Oregon Liquor Control Commission Seeks Input On Recreational Marijuana Regulations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aphria Selects Great North Distributors For Canadian Distribution Of Adult-Use Cannabis

CANADA: Aphria and Great North Distributors, a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, have signed an agreement for Great North Distributors to serve as exclusive manufacturer’s representative for Aphria’s adult-use cannabis products throughout Canada, following the legalization of recreational cannabis for adult-use anticipated later this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, Great North Distributors will be Aphria’s exclusive cannabis representative in Canada. The first-of-its kind deal gives Aphria 100% coverage of all cannabis retailers, whether provincially or privately operated, across Canada from the first day of legal adult-use sales.

“With this agreement, Aphria has established an unparalleled sales network, and will hit the ground running from the very first day of legal adult-use sales,” said Jakob Ripshtein, Chief Commercial Officer of Aphria. “Great North Distributors provides us with an experienced, dedicated team with a proven track record of driving sales and exceptional performance across all provinces. This deal will ensure that Aphria’s brands and products are proudly represented by cannabis retailers throughout the country.”

As a subsidiary of Southern Glazer’s, North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, Great North Distributors has reach across every province across Canada, including established relationships and expertise in working with provincially owned and operated retailers and private retailers alike. Great North Distributors will establish a dedicated cannabis sales team that will be responsible for acting as the selling agent of Aphria’s broad portfolio of adult-use cannabis brands and products to provincial retailers throughout Canada, from the most populated cities to the most remote locations.

What You Need To Know About The Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Program

By The Marijuana License

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission just released the latest information on what rules and regulations business-owners can expect when the recreational marijuana program launches in July of 2018.

Here’s where the marijuana industry currently stands in Massachusetts: medical marijuana is legal and available for purchase for patients who register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program. Meanwhile, even though the legalization of recreational marijuana was approved in November of 2016 the program is still months away from becoming a reality with marijuana business license applications expected to become available in July 2018. However, we just got a sneak peek into what the state’s future recreational marijuana program will look like thanks to the completion of public policy discussions held by the Cannabis Control Commission.

The discussions defined 5 main areas of recreational marijuana business licensing and operations: fees, inventory and record-keeping, business types, inspections and fines, and cash and banking.

Business Types

The state of Massachusetts will recognize and offer licenses to a whopping 11 types of recreational marijuana business:

  • Cultivation – Grows marijuana plants for sale to licensed manufacturers or retailers. Licenses are tiered based on the square footage of the cultivated area.
  • Craft Marijuana Cooperative
  • Microbusiness License – Microbusinesses operate on a smaller scale in terms of square footage and revenue and are able to participate in multiple areas of business without having to apply for separate licenses.
  • Manufacturing – Creates preparations, tinctures, concentrates and other forms of manufactured marijuana products for sale to licensed retail establishments
  • Independent Lab – Can test marijuana products for contaminants and concentration of THC and CBD
  • Retail – The state will offer separate licenses for brick & mortar stores with a physical location and stores that only offer delivery of recreational marijuana. Retailers can only sell marijuana products to the end consumer and customers must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Transporter – Transport marijuana plants or manufactured products for other licensed marijuana businesses
  • Research – Test marijuana products for scientific purposes
  • Social Consumption – Establishments that allow the consumption of recreational marijuana on their premises. The state will offer separate licenses to businesses that only allow the consumption of marijuana and those that offer mixed use. “Mixed use” has not been defined yet but may refer to food and non-alcoholic beverages. Smoking of marijuana within social consumption establishments will not be allowed.

Application and Licensing Fees

The state has set a flat application fee of $300 for all business types with the exception of Cultivation. Application fees for cultivators is tiered with Tier I through Tier IV applicants paying $100, $250, $400 and $600 respectively.

The state will also impose the following annual licensing fees on all businesses:

Cultivation:

Tier I $1000

Tier II $2,500

Tier III $4,000

Tier IV $5,000

Craft Marijuana Cooperative: The same as Cultivation licensing fees

Microbusiness: $1,250

Manufacturing: $5,000

Independent Lab: $5,000

Retail: $5,000 (brick and mortar) $2,500 (delivery)

Transporter: $5,000

Research: $1,000

Social Consumption: $5,000 for primary use and a sliding scale for mixed use.

Inventory & Record Keeping

Licensed marijuana cultivators will be required to carry out a monthly inventory of plants they are currently cultivating and marijuana that has been stored. An additional annual inventory will be required that is comprehensive. Inventories must include the date they were performed, signatures from all who participated in the inventory and a summary of what was found.

