Oregon is taking an organized approach in terms of launching its recreational marijuana program. As of January 2016, those interested in operating a retail marijuana location can submit an application to become a grower, testing laboratory or wholesaler. Dispensary retailers will be the last to have their applications approved.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will oversee the program. The commission does not expect to approve any retail applications until the 4th quarter of 2016, according to OPB.org.
Oregon has taken lessons from other recreational marijuana states like Washington where supply shortages have been reported. OLCC spokesperson, Mark Pettinger says that, “The idea right now is to focus on the outdoor grow applicants because they’ll need to get the crops in the ground soon. As opposed to indoor grow operations, which are going to have multiple cycles to grow throughout the year.”
Some of the rules associated with Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry include:
- Recreational sales at medical marijuana stop on January 1, 2017
- Recreational locations will be permitted to sell edibles, oils and other forms of marijuana
- Other forms of marijuana will have lower potency, which may require a delay in allowing them for sale to create guidelines for these products
- Recreational and medical marijuana locations operated by the same company must have separate store fronts
Growers face some changes as well. Medical marijuana growers cannot grow for both industries. The only way that a medical marijuana grower can grow for recreational markets is to gain permission from the cardholders he/she serves to sell excess to recreational markets. The other is to relinquish their medical marijuana growing license and apply for a recreational growing license.
Oregon is implementing a tracking system for seed-to-sale tracking for recreational marijuana sales. This is designed to prevent profits from being misused. An RFID tag will be used for all immature plants. These tags will stay with the plant through the entire process of cultivation to sales.
Cities and counties that have opted out of recreational marijuana sales by placing bans on production, processing, retail sales and wholesale sales will not receive tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales.