OLCC Approves Stipulated Settlements for Marijuana Licensees

Commissioners also approve restrictions for marijuana license applicant

OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on May 26, 2021, the Commission approved seven stipulated settlements for violations committed by recreational marijuana licensees. The Commission also approved restrictions on the applicant for a recreational marijuana producer license.

Commissioners ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):   

E BLOSSOM will pay a $6,150 fine AND serve a 23-day suspension OR serve a 60-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.

Licensee is: E Blossom, LLC; Ming Hui Bao, Member.

LF FARMS/LIVE FREE will surrender its marijuana producer license for three violations, on the date the transfer of ownership of the business is completed or on August 27, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensee is: LF Farms, LLC; Richard Lewman, President/Stockholder; Brian Lewman, Vice-President/Stockholder; Denise Flansburg, Secretary/Treasurer/Stockholder; Jason Flansburg, Director/Stockholder.

ARTIFACT EXTRACTS will surrender its marijuana processer license for six violations, on the date the transfer of ownership of the business is completed or on August 25, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensees are: IND Group, LLC; Peyton Palaio, Member; Mark Jennings, Member/Manager.

RIVER VALLEY REMEDIES in Eugene will surrender its marijuana retailer license for five violations, on the date the transfer of ownership of the business is completed or on August 25, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensees are: River Valley Remedies, LLC; Peyton Palaio, Member.

GENESIS PHARMS will pay a $12,045 fine OR serve a 73-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for three violations.

Licensee is: Compassionate Circles, LLC; Sean Beeman, Member; Kassy Beeman, Member.

ROGUE FARMER AT QUARTZ CREEK will pay a $8,580 fine OR serve a 52-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are: Rogue Farmer at Quartz Creek, LLC; Ryan Beyerlein, Member.

THE TRAVELING MEDICINE SHOW will surrender its marijuana producer license for two violations, on the date the transfer of ownership of the business is completed or on June 30, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensees are: The Traveling Medicine Show, LLC; Jacqueline Bixler-Wirkkala, Member.

Commissioners also approved restrictions to a recreational marijuana producer license for the applicants of JEF FARMS. The application included two individuals who did not have a good record of compliance as recreational marijuana licensees. The license restrictions require that those two individuals not have any involvement in the operation or management of the business, not act as employees or agents of the business, and not be on the licensed premises (producer site) at any time.

OLCC Commission Modifies Cannabis License Violations

Changes reflect industry maturation, OLCC regulatory evolution

Commissioners get glimpse of cannabis equity legislation impact on agency

OREGON:  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has taken additional action to ensure that recreational marijuana license violations better reflect the current cannabis regulatory environment compared to regulations put in place five years ago when the cannabis industry launched in Oregon. At its regular monthly meeting on April 8, 2021, the Commission also formally approved streamlining changes to processing marijuana licenses, an approach OLCC staff have already begun implementing.

In addition OLCC Commissioners learned about likely impacts affecting the agency if cannabis social equity legislation is approved by the Oregon legislature and signed into law by Governor Brown. Commissioners also approved three stipulated settlements for recreational marijuana license violations.

OLCC regulations approved in 2016, at the onset of adult-use cannabis in Oregon, aligned with guidance in the since rescinded U.S. Department of Justice Cole Memorandum, and served as appropriate guard rails for an emerging industry. The changes just approved by the Commission better reflect the regulatory oversight needed for a maturing industry.

Some of the changes assign a different category to a violation if the violation was unintentional instead of intentional. For instance, now if a surveillance camera fails licensees have more time to inform the OLCC about the problem. Another change eliminates the compounding effect of a single violation when a producer fails to notify the OLCC of a marijuana harvest; previously the OLCC assessed a separate violation each additional day the producer failed to tell regulators.

The Commission also ratified changes in the marijuana license application process designed to speed up approvals. Those changes include boosting the ownership threshold for an applicant from 10 to 20 percent, allowing more flexibility for approving business structure changes, and eliminating the pre-licensing inspection requirement prior to issuing a license.

