Oregon Liquor Control Commission Releases Marijuana Policy Recommendations

OREGON:  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has released its recommendations for the policy that will guide regulation of recreational marijuana. 

The OLCC’s highest priority is making sure minors do not have access to marijuana.

“It is not age discrimination to enforce age restrictions against minors consuming alcohol,” the commission wrote in its recommendations. “The same should be made clear for enforcing marijuana age restrictions.

The OLCC has also decided to clarify the definition of marijuana leaves saying, leaves are “everything that is not florae or immature plant.”

Oregon Marijuana Hearing Packs Chamber

OREGON:  About 500 residents had differing opinions Tuesday night about what rules state officials should write to regulate recreational marijuana.

They did, however, agree on one thing: Make sure out-of-state interests don’t put out of business the small local growers, processors and retailers whom the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin ­licensing next year.

Residents overwhelmingly supported a rule that applicants must be an Oregon resident to receive an OLCC marijuana license. And they cautioned the agency against writing so many rules that it prevents local entrepreneurs from entering the fledging industry.

“Too many rules will kill the family farmer,” one speaker said.


Marijuana Listening Tour: Oregon Liquor Control Commission Announces Two Stops In Eastern Oregon

OREGON:  The day after Oregon voters said yes to legalized marijuana last fall, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission chairman pledged to hit the road to hear what Oregonians have to say about what the industry should look like.

The agency is still pinning down dates and location for seven of the nine stops in the statewide “listening tour,” but the first two are already set: Baker City and Pendleton.

The liquor control commission will hold a meeting at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at the Baker City Armory, 1740 Campbell St. It will meet at 7 p.m. that day at the Pendleton Convention Center, 1601 Westgate St.

Future stops are planned in Eugene, Bend, Salem, Portland, Ashland, Klamath Falls and the Oregon Coast. The details of those stops are still being worked out, said Karynn Fish, a spokeswoman for marijuana programs at the liquor control commission.


Ginny Burdick And Ann Lininger Will Co-Chair Marijuana Committee In Oregon Legislature

OREGON:  Veteran state Sen. Ginny Burdick of Portland and freshman Rep. Ann Lininger of Lake Oswego will co-chair a joint legislative committee overseeing implementation of the new voter-approved law legalizing marijuana, House and Senate leaders announced Thursday.

The two Democrats will be in the middle of a broad array of pot-related issues coming before the committee, including whether to make any changes to Measure 91 — which was approved by voters in November.  Also, the panel will consider what kind of direction lawmakers will give to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the production and sale of the drug for recreational purposes.

Some legislators have already said they want tighter restrictions on where stores can be located and on marijuana-infused edibles.  One senator suggested this week that the medical marijuana program should be shut down after retail sales start.

Burdick has chaired the Senate Revenue Committee since 2007, giving her expertise in tax issues, which will also likely be part of the marijuana debate next year.  The League of Oregon Cities plans to ask legislators to allow local taxes on the marijuana, which is likely to run into strong resistance from Measure 91 supporters who want to keep taxes relatively low in hopes of swaying consumers away from the black market.


Marijuana Legalization: Some Oregon Legislators Interested In Changing Law Approved By Voters

OREGON:  Oregon legislators took their first action Wednesday on the state’s new marijuana law — approving $583,000 to hire state regulators — as several seemed eager to dive in and rewrite sections of the initiative.

Ideas expressed during a legislative Emergency Board meeting ranged from keeping pot stores away from day-care centers to simply abolishing the medical marijuana program and shifting all users to the new retail market.

In the end, legislators may be more cautious about fiddling too much with an initiative that passed with support from 56 percent of voters.

But even the strongest supporters of Measure 91 said they expect the Legislature to pass some kind of bill giving the Oregon Liquor Control Commission further directions on how to regulate the marijuana market when retail sales start in 2016.

Marijuana Growers Prepare For Next Legislative Session And Rule-Making For Recreational Market

OREGON:  A month after Oregon voters said yes to regulating the production and sale of marijuana, one thing is clear: the state’s marijuana growers are getting organized.

They’ve got a political action committee and hired lawyers and a lobbyist. They’re meeting regularly to talk about the upcoming session of the Oregon Legislature and how to make sure they get their message across to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the agency charged with implementing the new marijuana law.

Early Wednesday, about 30 medical marijuana growers and cannabis concentrates producers crowded into a U.S. Bancorp Tower with a view of the Willamette River to talk shop and policy. The group included cannabis producers from across the state, including outdoor marijuana growers from southern Oregon.

The group, formed by Portland criminal defense lawyer Amy Margolis, is part of the Oregon Growers PAC, a political action committee formed to influence statewide marijuana policy.


Edible Pot, Packaging Concern Lawmakers

OREGON:  Lawmakers asked lots of questions about Oregon’s new legal pot law during last week’s first legislative committee meeting since voters approved Measure 91.

Starting July 1, 2015, adults 21 and older can possess cannabis for personal use. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin accepting applications for retailers in early 2016.

The agency has a lot of work to complete before then, and it was clear during the Nov. 19 hearing that two areas where OLCC employees and lawmakers will focus their attention are marijuana product packaging and regulation of edible products.

OLCC employees presented an outline of issues they have authority to regulate under Measure 91, and anticipated costs and staff needs to begin regulating marijuana.


Oregon Lawmakers Take First Look At Implementing Marijuana Law

OREGON:  By the end of a legislative meeting with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Wednesday, one thing was clear to the lawmakers involved: There is a lot of work to be done before recreational marijuana sales start in January 2016.

“The seed has just been planted,” Rep. Margret Doherty, D-Tigard, said.

Oregon voters approved the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana 56 percent to 44 percent this November, but the ballot initiative’s 36 pages left a lot of the regulatory details up to the OLCC to figure out by January 2016.

That’s left some of the state’s lawmakers wondering whether they should step in during the 2015 legislative session to modify the law or create additional statutory requirements.


Recreational Marijuana Qualifies For Oregon Ballot

OREGON:  Oregon voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use after state elections officials on Tuesday said the measure qualified for the November ballot.

The measure would allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess marijuana and would give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the job of regulating and taxing the drug.

Voters rejected a legalization measure two years ago, but little money was spent promoting it. By contrast, New Approach Oregon, the group behind the initiative, has received contributions from some of the same donors who backed successful marijuana initiatives in Washington and Colorado.

The group submitted roughly 88,500 valid signatures — about 1,400 more than required, election workers said.

“We will ensure that all voters are aware that this is a completely different measure than the measure in 2012,” said Anthony Johnson, director of New Approach Oregon. “This measure is much more regulated and restrictive, and we’ve taken the best from Colorado and Washington and believe that Oregonians are ready to pass a well-regulated measure such as this one.”