At Church and State: The Cost of Senate Bill 1057

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By Anthony Taylor
Oregon Cannabis Connection

Anthony Taylor is the President of Compassionate Oregon and has unique access and insights into Oregon’s lawmaking process, much of which takes place in the Capitol building, near the corners of Church and State streets in Salem. They do a lot of great work and are now accepting MEMBERSHIPS! Visit them to donate!!! www.compassionateoregon.org/

 

Patient costs skyrocket.

Let me start by saying that Senate Bill 1057 started out as an OLCC technical fix bill but ended up causing more damage to Oregon’s medical marijuana program.

SB 1057 turns a lot of the regulatory responsibilities over to OLCC, including labeling. It makes some technical fixes, and also allows trade shows to display real marijuana items.

SB 1057 creates OLCC “exclusive medical” licenses. It is hard to believe with OHA dispensaries falling like flies anyone would be even remotely interested in becoming a “medical only” OLCC store. This provision was mostly intended as a fall-back for licensees if the federal government decides to pursue tougher regulatory policy on state recreation marijuana programs. Dispensaries can easily become “medical only” with the click of a mouse from a drop down menu.

SB 1057 also requires all OHA dispensaries and processors and any OMMP grower growing more than 12 plants to switch from reporting into the OHA system to reporting into the OLCC system known as METRC.

Ginny Burdick,Red Riding hood,Wolf,Senator
© 2017 Oregon Cannabis Connection. Image by Mariano Pogoriles

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The cost to those growers will be high.

Those who continue to provide for other patients and grow more than 12 plants under this new system and those patients who grow for themselves at a remote address will face costs close to $1,000.00 for doing so. Those growers with multiple patients will see these costs increase as well. Reporting into this system costs $40 per month and a yet to be determined administrative fee will be added to each application that designates a grower.

For many of these growers, METRC will be a simpler reporting system, but there is an added bonus.

Bringing OMMP growers into this system will allow OLCC regulatory specialists to come onto to an OHA grow site and verify that the inventory reported matches what is onsite.

This could get tricky very fast, especially for those growers who keep inventory in their primary residence or have an indoor grow in their primary residence. Some are skeptical about how far this will go and whether it will get out of hand.

The last thing that SB 1057 does is to once again change the plant limits. A household not designated as a grow site is limited to six medical plants and four recreational plants. No matter how many patients live at an address, the household limit is ten plants.

SB 1057 also limits the number of immature plants a patient or grower can have to twice the number of mature plants allowed at that address. So if you can grow six plants, you can have 12 immature plants. If you grow 48, you can have 96 immature plants.

Most growers can get by with this but, those future OLCC growers who are coming over from OHA will only be able to bring over as many immature plants as OHA allows. These growers are stuck right now because many of them already have hundreds of immature plants in the ground while waiting to get an OLCC license.

So what does this mean for everyone?

For now the law of the land for now is Oregon households are restricted to 10 plants—six medical and four recreational.

No OMMP grower can have more than twice the number of immature plants as they are allowed mature plants.

All OMMP growers growing more than 12 plants must be registered with and reporting into the METRC reporting system.

Ginny Burdick,OMMP,OHA,OLCC,SB 1057,Church and State,Wolf
What do you mean “for now”?

HB 2198—which will remove immature plant limits—has passed out of the Committee with a “do pass” recommendation and with a brief stop in Ways & Means, where it should be coming to the floor for a vote. Update June 22: HB 2198 has been referred to the Human Services Subcommittee. No hearing scheduled but all reports and conversations have been encouraging.

HB 2198 will also create an Oregon Cannabis Commission to take over at OMMP and it also allows for OMMP growers who have lost their market to transfer up to 20 pounds of flowers per year into the OLCC recreational market.

It will also remove the limit of 10 plants per household and allow patients to grow six plants each on their own property for a maximum of 12..

Stay tuned because it is not over yet! Visit www.occnewspaper.com for updates.

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Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is a longtime Oregon marijuana activist and a founder of Compassionate Oregon, one of Oregon's most important medical marijuana patient advocacy groups.

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