLCC

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on September 19, 2019 the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved three marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.  In addition the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) provided the Commission with an overview of the ongoing national respiratory illness outbreak and public health investigation that has been linked to nicotine and THC vaping products.

OHA is leading Oregon’s public health investigation into the outbreak which has identified four cases, including one fatality.  Dr. Richard Leman, chief medical officer in OHA’s Health Security, Preparedness and Response Program, told the Commission that doctors had been seeing cases of the respiratory illness linked to vaping since June 2019, with the first reports coming from physicians in the Midwest.

Leman said the symptoms associated with this outbreak are similar to other pulmonary illnesses, or lung diseases, such as pneumonia. Health investigators in Oregon are conducting case history interviews with medical experts who may have treated individuals with unexplained cases of lung disease, as well as interviewing the patients already identified as official cases.

Leman indicated that Oregon investigators are looking for common links in the Oregon cases and will continue to share their findings with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is spearheading the analysis of data provided from affected states to identify a common cause.

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

Firehouse Trading Co. in Eugene will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retail license suspension for one violation.
Licensees are: Firehouse Trading Co., LLC; David Coy, Member/Manager.

Next Generation Nurseries* will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.
Licensee is: Next Generation Nurseries, LLC; Karen Osovsky, Member.

Nuharvest* will surrender its producer license for four violations, and each licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.
Licensees are: Boundless Technology, LLC; Casey Nugent, Manager; Randall Elkins, Member; Boundless Technology, LLC (CA LLC), Member; Randall Elkins, Member.

 

OLCC Commission Acts On Marijuana Producer Application Deadlines

MJLegal

Temporary Rules Follow Passage of SB 218

Commission Also Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on August 15, 2019 the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved temporary rules setting timelines for processing marijuana producer applications, and also approved nine marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Senate Bill 218 directs OLCC to set timelines to process producer applications received prior to June 15, 2018, and directs OLCC to inactive producer applications received after June 15, 2018.  The temporary rules describes the timelines the Commission will impose on applicants to complete the application process, and describe what constitutes an incomplete application which will be inactivated.

The temporary rules also implement language from Senate Bill 218 that prohibits an applicant from changing the location or the ownership of a pending application, and define what constitutes a change of ownership.

The temporary rules become effective September 1, 2019 and expire December 31, 2019.  The Commission also directed its staff to initiate permanent rulemaking on producer application processing deadlines.

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

  • Bud Bros in Cave Junction will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retail license suspension for one violation. Licensees are: Bud Bros, LLC; David Scott, Member; Josh Scott, Member.
  • Ripped City* will pay a fine of $1,485 or serve a nine-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for one violation. Licensee is: SMW Agriculture, LLC; Stacey Kelley, Member.
  • Rose City Confections* will pay a fine of $10,000 and serve a 30-day suspension or serve a 60-day recreational marijuana processor license suspension for two violations.
  • Licensees are: MCTSA Management Corporation; Matthew Kimber, President/Stockholder; Trenton Mohwinkle, Secretary/Stockholder; Chris Tafoya, Stockholder; Anthony McNamer, Stockholder.
  • Ryan Biglione will surrender his Marijuana Worker Permit for three violations.
  • Bhombchelly’s Jelly’s* will surrender its processor license and its wholesale license for four violations, licensee will receive a letter of reprimand. Licensees are: Bella Caramella, LLC; Michelle Aver, Managing Member.
  • B&W Brother* will pay a fine of $12,540 and serve a two-day suspension orserve a 78-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations. Licensees are:  B&W Brother, LLC; Bob Tu, Member; Chaohui Wang, Member.
  • Canna Royal in Veneta will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer licensefor three violations and each licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.  Licensees are: Canna Royal, Inc.;Wesley Mathis, Pres/Stkholder.
  • Starseed Organics* will surrender its recreational marijuana license for six violations and each licensee will receive a letter of reprimand.  Licensees are:  Chez Day West, LLC; Stephen Day, Jr., Member.
  • XW Cultivation* will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.  Licensees are: XW Cultivation, LLC; Xing Wang, Member.

