Oregon Cannabis Licensing
Oregon is still a growth market for Cannabis. Let GPS help you diversify in that market
Oregon is a true pioneer in the regulation and legalization of cannabis, as the first state to decriminalize cannabis, and the second state to legalize medical marijuana in the United States. The state legalized medical marijuana in 1998 with the passing of Measure 67. Over the next decades, medical caregivers and patients created a cannabis community which greatly contributed to the growing body of cannabis industry knowledge available today, and of the first-ever cannabis growing guides were published in the state. In 2014, voters passed measure 91, eventually allowing anyone over 21 to possess and consume cannabis in the state, and leading to the creation of an adult-use recreational cannabis market. Direct democratic action of voters in Oregon was critical in creating the cannabis-positive culture that persists in the state today.
Marijuana Licensing in Oregon
Medical and recreational adult-use cannabis are separately regulated in the state of Oregon. Medical marijuana licenses are administered by the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division’s Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). The medical program is oriented towards patients and caregivers who are allowed to cultivate and sell cannabis within the medical program’s regulations. For non-medical THC containing cannabis, adult-use and recreational marijuana is regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).
Medical Marijuana Dispensary License in Oregon
The OMMP regulates patients, growers, processors, dispensaries, property owners, and testing labs, and also provides guidelines for physicians who prescribe marijuana. While the cost of a medical marijuana dispensary license application is low compared to other states ($3500 plus $500 non-refundable application fee), other application requirements raise the difficulty for acquiring such a license. An applicant must submit highly detailed information on the proposed location’s zoning, and maintain a 1,000-foot distance from schools. and details about the marijuana facility itself. The OMMP also sets specific allowances for numbers of plants grown for medical use.
Medical regulations in Oregon restrict the number of mature plants cultivated by growers and have led to close patient-caregiver relationships. Transfers of cannabis products between caregivers and dispensaries can be approved by the OMMP with a patient’s authorization, and growers can sell directly to dispensaries with the correct documentation. Smaller-scale medical marijuana and specialty businesses are possible with this structure of medical marijuana licensing.
Recreational Marijuana License in Oregon
As of August 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has reported 2,259 active marijuana business licenses. Issued OLCC marijuana licenses include 1,146 producers, 246 processors, 172 wholesalers, 21 laboratories, 673 retailers, and one research license. The recreational marijuana license application process is significantly different from the state’s medical licensing process.
According to the OLCC, marijuana license applicants include “..any individual or legal entity who holds or controls an interest of ten percent (10%) or more in a recreational marijuana business, as well as any individual or entity who has an “Ownership Interest” in the business”. Numerous financial interests must also be disclosed, by applicants. The licensing system does allow for changes in financial interest to be made after a license is acquired, but any increase in financial interest over 51% also requires a change in ownership and further licensing requirements.
Hemp Liscenceing in Oregon
In Oregon, hemp is regulated separately from medical and adult-use cannabis. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has regulated hemp since 2015. In January 2020, the director of the ODA expressed concerns at the low number of labs available to meet federally mandated testing standards. According to the ODA website, hemp businesses will continue to operate under the state’s rules for the 2020 growing season.
Oregon Cannabis Consulting
Gateway Proven Strategies (GPS) provides cannabis consulting in Oregon for new and established businesses. GPS helps clients with professional and industry-specific services in the cannabis industry. Oregon ’s cannabis regulations will soon reach its full maturity, but for now, many new opportunities continue to present themselves in the state’s cannabis and hemp market. The dynamic nature of Oregon’s cannabis regulations and licensing requires strategic planning and execution, along with the flexibility to comply with new regulations. Gateway Proven Strategies is committed to providing clients with sustainable, dependable outcomes for the longevity and success of their cannabis business in Oregon.