All establishments will be required to implement a seed-to-sale tracking method and any business that cultivates, processes or sells marijuana for both medical and recreational use must have separate tracking of both classes of product.

Business must also keep historical records of their operating procedures, vendor training completion, background check reports, inventory records, personnel records, policies and procedures, staffing plans and the seed-to-sale tracking records.

Inspections and Fines

The commission decided to apply the same rules for inspections and penalties that are currently enforced for medical marijuana businesses. Methods for inspection may include random purchases made at retail by inspectors and the filing of complaints by employees and consumers. The commission will make use of license suspensions, sales limitations, quarantines and cease and desist orders to ensure compliance with regulations.

The framework for fines was also established, borrowing from the regulations applied to other industries in Massachusetts. Each incident can only incur up to a maximum fine of $25,000 and the fine can only be imposed upon the licensed entity rather than an individual. Written notice of fines must be provided as well as an option to appeal the fine.

Cash and Banking

Marijuana businesses have met major obstacles in trying to move their revenue legally through the banking system, often paying exorbitant fees for services. Massachusetts is proactively trying to improve this situation with two major actions.

First the state government will create its own agreement with state banks to allow retail establishments to make cash deposits electronically. Meanwhile, paying tax revenues to the state will also be made easier with the installation of new cash-handling machines placed across the state. These will allow businesses to deposit directly to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at secure locations.

These policies have not yet been made official. The commission expects to have a final vote by the end of December 2017 before filing them as Draft Regulations.


The Marijuana License is a non-profit informational resource for patients and business-owners across the country looking to obtain a medical marijuana card or marijuana business license. It maintains an up-to-date database for each state.

Nevada: Lawmakers Moving Forward With Expedited Plan For Adult Use Marijuana Sales

NEVADA: State officials are holding firm on an expedited plan to begin adult use marijuana sales in July, despite comments from the Trump administration indicating a forthcoming crackdown in states that regulate its commercial production and sale.

Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Associated Press that the agency is “moving forward” with plans to permit retail cannabis sales by this summer.

Fifty-five percent of voters in November approved Question 2, which legalized the adult use and possession of personal use quantities of marijuana on January 1, 2017. Separate provisions in the voter-initiated law call on regulators to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults by next year. However, state regulators announced in early February their intention to fast-track retail sales by permitting licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis to non-patients starting July 1.

The move by Nevada officials stands in sharp contrast to those of lawmakers in other states, such as Maine and Massachusetts, where politicians in recent weeks have enacted legislation delaying the implementation of retail cannabis sales. In California, where voters in November passed a similar initiative, lawmakers have also hinted at potentially delaying retail marijuana sales until after the law’s intended January 1, 2018 deadline.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration is likely to engage in “greater” efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized its adult use. Since then, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has falsely alleged that statewide marijuana regulatory schemes are associated with increases in incidences of violent crime, and told a gathering of state Attorney Generals, “[W]e don’t need to be legalizing marijuana.”

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, or Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Oregon Health Authority To Change Testing Standards For Marijuana Products

OREGON:  The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced today it is modifying testing standards for medical and recreational marijuana products with new, temporary rules that balance testing costs for the marijuana industry with public health protection for consumers.

Governor Kate Brown requested agencies to develop the temporary rules so producers and processors can test fewer samples, which is expected to lower costs and create a more efficient process. The temporary rules take effect Friday, Dec. 2.
OHA is responsible for adopting testing standards for marijuana products that are necessary to protect public health and safety. These standards must take into account how the costs of testing will affect the cost to marijuana consumers.
Highlights of the temporary rules:
Replaces process validation with control study
  • ​Cuts three process validation tests to one control study.
  • A processor with a process lot that passes one control study can combine samples into one composite sample, plus a field duplicate for testing, for one year, unless the manufacturing of the product changes.
Removes alcohol-based solvents from testing requirement
  • Butanol, propanol and ethanol are removed from solvent analyte list.
Combines some batches for testing
  • Samples from multiple batches may be combined for the purposes of testing for THC and CBD if the batches are the same strain.
  • Samples from multiple batches, even if different strains, may be combined for the purposes of testing for pesticides if the total weight of the batches does not exceed 10 pounds.
Changes variance for potency testing of edibles
  • Increases the amount of homogeneity variance in edible products to plus five percent (+ 5%).
Changes labeling for potency
  • The THC and CDB amount required to be on a label must be within plus or minus five percent of the value calculated by the laboratory.
Since OHA permanent testing rules became enforceable on Oct. 1, 2016, the marijuana industry has reported to regulating authorities that testing costs are driving up consumer prices, creating product shortages, and causing some processors to temporarily cease operations and furlough employees.
“The Governor has been clear about the importance of the marijuana industry to Oregon’s economy,” said Jeff Rhoades, marijuana policy adviser, Office of Governor Kate Brown. “This approach keeps Oregonians employed, prevents marijuana product from slipping back into the illegal market, and continues to protect public health and safety.”
Oregon labs have notified OHA of a total of 307 samples taken from marijuana products—from dried flower to extracts—that failed for either pesticides, solvents or both since Oct. 1, 2016.
Andre Ourso, manager of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program at OHA, says he’s confident the temporary emergency rules will immediately alleviate some of the regulatory burden on the industry while still ensuring that cannabis is reasonably safe for consumers and patients.
“OHA understood the difficult situation that cannabis producers and growers were in with regard to the authority’s Oct 1. testing regulations,” Ourso said. “OHA looks forward to working with the Governor’s Office and its sister agencies in developing permanent testing rules in the near future that protect the public from harmful substances, such as illegal pesticides, yet allow for the cannabis industry to succeed in a robust regulatory environment.”