 

OLCC Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements Starts Rulemaking Process Triggered by Passage of 2019 Legislation

OLCC LogoOREGON: At its monthly meeting on June 20, 2019 the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved 12 marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements and started the rule-making process to include legislative statutory changes and rule changes to update marijuana program regulations.

During the 2019 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature has made adjustments to the Oregon Revised Statutes for Cannabis Regulation (ORS 475B).

The Commission has directed its staff to use rulemaking to address the statutory changes and incorporate technical issues that have arisen during the management of the marijuana program.  The 2019 Bill and Technical Amendments Package will enable staff to engage with stakeholders, establish rulemaking advisory committees (RACs), and hold public hearings.

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

Herbal Ally* will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Herbal Ally, Inc.; Michael Gonzales, Pres/Dir/Stockholder; Michelle Lovrich, VP/Director/Stockholder.

Green Cross Cannabis Emporium in Salem will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: TLC Medical, Inc., Patrick Todd, Pres/Sec/Dir/Stockholder; Shari Lowry, Stockholder.

Evio Labs Portland* will serve a 32-day recreational marijuana laboratory license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Greenhaus Analytical Labs, LLC; Evio, Inc., Member; Signal Bay, Inc., Stockholder; Henry Grimmett, President/Director; William Waldrop, Stockholder; Lori Glauser, Stockholder; Anthony Smith, Co-Licensee.

Breeze Botanicals Gold Hill in Gold Hill will pay a fine of $1,980 or serve a 12-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Sun Breeze, Inc.; Brie Malarkey, Pres/Dir/Stockholder; Jon Cunningham, Sec/Treas/Dir/Stckhldr.

Epoch Farm* will pay a fine of $3,795 or serve a 23-day recreational marijuana producer suspension for three license violations.

Licensees are: Epoch Farms, LLC;  S3 Investors, LLC, Member;  Ricardo Fontg, Member/Manager;  Chad Hansen, Member/Manager; West Coast Equity Holdings, LLC, Member; Patrick Dubbert, Member/Manager.

Mr. Nice Guy Retail in Coos Bay will pay a fine of $3,795 or serve a 23-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for three violations. 

Licensees are: MNG Holdings, LLC; Michael Ng, Member; Patrick Martin, Member.

Nectar/Applegate Valley Organics* will either pay a fine of $7,260 and serve a 21-day suspension or serve a 65-day suspension of their recreational marijuana producer license for four violations.

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

Rose City Buds and Flowers in Aloha surrenders its recreational marijuana retailer license and licensee will receive a letter of reprimand for four violations. 

Licensee is: Rose City Buds & Flowers, LLC; Dana Weihman, Member.

West Coast Cannabis* will pay a fine of $8,745 or serve a 53-day recreational marijuana suspension for four violations.

Licensees are: West Coast Cannabis Consortium, LLC; Christopher Roll, Member; Christopher Wytovicz, Member; Heidi Wytovicz, Member; Pamela Lovejoy, Member.

Oregrown* will pay a fine of $4,950and serve a 98-day recreational marijuana license producer suspension; or pay a $15,510 fine and serve a 34-day suspension for seven violations.

Licensee is: Pacific Enterprise Holdings, LLC; Oregrown Industries, Inc., Mng Member; Hunter Neubauer, President/Dir/Stkhldr; Kevin Hogan, Secretary/Dir/Stockholder; Tsiona Bitton, Director/Stockholder; Justin Crawn, Director/Stockholder.

Justin Crawn surrenders his marijuana worker permit for three permit violations.

Columbia River Herbals of The Dalles will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license and receive a letter of reprimand for one violation.

Licensee is: Columbia River Herbals, LLC; Norman Brock, Member

*The locations of OLCC marijuana producer, processor and wholesale licensees are exempt from public disclosure under Oregon law. 