Oregon House Bill 3112 redresses criminal and economic consequences suffered by Black, LatinX and Indigenous Oregonians related to cannabis criminalization. A member of the coalition supporting The Oregon Cannabis Equity Act outlined for Commissioners how the measure would create economic opportunity for previously disenfranchised populations by reducing regulatory costs, and establishing an equity license for individuals who have previous marijuana criminal convictions, or are from Black, LatinX or Indigenous groups.

HB 3112 would create two other license types: a delivery license and a social (on-premises) consumption license. The delivery license would allow deliveries outside the city or county of a delivery business’ location, and it would also allow delivery to a hotel, both activities that are currently prohibited.

Commissioners also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

NEBULA CANNABIS in Portland will pay a $1,155 fine OR serve a seven day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensee is: Haramkhor, LLC; Krishna Kumar, Member.

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS in Portland will pay a $5,280 fine OR serve a 32-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Alternative Solutions 1, Inc.; Donald VanWormer, President/Director/Stockholder; Brenda Lingle, Secretary/Director.

GRIZZILLA FARMS will surrender its marijuana producer license on the date the transfer of ownership of the business is completed or on July 30, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Licensees are: Grizzilla Farms, LLC; Mark Aguilar, Manager/Member.

Commission Starts Effort to Limit Unchecked Use of Delta-8-THC, Other Artificially-Derived Cannabinoids

Concern grows about easy access to intoxicants at neighborhood convenience stores

OREGON:  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has initiated rule making for Delta-8-THC and other psychoactive components of hemp and marijuana that currently fall outside the adult-use cannabis market’s system of testing and labeling. At their regular monthly meeting on March 18, 2021, Commissioners expressed concern about the general availability of this unregulated intoxicating product. The Commission also approved three stipulated settlements for violations committed by OLCC recreational marijuana licensees.

Delta-8-THC has recently emerged for sale nationwide, including in the supply chain of the OLCC recreational marijuana market, as well as in unregulated brick and mortar convenience stores and internet websites. Delta-8-THC is present in marijuana, but the OLCC only regulates Delta-9-THC produced in marijuana. When consumed by humans Delta-8-THC produces an effect (“high”) similar to Delta-9-THC.

Delta-8-THC can also be created from hemp, which is regulated under the federal Farm Bill of 2018. Typically, hemp-derived Delta-8-THC is converted from CBD through a chemical process, which also produces a large proportion – as high as 30 – 50% – of unknown byproducts. Delta-8-THC created from hemp can be found in food products and sprayed on hemp flower.

Delta-8-THC isn’t addressed in Oregon statutes, isn’t included in Oregon Health Authority marijuana concentration limits, and there’s no testing for the Delta-8-THC or the by-products included in its chemical conversion. But Delta-8 products are currently widely available for purchase outside the OLCC adult-use market, even by children.

“When this was brought to my attention alarm bells went off in my head,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair. “You have minors going into grocery stores and they understand very well what this is all about. And let me tell you, if there’s a way to find it, people will do it.”

OLCC’s proposed rule-making would only address the presence of Delta-8-THC and other artificially-derived cannabinoids in products grown, manufactured and sold in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market. But for OLCC and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to take effective action on total THC measurement and tamp down the availability of such products to minors, legislative action is required.

“We don’t have sufficient authority over total THC in Oregon,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “But until we get that and ability to do final product testing to help get these things into the right markets where they’re supposed to be, either in the unregulated hemp CBD market or into our market it’s going to be hard.”

Marks observed that all states are facing the issue of how to regulate Delta-8-THC, but that Oregon is at the forefront in addressing it. Regulatory gaps do remain surrounding the broader issue of intoxicating hemp cannabinoid products in the general marketplace that can be legally sold to minors, and who should be responsible for regulating those products.

“Unregulated hemp has no final product testing,” said Marks. “They only test for Delta-9 in the field. You can’t regulate what you don’t test for. We’re talking about two species of the same plant. And that means that federal and state regulators need to harmonize their oversight of this plant, and work towards across-the-board testing of marijuana and hemp products designed for human consumption before they enter the marketplace.”

The House General Government Committee of the Oregon Legislature is expected to take up the Delta-8-THC issue at a public hearing on Thursday, March 25, where it could consider legislation ensuring that all intoxicating THC products, properly tested and labeled, are sold within the OLCC regulated system and also ban the sale of currently non-regulated Delta-8-THC products to minors under age 21.

The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

STONEY ONLY PORTLAND will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer licenseon the date the sale/transfer of the business is completed, or by 12:00 PM on June 16, 2021, whichever is earlier for two violations.

Licensee is: Stoney Only Portland, LLC; Joseph Babb, Member; Ragna TenEyck, Member; Michael Mullins, Member.

HERB N’ SPRAWL will pay a $4,950 fine and serve a two-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR serve a 32-day license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Prairie Song Organics, LLC; Yotokko Kilpatrick, Member; Rick Saga, Member.

DEEP ROOTS CANNABIS in Springfield will pay a fine of $3,465  OR serve a 21-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Premier Concepts, LLC; Mary Jane Wilson, Member; Susie Polen, Member; Braden Smith, Manager.

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing

Marijuana Licensing Streamlining

March 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm

 

Presiding Officer:   Madeline Kane

Phone: 503-872-5081

Email: olcc.rulemaking@oregon.gov

 

To listen to or participate in this Public Hearing, please call: 1 (872) 240-
3311 and enter access code: 230-296-829#

Notice of Proposed Rule-making, including Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact

 

OREGON: OLCC has been inundated with applications for marijuana licenses. The growth of the industry and applicants willing to enter the market has overtaxed the agency’s resources for processing new applications and renewals of current licenses. This has created a queue that has impacted both new applicants and current licensees. For applicants, this has resulted in lengthier timeframes to be assigned which results in an increased financial burden to maintain property while waiting to operate a business. For current licensees, this impact delays their ability to adapt their business needs to industry change which results in a financial burden and in keeping pace with the burgeoning industry. Currently there are approximately 900 applications either being processed or waiting to be assigned.

 

The proposed changes address marijuana licensing process issues. This will provide relief for both licensees and OLCC resources so that OLCC will be able to integrate a more efficient process.

In order to offer oral comment, please email: OLCC.rulemaking@oregon.gov, no later than 12:00 pm on Monday, March 15, 2021. The hearing will end at 1:30 pm, if no interested parties have emailed to offer comment by 12:00 pm that morning; or 5 minutes after the last oral comment has been recorded into the record.

All written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021.

 

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Marijuana Violation Reclassification Package

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact

As the Recreational Marijuana program has grown and evolved, the Commission has endeavored to balance the needs and interests of licensees with public health and safety. The OLCC is committed to working with and educating licensees on compliance matters. The amendments in this package are a revision to the way compliance actions are administered. These permanent rules reclassify violations to better reflect the public health and safety risks, streamline processes for licensees and OLCC staff, and clarify consequences for failure to comply with particular rules.

 

March 16, 2021 @ 2:30 pm

Presiding Officer:   Madeline Kane

Phone: 503-872-5081

Email: olcc.rulemaking@oregon.gov

All written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021.

To listen to or participate in this Public Hearing, please call: 1 (786) 535-3211 and enter access code: 162-462-581#

 

 

Kaycha Announces Three New Labs In Massachusetts, Nevada & Oregon

With locations across the U.S., Kaycha Labs is establishing a national network of Cannabis and Hemp labs that provides essential product quality and safety information

FLORIDA: Kaycha Labs, a leader in Cannabis and Hemp testing technologies and methods, is adding three new states to its national network of labs. The company’s nine labs are in California, Colorado, Florida (Fort Lauderdale/Davie and Gainesville), Massachusetts, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

In recent weeks, Kaycha has acquired Evio Labs in Medford, Oregon, signed a definitive agreement to acquire DB Labs in anticipation of Clark County and Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board approvals, and received a provisional license to open and operate a lab in Natick, Massachusetts. Both the Oregon and Nevada labs were early entrants to their respective markets; Evio Labs Medford commenced operations in 2014 and DB Labs was organized in 2014 and operates its ~11,500-square-foot lab several blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip. The Massachusetts lab is a new build and is strategically located in Natick near major interstate highways within a couple hours driving time to all major customers.