FutureLand Signs Deal To Purchase 49% of Active Cannabis Grow License in Oregon

OREGON: FutureLand Corp, a leading provider of strategic real estate investment, grow facilities and material solutions to the global cannabis industry, announced today that its subsidiary, FutureLand Oregon LLC, has agreed to purchase 49% ownership in Groovy Groves, LLC, an Oregon recreational cannabis license holder.

Cameron Cox, CEO of FutureLand Corp., said, “This has always made a lot sense to me as we have another site only about 10 miles away with the same partners. So, I’m very happy about this deal. Currently the company has 70+- lbs. curing on the site and ready to be sold from the previous crop worth somewhere between $120,000-$140,000. Getting this license is very strong for FUTL because it finally allows us to begin booking revenue, and I know the shareholders have been waiting for this for a long time. It also puts us in a fairly unique position where, if I’m not mistaken, we may well be the first public company to have a license in the recreational grow market in the entire United States of America. So, this is big news!”

The license is currently a Tier II grow license which allows 40,000 sq. ft. of outdoor grow. This means that we can have 40,000 sq. ft. of flowering plants at any one time. Which also means the company can be vegging and cloning separate from that designated flowering space which gives us a fantastic opportunity to cycle a large amount of marijuana throughout the year. FutureLand will pay $100,000 dollars in stock (10,000,000 shares), based upon the closing price of the company’s common stock on Nov. 14th, 2016, to John C. Miller for his 49% of the Groovy Groves, LLC license.

The company will begin the process of transferring the license immediately which could take a few weeks to accomplish as background checks via fingerprints and the like need to be taken and approved. Once this is completed, the shares will be issued to Mr. Miller and the company will make plans to sell the product to local dispensaries as well as getting various parts of its team up to speed on the seed to sale tracking classes available in Medford, Oregon. In the future, we may modify the license to be either a hybrid of greenhouse and outdoor or simply construct a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse for the flowering product. In the end this will likely lift revenues as there won’t be seasonal limitations on growing. Right now we are expecting 2017 revenues on this site to be in the neighborhood of $3,000,000-$4,000,000.

WeedTraQR Seed-to-Sale Software Certified For Oregon

WASHINGTON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has approved WeedTraQR cannabis seed-‐to‐sale tracking software as a validate software provider for Oregon’s recreational marijuana program. The Seattle-based company has developed a platform that is compatible for integration with Oregon’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to meet the inventory traceability needs of the state’s producer, processor, wholesaler, and research.

Operational for over two years in neighboring Washington, with a rapidly expanding roster of clients, WeedTraQR lends proven expertise and hard‐earned credibility to Oregon’s fledgling system. WeedTraQR’s software will allow recreational cannabis producers, processors, and wholesalers to electronically transmit complete and accurate inventory and sales data into the state’s mandatory CTS, saving time and reducing the risk of error.

All OLCC recreational marijuana licensees must participate in Oregon’s CTS; they can choose an approved third-party provider to integrate company sales and inventory data with the state’s system. One of only four providers validated for use by producers and processors, WeedTraQR pragmatically solves the inventory‐tracking requirement in this early industry stage, turning traceability from burden to competitive advantage by supplying clients with data analytics and other operational resources.

WeedTraQR claims to be the first ‘meta’ traceability software, reporting to the CTS in both Washington (BioTrackTHC) and Oregon (Metrc), making it an appealing option for companies with national aspirations and for those who currently license products in multiple states who want a consistent interface for all facilities.

Touted by Washington’s recreational industry as the easiest‐to‐use, most efficient and responsive inventory platform in the cannabis space, WeedTraQR will focus on producers and processors in Oregon and will also support wholesale and research licensees.