A copy of the Stipulated Settlement Agreements for Marijuana Violation Cases can be found on the OLCC website, on the Laws & Rules page under the Final Orders section.

OLCC Denies Contested Marijuana Producer License

Commission Upholds Administrative Law Judge Finding

Also Approves Producer, Wholesaler Stipulated Settlements

OREGON:  At its monthly meeting on March 21, 2019 the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission accepted the findings of a State of Oregon Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and denied the application for a producer marijuana license by Earth People’s Garden, LLC.  All five of the attending commission members voted in favor of issuing a final order upholding the license denial.

OLCC LogoAn agency investigation determined that Steven Shirley, the managing member of the Earth People’s Garden provided false information to the Commission.  Shirley was required to take tests to obtain a Marijuana Worker Permit, and a test to show his proficiency with Metrc, the state’s Cannabis Tracking System.  Instead the investigation found, and the ALJ agreed, that another person took those tests, even though Shirley represented that he had been the test taker.

Shirley contested the recommendation by OLCC staff that his license application be rejected and requested a hearing through the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings.  Administrative hearings, which are closed to the general public, allow individuals and businesses to dispute state agency action against them.

After the Commission’s decision each Commissioner remarked that they made their decision to ensure the integrity of the licensing process and the regulatory system.  Commissioners stressed that legitimate cannabis businesses need to adhere to the law and follow OLCC rules.

“The Commission’s action reflects how serious it is about public safety in the legal recreational marijuana industry,” said Steven Marks, OLCC Executive Director.  “This is another example of the compliance work our agency undertakes every day to make sure that those people who don’t belong in this system aren’t a part of it.”

The Commission also approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions or license surrenders based on stipulated settlements:

Jefferson Packing House* will pay a fine of $825 or serve a five-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for one violation.
Licensees are Jefferson Packing House, LLC; Nightingale Industries, Inc., Member; Matthew Ochoa, President/Director/Stakeholder.

Self Made Cannabis Company (#B9DE)* will pay a fine of $7,260 or serve a 44-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.
Licensees are Self Made Farms, LLC; Steven Self, Member; Catherine Leathers, Member.

Self Made Cannabis Company (#8E65)* will pay a fine of $4,455 or serve a 27-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.
Licensees are Self Made Farms, LLC; Steven Self, Member; Catherine Leathers, Member.

Self Made Cannabis Company (#C0E7)* will pay a fine of $5,610 or serve a 34-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.
Licensees are Self Made Farms, LLC; Steven Self, Member; Catherine Leathers, Member.

*The locations of OLCC marijuana producer, processor and wholesale licensees are exempt from public disclosure under Oregon law. 

A copy of the Stipulated Settlement Agreements for Marijuana Violation Cases can be found on the OLCC website, on the Laws & Rules page under the Final Orders section.

OLCC Commissioners Adopt Marijuana Rule Changes, Adjustment For Current Hemp Producers & Processors

OLCC news

OLCC news

Commission Also Approves Stipulated Settlements for Recreational Marijuana Violations, Revokes Marijuana Worker Permit

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission at its December 20, 2018 meeting adopted changes in rules regulating recreational marijuana with a focus on tightening licensing and compliance requirements, providing licensees flexibility to conduct business, and improving access to medical marijuana for patients.

Under the rules change Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders or a designated caregiver will be allowed to purchase a larger amount of marijuana during a single transaction. In August 2018, after noticing suspicious purchase activity in the state’s Cannabis Tracking System, the OLCC reduced the daily purchase limit to one (1) ounce for OMMP cardholders.

