Oregon Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS OREGON'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/10/2022
The 2022 Oregon legislation was huge for cannabis. House Bill 4016 passed the Oregon legislature in March 2022, which provides an immediate moratorium on cannabis licenses in the state. This law gives the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) discretion to refuse to issue new processor, wholesaler, and retailer licenses, while extending the Senate Bill 218 moratorium on processor licenses. The bill addresses social equity issues by allowing the OLCC to establish a program to assign licenses to qualified applicants; however they do not currently have a timeline in place for these reassignments.
Oregon was one of the first states to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis and has since been a nationwide and global leader in the pursuit of fair and equitable cannabis laws.
Both medical and recreational cannabis is legal in Oregon and has gone through many iterations of amendments to the law since passage. Most notably, in recent years, the supply chain glut has become a nationwide topic as reports of a six-year backlog of supply had flooded the market, making prices the lowest ever recorded. Recently, Oregon has pushed back on this notion of an oversupply and has started removing licenses that are not currently active or are not utilizing their full canopy allocation. These efforts, along with natural market stabilization factors, have already started to make an impact on market economics.
WHAT ARE OREGON'S CURRENT CANNABIS LAWS?
Cannabis is both medically and recreationally legal in Oregon. On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, Oregon voters ended their state’s prohibition and chose to legalize adult-use and possession of marijuana, thus opening up the state’s ability to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana to individuals 21 and older. The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act removed penalties for adults 21 and older who possess, use, and grow a limited amount of marijuana. It also directed the Oregon Liquor Commission to establish a system of strictly regulated and registered marijuana producers, wholesalers, processors, and retailers.
There has been little to no changes to this Act since it was passed. Oregon lawmakers reconvened early 2018 in a short session, which is held in alternating years, and enacted minimal changes to current marijuana laws or policy as they see their program as a success and do not want to cause unnecessary amendments.
Oregon’s program continues to evolve, with most changes coming from the regulatory agency rather than lawmakers. Regulators and law enforcement are looking for ways to reduce possible diversion of cannabis produced for the legal market that is entering the underground.
WHAT IS OREGON'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Oregon has put a temporary pause on new licensing and is currently working on the supply chain glut that cultivators have put into the market.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN OREGON?
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis in 1973, and among the first to authorize its use for medical purposes. An attempt to recriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis was turned down by Oregon voters in 1997. From 1999 through 2005, the ratio of Oregonians using cannabis outpaced the general United States population by 32–45%.
Oregon voters unsuccessfully attempted to legalize marijuana by ballot initiative in 1986 and in 2012 which made it to the ballot, but voters rejected. In 2014, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, legalizing adult-use cultivation, processing, distribution, retail sale, possession, and consumption of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over.
DOES OREGON HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Oregon lawmakers were part of the original coalition attempting to include hemp farming provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. Oregon has a unique history with the plant, as it was one of the first states to commit significant resources to conduct scientific research on the plant's many thousands of uses. Much of these studies and findings were unfortunately trashed when cannabis was made illegal in the 1970s; however, the state has recommitted to being a global leader in hemp research. Oregon farmers planted about 7,000 acres of hemp in 2019 and there are now about 50,000 planted acres, according to the state agriculture department, making the state first in U.S. production.
PREPARING FOR THE OREGON CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Oregon.. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.