Yesterday, January 4th, 2016 marked the start of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) accepting online applications for recreational marijuana licenses. Producers, laboratories, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and handlers are now lining up to receive OLCC licenses under Oregon’s new regulatory framework. Many cities and counties, however, are not enthusiastic with the new regulatory framework
Implementation of Measure 91: the OLCC is Picking up the Pace
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.
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“Organic” Labeling of Marijuana is Not Permitted
Many sellers of marijuana and marijuana-infused products are using the term “organic” on their labels. They may be unaware that the use of “organic” is strictly regulated by the USDA and the states. It simply isn’t permitted on marijuana products.
Essentially, “organic” is not permitted on a label unless (a) the product is certified by…
Oregon Liquor Control Commission Given Job of Regulating Recreational Marijuana
Following in the steps of Washington and Colorado, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 91 (PDF) on November 4, opening the door to legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Beginning July 1, 2015, the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act allows Oregonians 21 years and older to possess up to eight ounces…
Compliance Checklist for Mandatory Quality Assurance Testing of Marijuana Products
To considerable fanfare – and the occasional stumble – the legal recreational marijuana industry opened for business in Washington state last week. So far, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, representing the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have successfully completed the Initiative 502 licensing process. Now that sales of legal marijuana and marijuana-infused products have commenced in the state, many are asking about the quality and safety of these products.
Like other food and beverage items we ingest, marijuana products can contain mites, molds, and even foodborne pathogens such as E. coli. In order to stave off potential health and safety risks, WSLCB mandated that all marijuana products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing by certified labs. In fact, as Dan Flynn at Food Safety News reports, “Washington state is off to a safer start than Colorado.” According to Flynn:…
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Doors Open for Business for Licensed Marijuana Retailers in Washington State
Hundreds of eager customers lined up outside of Washington’s newly licensed marijuana retailers on Tuesday to make history by participating in the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in the state. Earlier this week, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses. These businesses represent the first of…
Reclamation Will Not Approve the Use of Federal Irrigation Water for Marijuana Cultivation
This post is authored by Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources lawyer Kirk Maag of Stoel Rives.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a temporary policy regarding the use of water from Reclamation reservoirs for activities prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA)—for example, growing marijuana. The temporary policy is effective for one…
Will Bureau of Reclamation Leave Washington’s Marijuana Crop High and Dry?
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation provides irrigation water to one out of five farmers in the Western United States. According to Reclamation, the irrigation water it provides is used to produce 60% of our nation’s vegetables and 25% of our fruits and nuts. But Reclamation is now deciding whether to leave one Washington crop high and dry: marijuana.
Washington recently issued licenses that allow licensees to grow marijuana. But the cultivation, possession, use, and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. This tension between state and federal law is forcing Reclamation to analyze whether it can provide irrigation water to contract holders who plan to grow marijuana.
The timing of Reclamation’s decision is important because the irrigation season is rapidly approaching in many parts of Washington and has already arrived in other parts of the state. The Olympian reports that Dan DuBray, a spokesman for Reclamation, recently said that Reclamation will make a decision on this issue by early May, and perhaps as early as this week.…
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WSLCB Approves Lottery to Rank Marijuana Retail License Applicants
The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has approved the use of a lottery system to select the apparent successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses. WSLCB staff recommended the independent, double-blind process in order to limit the number marijuana retail stores per county as directed by Initiative 502, the measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Washington state.
The lottery will take place on April 21-25, 2014, and will produce an ordered list of applicants for each jurisdiction that the agency will use to continue its retail licensing process. The WSLCB is expected to post that ordered list of applicants for each jurisdiction in the public records section of the agency website on May 2, 2014.…
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Colorado Amends Ethics Rules to Provide Safe Harbor for Lawyers Advising Marijuana Businesses
According to a new comment adopted by Colorado’s Supreme Court last week, Colorado lawyers who provide legal services to state-regulated medical and recreational marijuana businesses will not violate the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
The rule change added the following comment to Rule 1.2 regarding the scope of representation and allocation of authority between…
First Recreational Marijuana Licenses Issued in Washington
The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first licenses to produce and process recreational marijuana today. According to news reports, the licenses were issued to Spokane’s Sean Green who will operate his business under the trade name Kouchlock Productions.
The WSLCB began processing applications for all three license types (producer…