The rule changes approved by the Commission take effect on December 28, 2018. Key elements of the rules changes include:

• Creating a denial basis for licensees who fail to complete the renewal process, and for license applicants found to have an unauthorized interest in a licensed business;

• Ending the issuance of new licenses to processors as alternating proprietors (shared kitchen) on the same licensed premises for applications received after January 1, 2019, but grandfathering all current processors in alternating proprietorships;

• Clarifying camera coverage for waste material and amending the penalty structure for violations based on the amount of missing camera footage and the number of offenses;

• Redefining the allowable shape of canopy areas a producer may have and including an allowance for producers to obtain a professional survey in lieu of the quadrilateral shape requirement;

• Allowing wholesale licensees to provide retailers with samples from product lines originating from multiple licensees; • Increasing trade sample amounts for cannabinoid products, and allowing licensees to share trade samples with employees as long as the transaction is tracked in the Cannabis Tracking System;

• Increasing medical patient purchase to eight (8) ounces of usable marijuana per day and no more than thirty-two (32) ounces per month; • Clarifying that a retailer can only sell a customer five (5) grams of an inhalant per day; and

• Allowing retailers to apply for the ability to deliver to patients and primary caregivers throughout the state, even in opt-out jurisdictions. The new rules can found here on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana website.

The Commission approved a temporary rule that enables industrial certificate holders (hemp producers and handlers [processors]) to continue to operate while the Commission completes its permanent hemp rule making. The OLCC issued industrial hemp certificates expire one year after issuance; some of the issued certificates were set to expire beginning in January 2019.

The Commission is set to complete permanent rule making for industrial hemp by the end of February 2019. The temporary industrial hemp rule takes effect on January 7, 2019.

The Commission also approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions based on stipulated settlements:

  • Positive Vibrations in Coos Bay, will pay a fine of $4,290 or serve a 26-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for four violations.
  • Greenway Ventures* will surrender its producer license for ten violations. In addition, the Commission accepted the findings of an Oregon administrative law judge upholding the revocation of a Marijuana Worker permit held by Donald Morse, and also upholding the issuance of a final order for a letter of reprimand for The Human Collective, a defunct licensed marijuana retailer, which Morse formerly co-operated.

A copy of the Stipulated Settlement Agreements for Marijuana Violation Cases can be found on the OLCC website, on the Laws & Rules page under the Final Orders section.

OLCC Commission Upholds Administrative Law Decision On Marijuana License Suspension

Approves Other Marijuana Licensees Stipulated Settlements Including Cancellation of Central Oregon Producer License 

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission today accepted the findings of an Oregon administrative law judge upholding the immediate temporary suspension of an OLCC licensed marijuana retailer in Benton County.  The OLCC temporarily suspended the license of the Corvallis Cannabis Club on June 15, 2018 after it became the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

The OLCC charged the licensees of the Corvallis Cannabis Club with five violations stemming from the OLCC’s investigation of the licensee after federal authorities executed a search warrant at the physical location of the business in June 2018. 

The State of Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings agreed with four of the OLCC’s charges against the Corvallis Cannabis Club.  The licensee, through its legal representative, appealed the administrative law judge’s decision to the Commission; the Commission decided to leave the temporary suspension in place.  

OLCC news

OLCC news

In other action the Commissioners of the OLCC approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions based on stipulated settlements:

Next Generation Nurseries will pay a fine of $1,815 or serve an 11-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for one violation.  The violation is for the licensee permitting activity which is unlawful under Oregon state law on the licensed premises or in areas adjacent to or outside the licensed premises under the control of the Licensee, when Licensee and/or its employees, agents, or representatives used water from well L-127622 for irrigation purposes without the benefit of a water right in violation of ORS 537.535(2), as determined in Water Resources Department Final Order dated January 16, 2018. Licensee is Next Generation Nurseries, LLC; Karen Osovsky, Member.

Strong Roots Farm will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for one violation.  The violation is for the licensee failing to keep surveillance recordings, except for back-up off-site recordings of the surveillance area, for a minimum of 90 days.  Licensee is Strong Roots Farm, LLC; Clemente Fierros, Managing Member; Leopoldo Ramos, Member.

High Cascade Farms of Bend will have its recreational marijuana producer license cancelled, for 13 violations. The first violation is for the licensee operating other than its license permits when Licensee and/or Licensee’s employees, agents or representatives sold, delivered, or transported marijuana items other than to the licensed premises of a marijuana processor, wholesaler, retailer, laboratory, non-profit dispensary, or research certificate holder.