James Horvath, CEO of Kaycha Labs, commented, “We know that the Cannabis industry is rapidly consolidating and that national Cannabis companies are working hard to build national brands. As they grow, we appreciate that there is a need for a testing partner who can provide and apply a uniform and consistent process.  Furthermore, all Kaycha labs will be equipped with back-up instrumentation so that client testing is not interrupted by an outage.” Chris Martinez, Kaycha Labs’ President, added, “We know clients value quality testing, fast turnaround times, and attractive pricing. And by adding to our network, we will be achieving even more scale, which will allow us to continue to lower our cost structure and pass these savings along to our clients.”

Guidance For OLCC Marijuana Licensees Impacted By Natural Disasters (Power Outages & Ice)

OREGON: Natural disasters throughout Oregon can affect us in a moment’s notice. Business owners should be aware of potential disasters and plan ahead. If you have lost power due to the recent storms, this message is to provide guidance on how to record and notify the OLCC of your situation.

It is important to remember your safety and the safety of others is the first and foremost importance.

Notification Requirements: Recording Sales & Transfers

Notification: Once you are able to connect to the internet, email the OLCC at marijuana@oregon.gov with the following information:

  • License number, outage times, address of your licensed premises so we are aware of the situation, and can track the regional impact.
  • For camera outages, please complete this form.

Sales: please keep a detailed log of all sales/transfers as required by 845-025-7500 (8) Seed-To-Sale Tracking — CTS Requirements so that you can update your CTS account once you have regained power.

Transfers: If you transferred product (refrigerated items) to another licensee, do not request it to be transferred back until your buildings and cameras are operational, and your licensed premises can function according to OLCC rules.

  • For example, if you are a producer planning to transfer product to another licensee, make sure you know how your product will be separated from the other licensee(s) and the care it will receive. It also may be helpful to have any terms or agreements in place prior to the actual emergency evacuation.

OLCC Rules Advisory Committee Meeting February 12, 2021

Marijuana Violation Reclassification Rules Package

OREGON: This past fall the Commission initiated permanent rulemaking to revise the way compliance actions are administered. The proposed amendments in this package clarify and reclassify current violation categories. The Commission’s proposed rule language that will be discussed can be found here:

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are holding Rules Advisory Committee meetings virtually. Please note that invited committee members and OLCC are the only persons allowed to participate in the discussion. Please be respectful and mute your phone.

To listen to the meeting, use the call-in information below:

Date and Time:       9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Friday, February 12, 2021

Location:                 Virtual

To listen to the meeting, dial: 1 (571) 317-3112; Access Code: 886-457-709

Oregon Cannabis Social Equity Bill Introduced

OREGON:  Repairing the harm from decades of inequity from the War on Drugs is the goal of the Cannabis Social Equity Act introduced this week by a coalition of legislators in the Oregon State Legislature. HB 3112 is the culmination of months of work led by former State Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spencer including numerous cannabis companies, the NuLeaf Project, the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, the City of Portland, Urban League, and law students from Willamette University.

“We came together with a common purpose – to undo and repair some of the harm caused by cannabis criminalization on Black, Indignenious and Latinx communities in Oregon,” said Rep. Lawrence Spence. “This legislation uses cannabis tax revenue to invest in Oregonians who have been unjustly targeted for decades by law enforcement, in an effort to repair some of the generational harm done to their communities.”

Chief sponsors of HB 3112 include Representatives Janelle Bynum, Ricki Ruiz, Mark Meek, Julie Fahey and Senators Lew Frederick and Kayse Jama. Current sponsors include Representatives Karin Power, Pam Marsh and Maxine Dexter.

Jeanette Ward Horton, executive director of NuLeaf Project, has been working with the coalition since its inception eight months ago. NuLeaf Project receives funding from City of Portland cannabis tax revenues and private donations to aid cannabis start up companies with funds, technical assistance and job placement/training.