“We like that we’re taking  a platform agnostic, commodity equipment, agile SaaS model to the cannabis industry. It’s a major advantage to be able to run your grow or processing facility traceability from any mobile device, like a tablet or your smart phone, ”  said company co-founder Eric Ogden.  “We’re technology disruptors. We’re unique in that we’re aligned  with the industry first, while providing competent  and reliable governmental support and reporting.”

OLCC Adopts Temporary Rules For Retail Marijuana Sales

OREGON:  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission voted to accept temporary rules that will govern Oregon’s retail marijuana system once it’s fully operational next year.

The rules would limit the size of growing operations and prohibit medical and recreational stores under one roof. The on-site use of marijuana would be prohibited, and delivery of pot would face stiff restrictions.

The rules will be in effect from Jan. 1 to June 28, 2016.

Opinions: Stigma Remains In Las Vegas Young Cannabis Scene

By Sue Vorenberg
Cannabis Daily Record

NEVADA: I’ll admit it. As a gourmet cannabis enthusiast I’m utterly spoiled living on the Washington-Oregon border.

I’m surrounded by two states that – while not perfect – could be considered marijuana utopias compared with most of the rest of the country. And I was reminded of that on a recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Don’t get me wrong. Nevada is making good progress, including the opening of its first medical marijuana dispensary, Euphoria Wellness, in August.

And signs point to the state – or perhaps just the city of Las Vegas – legalizing recreational marijuana in the near future.

But roaming the Vegas strip is still anything but marijuana friendly – despite the area’s rampant enthusiasm for alcohol and binge drinking.

 

The Opening Bell Sounds For The Oregon Marijuana Market

By Tony Gallo

OREGON:  On July 1, Oregon became the fourth state to legalize marijuana use, enabling adults to legally possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis for personal use. (Recreational sales begin October 1.) With the legalization, and even before, the industry in Oregon was ramping up to grow, and in the spirit of Oregonians, help each other out.

Case in point is the Cannabis Creative Conference (CCC) which I had the privilege of attending. The  two-day conference, July 29-30,  was sponsored by CannaGuard Security, Chalice Farms and Elevate/Green America and held at the Portland Expo. It was formulated to be ‘from the industry, for the industry” and was developed by Bella Vista Events in collaboration with cannabis industry businesses. The conference was created to share strategies and cultivate important conversations around rules and regulations, marketing and financial strategies, and education.

The kick-off investor summit on July 28 was hosted by MJIC. Speaker Lori Glauser, Director, President and COO of Signal Bay Inc. said she was really pleased at how it all came together so quickly. “It was a terrific audience, terrific speakers. It was a great event and I look forward to more events just like it.”

Day one had a keynote by Steven Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and Aaron Smith, National Cannabis Industry Association Co-founder and Executive Director. Noah Stokes of CannaGuard Security was Master of Ceremonies. Panels throughout the day included compliance, tips for building an MJ facility and lessons learned, building strategic partnerships and legalities to consider.

July 30 saw a keynote session of Industry Leaders sharing views of the industry’s future. Amy Margolis, Emerge Law Group, Attorney & Shareholder said, “This is really about people educating themselves, then filtering their information through professionals and creating unified talking points that move legalization forward on a local level. The biggest mistake we can make at this point is lack of professionalism and a scattershot approach to implementation,” driving home awareness of what’s really coming. Afternoon panels covered raising capital, cannabis technologies, real estate acquisition, risk mitigation, banking, payment processing and cash management.

The Cannabis Creative Conference was new and different and the estimated attendance was twice what was expected. As Leafly commented, “It was good for us because we did want to reach out and have a variety of people attend…we’ve done a couple of these (events) and sometimes they’re less well attended. I really don’t have enough positive things to say about it.“

The trade show hosted about 70 booths and 15 seminars daily and I was pleased to see cannabis industry leaders such as Rolland Safe, MJBA and RMMC Consulting at the conference supporting the Oregon cannabis business owners.

I also liked that all the presentations were recorded for those who couldn’t attend the conference. In the last few years, I have attended more than a dozen or so cannabis events across the USA and I would rate this one in my top 5 conferences.

Good job and I look forward to this format being used at other cannabis conferences.

Tony Gallo is the Senior Director of Sapphire Protection (www.sapphireprotection.com) with over 30 years in the Loss Prevention, Audit, Safety, and Risk/Emergency Management fields. Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University and is a member of Americans for Safe Access and the National Cannabis Industry Association.  Tony is considered one of the leading authorities in cannabis and financial loan service security and safety. Contact Tony at tonyrgallo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @SapphireProtect.