The second violation is for the licensee and/or the licensee’s employees, agents, servants or representatives entering data into the METRC Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) that did not fully and transparently account for all inventory tracking activity, when the account for Licensee’s employee Andrew Heller was used to report that marijuana plants tagged 1A4010200013C06000000390 and 1A4010200013C06000000419 were destroyed due to pests, which were intentional misrepresentations in that these plant tags were recovered from a butane honey oil (BHO) explosion in a duplex at 3058 NE Weddell Street, Unit #2, Bend, Oregon on or about March 18, 2018.

The third violation is for the licensee and/or licensee’s employees, agents or representatives entered data into the METRC Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) that did not fully and transparently account for all inventory tracking activity, when the account for Licensee’s Employee Andrew Heller was used to report that marijuana plant tagged 1A4010200013C06000000081 was destroyed due to powdery mildew, which was an intentional misrepresentation in that the plant was found at the premises in the drying room on April 19, 2018.

The fourth violation is for the licensee and/or the licensee’s employees, agents or representatives intentionally destroying, damaging, altering, removing or concealing potential evidence, or attempting to do so, or asking or encouraging another person to do so, when they caused certain entries in the Visitors Log Book for the premises to be blacked out.

The fifth violation is for the licensee and/or the licensee’s employees, agents or representatives failing to disclose the interest in the licensed business of David Carl Paulsen, a person with an ownership interest in Licensee within the meaning of OAR 845-025-1045(3).

The sixth violation is for the licensee’s disclosed principals, Charles Ringo and Leonard Peverieri, signing and submitting to the Commission a Marijuana License Acknowledgement stating, inter alia, “I have reviewed all information submitted as part of the application including, but not limited to, information regarding … financial involvement in the business. All information submitted is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.” At the time, Ringo and/or Peverieri knew or should have known that David Carl Paulsen had an undisclosed ownership interest in Licensee within the meaning of OAR 845-025-1045(3), and/or an undisclosed financial interest in Licensee within the meaning of OAR 845-025-1015(23), and therefore the signing and submission of the Marijuana License Acknowledgement constitutes a false statement to the Commission.

The seventh violation is for the licensee and/or the licensee’s employees, agents or representatives entering data into CTS that did not fully and transparently account for all inventory tracking activity, with respect to approximately 268 unaccounted-for packages of cannabis seeds created in CTS on November 11, 2017, November 26, 2017, December 13, 2017, December 14, 2017, January 16, 2018, January 31, 2018, February 1, 2018, and February 2, 2018, which were reported in CTS as present on the premises as of April 19, 2018, but which in fact were not present on the premises as of that date.

The eighth violation is for the licensee and/or the licensee’s employees, agents or representatives entering data into CTS that did not fully and transparently account for all inventory tracking activity, with respect to mature marijuana plants, plastic totes containing useable marijuana, and bags of marijuana bud/flower found on the premises that were not entered into or tracked in CTS.

The ninth violation is for the licensee and/or licensee’s employees, agents or representatives failing to tag individual marijuana plants with CTS unique identification (UID) tags, with respect to several mature marijuana plants found on the premises that were not tagged with a CTS UID.

The tenth violation is for the licensee and/or licensee’s employees, agents or representatives failed to establish a marijuana cultivation batch in CTS that was found on the premises, and assign a CTS unique identification number to that cultivation batch.

The eleventh violation is for the licensee and/or licensee’s employees, agents or representatives failing to properly tag inventory with CTS UID tags, with respect to plastic totes of useable marijuana and bags of marijuana bud/flower found on the premises that were not tagged with CTS UIDs.

The twelfth violation is for the licensee failing to verify that its employee, Andrew Heller, held a valid marijuana worker permit issued by the Commission, before allowing him to participate at the licensed premises in the possession, production, propagation, processing, securing or selling of marijuana items, or the recording of the same, or the verification of identification in connection with selling or providing a marijuana item to a person, or the supervision of a person who performs any of these functions.