“We’ve seen the harm to far too many families to not address this issue. Cannabis convictions bring challenges that ripple through families and cause hardship for the children of children whose parents were disproportionately arrested. The loss of jobs, education grants, housing and more that can all stem from a minor cannabis conviction have impacted communities of color for generations. Today Oregon has the chance to undo some of that harm,” said Ward-Horton.

The bill contains three major provisions:

  • Direct investment in cannabis businesses owned by Black, Indigenious, and Latina/o/x people, as well as people convicted of cannabis crimes. Creates investment in home and land ownership, job training, health care, education and other areas determined by the Cannabis Equity Board.
  • Free, automatic expungement of eligible cannabis criminal convictions paid for by cannabis tax revenues as needed. Previous legislation saw less than 200 of 28,000 eligible Oregonians successfully complete expungement.
  • Equity licenses for Black-, Indigenous-, and Latina/o/x  owned cannabis companies with reduced fees and modified requirements to initially qualify. Provides for funding of two OLCC positions to aid in the licensure process, and includes the addition of three license types beneficial for the small businesses owner.

Chief Sponsor and State Rep. Ricki Ruiz said fixing the expungement process is a critical piece of the legislation.

“Less than 200 out of 28,000 Oregonians eligible for expungement were able to successfully complete the process in the past two years. We need to do better,” said Ruiz. “This bill provides us the path and the funding we need to efficiently remove previous cannabis crimes from people’s records and provide them the opportunity to repair their lives from the harm caused by cannabis criminalization. It is a critical step toward restoring the health of these individuals and the communities where they reside.”

Gabe Parton Lee, General Counsel at Wyld, spearheaded the design of the automatic expungement process

“What we clearly see is that those left in the destructive wake of cannabis prohibition have been helped the least by cannabis legalization. Instead, we see a rapidly-growing industry that has largely left behind people and communities who disproportionately suffered under cannabis criminalization,” said Parton Lee, general counsel for Wyld. “We are advocating for the use of cannabis tax dollars to help correct some of these long standing issues of inequity and provide for direct investment into people and neighborhoods most impacted by cannabis prohibition.”

State Rep. Julie Fahey helped drive the creation of the bill when she passed legislation in 2019 calling for a work group to develop a cannabis social equity program.

“This effort has brought together a diverse group of advocates, business owners, and industry partners to develop one of the most comprehensive equity bills in the country – breaking down barriers for BIPOC Oregonians and investing in the communities most harmed by cannabis criminalization. The cannabis industry is a driver of economic opportunity for entrepreneurs in our state, and this bill will help ensure that those harmed by the war on drugs have access to those opportunities,” said Fahey.

A coalition of cannabis companies and trade groups including the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Industry Progress Association, and the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association have all united around this legislation as the key cannabis related bill for the 2021 session. Major sponsors include Groundworks industries, Wyld, Wana and Dutchie with dozens of other cannabis companies, law firms and others supporting the effort.

OLCC Rules Advisory Committee Meeting – February 3, 2021

Marijuana Licensing Streamlining

Rules Package

Oregon Liquor Control Commission News

This past fall the Commission implemented temporary rules to expedite and refine the recreational marijuana licensing process. The proposed amendments integrate a more efficient licensing process and reduce required documentation that must be submitted as part of a license application. Applicants will still be required to satisfy the same substantive requirements to receive a license. The Commission’s proposed rule language that will be discussed can be found here:

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are holding Rules Advisory Committee meetings virtually. Please note that invited committee members and OLCC are the only persons allowed to participate in the discussion. Please be respectful and mute your phone.

 

To listen to the meeting, use the call-in information below;

 

Date and Time:       9:30am – 12:30pm, Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Location:                 Virtual

 

To listen to the meeting, dial: 1 (408) 650-3123; Access Code: 740-951-661

 

For more information, contact:

Madeline Kane

Phone: 503-872-5081

Email: olcc.rulemaking@oregon.gov