Massive Medical Industrial Hemp Market Set With New ODA Rules

By OCC Staff

Cliff Thomason, Oregon Independent candidate for Governor, standing next to a large Hemp plant in the OrHempCo grow. Image: Keith, OCC Newspaper.

Oregon’s Department of Agriculture (ODA) has adopted the temporary administrative rules governing  the Industrial Hemp program in Oregon. Now the third major agency to deal with cannabis growing and trade in Oregon, the ODA, has implemented yet another regulatory system for the plant.

The new rules appear to make way for cannabis medicines to be produced on a major scale, using revised the ODA industrial hemp program. With changes in the rules affecting propagation techniques, farm sizes, planting density, and more, the industrial hemp farms are poised to become the largest producers of medical cannabis in the state. See our story from last year on Orergon hemp growers growing for high CBD, Oregon Hemp Growers Using Industrial Hemp Program to Grow Medicine.

New hemp cultivars can be very high in CBD (cannabidiol), yet must be under 1% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to qualify as industrial hemp and not marijuana—which is higher in THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. The CBD oil from the flowers is highly valuable, making the extracted oil much more valuable, by far, than the traditional plant materials, like fibers, seeds and seed oil. This creates new industrial hemp farms that look more like orchards and medical marijuana farms than traditional hemp fields.

Though Hemp products are not allowed to be sold in Oregon OHA licensed dispensaries by rule, high CBD products can still be sold as a hemp product and will be allowed in OLCC recreational dispensaries as long as the products are tested to the standards they set forth.  It would be no surprise if it is eventually allowed into Oregon OHA licensed dispensaries, as well.

Cherryl Walker (Josephine County Commissioner) poses with a large high CBD strain in the Oregon Hemp Co. garden in Murphy Oregon last fall. The OrHempCo. crop was apparently destroyed by dear. Image: Keith, OCC Newspaper.

A few of the major changes are:

· There is no longer a minimum acreage requirement.

· Growing in greenhouses or other indoor areas is permitted.

· Planting in pots or other containers is permitted.

· Any method of propagation is allowed including planting seeds, starts, or the use of clones or cuttings.

· A registration for growing industrial hemp may be used for multiple areas. While each noncontiguous growing area must be declared, there are no additional fees.

· Growing and handling industrial hemp is no longer covered under the same registration and requires a separate fee for each.

From the ODA:

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is now accepting applications for registration to grow and handle industrial hemp for the 2016 growing season. Registrations (used to be called a license or permit) are issued on an annual basis rather than the previous 3-year term. ODA has issued a temporary administrative rule​ to modify the registration following changes to Oregon’s industrial hemp law made by the 2016 legislature.

In addition to registrations for growing and handling industrial hemp, a registration is needed for those wishing to produce or handle agricultural hemp seed.

Growers and handlers who are already licensed will receive a complimentary registration for the remainder of the term of their license. The cost of the annual registration is $500 for grower, $500 for handler and $25 for agricultural hemp seed production registration. Collected fees are used to administer ODA’s Industrial Hemp Program.

Hemp Field Canada
Typical hemp field in Canada, where the plant is still grown for fiber and seed, not CBD medicine… yet. Image: wikipedia

Get a copy of the rules here.

© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.

OCC Staff

Oregon Cannabis Connections capable staff or contributors. Contributors names will be noted., covering the Oregon Cannabis Community and beyond, since 2010!

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