The thirteenth violation is for the licensee removing the suspension notice sign from the front door of the licensed premises.   Licensee is Byzantium Corp., Charles Ringo, President/Stockholder; Leonard Peverieri, Stockholder.

Coastal Growers; will pay a fine of $9,405 or serve a 57-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.  The first violation is for the licensee, whose license was issued or renewed after August 31, 2016, failing to keep surveillance recordings, except for back-up off-site recordings of the surveillance area, for a minimum of 90 days. 

The second violation is for the licensee and/or its employees, servants, agents or representatives failing to use Unique Identification (UID) tags issued by a Commission-approved vendor to tag individual marijuana plants with a UID tag at the sooner of when the plant reached a height of twenty-four inches or was identified as female, when it was found to be in possession of approximately 300 mature marijuana plants that did not have UID tags affixed to them, as well as approximately five mother plants in the cloning room that did not have UID tags affixed to them.  

The third violation is for the licensee and/or its employees, servants, agents or representatives failing to assign each cultivation batch a UID, when it was found to be in possession of approximately five batches of clones, each of which contained approximately 50 clones, which did not have UID numbers assigned to them. 

The fourth violation is for the licensee and/or its employees, servants, agents or representatives failing to have cameras that continuously recorded, 24 hours a day, in all areas where mature marijuana plants, immature marijuana plants, and usable marijuana may have been present on the licensed premises; and all points of ingress and egress to and from areas where mature marijuana plants, immature marijuana plants or usable marijuana were present, when its surveillance system was not operating. Licensee is Coastal Growers, LLC; John Ambrosini II, Managing Member; Michelle Ambrosini, Managing Member.

 

OLCC Executive Director Update On Marijuana Licensing

To our OLCC Recreational Marijuana Licensees:

Since the Oregon Liquor Control Commission began issuing recreational marijuana licenses in April 2016 applicant interest has never diminished.  You can see that reflected in the application data we publish on a daily basis.

Earlier this summer our agency placed a pause on processing applications.  Even before then the number of applications we had to get through was significant.  The surge of applications we received right before the pause took effect on June 15 just multiplied the numbers.

As a legal industry and as a regulated industry, the cannabis business is still immature.  It has only been three years since commercialized cannabis emerged as a legitimate economic activity in Oregon, and the laws and rules governing its production and distribution are still catching up.  

Since legalization, during every regular and short session of Oregon’s legislature, lawmakers have made changes – a tweak here, an adjustment there, a major modification somewhere else.  Then our agency’s rule making process follows (and the same for our sister agencies:  Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Department of Revenue.)  It’s a process that comes with a natural, systemic lag built into it.

The statutory and rules changes are improvements that will establish the long-term viability of Oregon’s cannabis industry.  Incorporating these changes into a dynamic licensing process has brought unintended consequences and unforeseen challenges.  Our ability to innovate our way out of this backlog is limited, but we continue to look for ways to improve and streamline our work in the near term, while developing systematic long term plans.

In the second half of 2017, when we began renewing the licenses of existing licensees, we determined that the time it takes to complete a renewal is equivalent to about 80 percent of the time it takes to process a new license application.  Again this can be attributed to the immaturity of OLCC processes and to the sudden confluence of an emerging industry suddenly buffeted by consolidation activity.  Regardless our agency did not build this amount of workload into our initial staffing or workforce models.  

The merger and acquisition activity in Oregon’s cannabis industry has led to frequent ownership changes and continuous business structure modifications.  Managing these changes is another staffing demand that often takes as much time as processing brand new applications.  The OLCC currently considers processing business structure changes to be part of the licensing fee licensees pay for, and we do not charge a separate fee for this work.  It is, however, one of many areas of uncompensated activity that is overwhelming the agency’s staff, which we are monitoring closely to ensure the agency is operating efficiently and effectively.

