The OLCC announced on May 1st its approach for addressing the implementation of recreational marijuana in Oregon. The OLCC appointed a Rules Advisory Committee (“RAC”) made up of 15 members. The RAC will meet once a month starting June 19, and represents the marijuana industry, local government, law enforcement and the general public.

In addition to the RAC, the OLCC appointed subcommittees to develop draft rules for the different areas related to the regulation of the marijuana industry: Growers, Processors, Extracts, Retail, Advertising/Labeling, Licensing. The subcommittees began meeting the week of June 1. The Growers subcommittee met for the first time on June 1st. The goal of the meeting was to establish an agenda for the next couple of months, addressing issues like: production limits, tracking, licensing, waste disposal, use of natural resources, security and transportation. According to the reaction of the subcommittee, it seems like the main points of discussion will be the establishment of a tracking system, the level of tax to apply, as well as the impact on natural resources (water law, electricity, land use).

The OLCC staff also plan on hosting meetings with other agencies to discuss the impact of recreational marijuana on different areas: land use, banking, energy, and other issues.

In addition to the work by the OLCC, the Oregon Joint Legislative Committee on Implementing Measure 91 (Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014) is responsible for proposing key bills regarding marijuana regulation in. Here are some key bills currently under consideration:

  • HB 3369 prohibits OLCC from issuing license to producer, processor or seller of marijuana if proposed premises for producing, processing or selling marijuana is within 1,000 feet of school.
  • HB 3370 prohibits sale or transfer of certain types of marijuana products by person who holds license to sell marijuana at retail if marijuana products are not labeled.
  • SB 460 directs Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules providing for relocation of registered medical marijuana facility.

For a complete list of measures assigned to the Committee:

Some key dates about the implementation:

  • July 1, 2015: Recreational marijuana use will be legal in Oregon. An individual will be allowed to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana per residence and grow up to four plants per household.
  • January 4, 2016: The OLCC will accepting license applications. The OLCC has signed a contract with NIC USA, Inc. to build a secure online application program necessary to handle requests for commercial recreational marijuana business licenses.
  • April 2016: Anticipated date for issuing first grower licenses.
  • June 2016: Anticipated date for issuing first processing licenses.
  • October 2016: Anticipated date for issuing first retail licenses.

The OLCC expects the total 2015-2017 revenue from recreational marijuana to be approximately $18.4 million, from which $7.7 million will be available for distribution to fund different Oregon programs, including public school funding, law enforcement, alcohol and drug services.

This post was written with the assistance of Olivier Jamin, a Legal Extern with Stoel Rives LLP not currently licensed to practice law in Oregon.