So in practical terms what does this mean right now for existing licensees and new applicants?  To handle the backlog of license renewals and business structure changes we’ve concentrated our staff resources to handle this activity; we have 11 investigators assigned to this work.  At our current pace renewals for 2017 and 2018 licensees will take approximately 12 months.  Business structure changes and ownership changes currently range from three to six months, depending on the complexity and volume.

Applications received by June 15, 2018, which currently total 2,210 are expected to take at least 12-14 months to process.  This timeframe may be longer for those new applications submitted just before OLCC’s pause went into effect (from June 1-15, 2018).  The OLCC has two investigators assigned to this work.  We will prioritize processing retailer, wholesaler, and processor applications ahead of producer applications.  Our logic is straightforward.  These application types take less time to process than producer applications which are more complex, and there are fewer of them to get through. 

In the meantime our agency has been assigned additional responsibilities, including incorporating larger medical marijuana grow sites into our Cannabis Tracking System, and expanding the entry points for hemp and hemp products to enter the OLCC regulated market.  Some of this work we’re doing with additional resources, while the rest of it is being absorbed by the agency’s existing workforce. 

The processing of applications may appear to be proceeding at a glacial pace but I can tell you our team is operating at capacity.  In addition to asking the legislature for additional staff to help with compliance and enforcement activity, we intend to seek more employees to support our marijuana licensing operations.  If we obtain those resources it would be late 2019 before that assistance arrives.

I don’t expect you find the information in this message surprising, but I hope it serves as a useful guidepost as you plan your business activity in the cannabis industry.

Sincerely,

Steven Marks

Executive Director, Oregon Liquor Control Commission

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Harvest Notification Rule

OREGON: The Commission is tasked with regulating the recreational market. One key task of regulation is to prevent diversion of marijuana into other markets. Staff has identified harvest as an opportunity for diversion and is seeking to adopt a notification requirement for outdoor growers. This would require outdoor growers to notify the Commission of five harvest dates 24-hours before the first planned harvest date. This notification will allow enforcement staff ample opportunity to monitor harvests and ensure compliance with pertinent laws and rules.

The Commission will be holding a Public Hearing to hear from interested parties on the proposed Harvest Notification rule.

After the hearing, you may submit written comments in person, by mail, by fax or by e-mail (see above for relevant contact information). However, all written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Harvest Notification – OAR 845-025-2090
Date and Time:  10:00 a.m., Friday, June 15, 2018
Location: Oregon Liquor Control Commission: 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222

Presiding Officer:  Bryant Haley
Phone: 503.872.5136
Fax: 503.872.5110
Email: bryant.haley@oregon.gov

 

 

OLCC Will Pause Acceptance of Marijuana License Applications

Focus Will Be on Existing Licensees and Current Applicants

OREGON:  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced today it will temporarily shift licensing staff to exclusively process recreational marijuana license renewals and applications for recreational marijuana licenses received by June 15, 2018 Any applications for recreational marijuana submitted after June 15 will be set aside for processing until the OLCC processes outstanding applications and renewals in the queue.  

Since April 2016, the OLCC has issued almost 1,900 recreational marijuana licenses and almost 29,000 marijuana worker permits. The pace of application submissions has not slowed, and as a result, the licensing application process timeline has lengthened.  The temporary suspension of new licenses reflects this extended review period currently experienced by applicants, and it will allow the OLCC to clear the application backlog and ensure ongoing oversight of the legal marijuana market.

“In order to ensure that the OLCC is fulfilling its regulatory duties and providing timely responses to businesses in the industry, we must focus on the current participants in the system and preserve for the Oregon Legislature its consideration of the necessity for further statutory controls on marijuana licensing in 2019,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The OLCC has deployed staff from across the agency several times since the start of licensing to handle spikes in license and worker permit application submissions. However, the occasional surges have turned into a steady stream of applications. Even with additional staff approved by the legislature, it is taking agency staff longer to work through license renewals and license location changes, and to approve changes to existing licensed premises.

In addition to processing new license applications, the OLCC is obligated to service its existing licensees through license renewals and changes in business structure filings.  The agency has learned during the first two years of licensing that it takes significant staff time and resources to complete marijuana license renewals.

Also, as a result of a change in Oregon law up to 2,000 (OMMP) grow sites are required to register with the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) by July 1, 2018.  The OLCC will be responsible for compliance auditing and inspection of these grow sites using CTS.

OLCC’s combined auditing of the state’s recreational and medical marijuana markets is expected to provide comprehensive oversight of legal cannabis production.  The OLCC is also putting additional resources into the field for compliance activity, with a focus targeting Oregon’s 2018 fall outdoor harvest.  

“Public and consumer safety are guiding priorities for the OLCC and our work with regulators, law enforcement, and the marijuana industry,” said Marks.  “The success of our regulated system will continue to rely on our cooperative effort to encourage legitimate participants in this system, while deterring and shutting down illegal activity.”

OLCC Commissioners Ratify Stipulated Settlement On Recreational Marijuana License

OREGON:  At its monthly meeting April 19, 2018, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission ratified the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions and destruction orders based on stipulated settlement:

Jenny’s Dispensary, Deschutes County; will pay a fine of $6,105 or serve a 37-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.  The first violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives failing to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days.

The second violation is for is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives failing to store marijuana items for sale in such a manner that the items were only accessible to authorized representatives until such time as the final sale to the consumer was completed.  Licensee is Jenny’s of Oregon, Inc.; David Rosen, President/Secretary.

CBD Oil; permitted its processor license to expire, accepted a Letter of Reprimand for the charged violations, and withdrew its request for a hearing for four violations.  The first violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives operated other than as its license permits by delivering marijuana items to or on an area that was not a licensed premises, and/or by selling, transferring, delivering, transporting, purchasing, or receiving marijuana items other than as provided in OAR 845-025-3215(1), when it sold, transferred, delivered and transported the product “Modern Medicinals CBD Oil,” a cannabinoid extract, to non-licensed retailers and entities including, without limitation, Mandala Medicine & Wellness in Portland, Oregon, and Salem Hypnosis Solutions in Salem, Oregon.

The second violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives intentionally failed to accurately enter data into the cannabis tracking system (CTS) that fully and transparently accounted for all inventory tracking activities, by adjusting the weight of packages in order to divert product out of the licensed system and elude the seed-to-sale CTS.

The third violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives failed to accurately enter data into the cannabis tracking system (CTS) that fully and transparently accounted for all inventory tracking activities, by failing to finish and create manifests for 32 packages in its CTS inventory that were not present on the licensed premises on October 24, 2017, and that licensee claimed to have shipped on October 23, 2017; by failing to discontinue packages in CTS that had no content; and by failing to account for at least seven missing packages that did have content according to CTS.

The fourth violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives distributed printed materials advertising its recreational marijuana product “CBD Oil” as having “comprehensive pain relief properties” and “medicinal effects” such as “relieves pain and inflammation,” “has antipsychotic effects,” “reduces anxiety,” “helps fight cancer,” “relieves nausea,” “may treat seizures and other neurological disorders,” and “promotes cardiovascular health.” On or about December 1, 2017, Licensee’s website claimed that its recreational marijuana product “CBD Oil” has curative or therapeutic effects in that it was stated to be highly effective in treating pain.

Licensee is Modern Medicinals, LLC; Jeffrey Hilber, Managing Member.

Medigreen Collective, Multnomah County; will surrender its retail license upon the transfer of ownership of the business for one violation, which was the licensee’s thirdCategory I violation within two years.

The violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives failing to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days.  Licensee agrees to accept a Letter of Reprimand for this violation.  This reprimand will become a permanent part of Licensee’s Commission file and may be considered in any future application for any license by Licensee.  Licensee is MTO Holdings, Inc., Luay Tomeka, President/Stockholder.