OLCC Intends to Severely Tighten Outdoor Harvest Regulations

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The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will hold a public hearing that will focus on new controls to help them track cannabis better because they are concerned about large amounts of diversion onto the black market. The meeting will be at the OLCC headquarters on June 15 at 10:00 am. The address is 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Room 103A, in Portland.

The OLCC is looking to have growers give them five harvest dates 24 to 72 hours before their first harvest, according to a press release. They plan to send out inspectors to monitor harvests to insure compliance with state regulations. This proposal, however, does not apply to indoor growers because they harvest more frequently, according to OLCC regulators. This hearing is a requirement before they can make changes to the rules.

“In the midst of an overproduction crisis and cratering prices in the legal market, diversion and illicit grows are predictable problems” said Adam Smith, Craft Cannabis Alliance executive director told the Bend Bulletin. Though he admitted tightening regulations could help, allowing interstate transfers would be a more ideal solution.

Production locations offer the greatest chance for diversion since a grower can identify product as waste or damaged at harvest. This can allow for some of that harvest to be diverted to the lucrative black market, which currently fetches are much higher price than the currently is available in Oregon’s market, which has seen a collapse in prices in the past year.

All affected licensees are encouraged to attend the meeting and voice their opinion. The OLCC has little understanding of cannabis harvesting and need to be set straight on the unreasonable timelines they are demanding with these new rules they propose. If they intend to tighten regulations, they need to make them workable and not make more rules that will drive even more businesses out of the industry.

Notice from OLCC:

Notice of Public Hearing

Harvest Notification – OAR 845-025-2090

Date and Time:       10:00 a.m., Friday, June 15, 2018

Location:                 Oregon Liquor Control Commission

                                 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222

Presiding Officer:  Bryant Haley

                                 Phone: 503.872.5136

                                 Fax: 503.872.5110

                                 Email: bryant.haley@oregon.gov

The Commission is tasked with regulating the recreational market. One key task of regulation is to prevent diversion of marijuana into other markets. Staff has identified harvest as an opportunity for diversion and is seeking to adopt a notification requirement for outdoor growers. This would require outdoor growers to notify the Commission of five harvest dates 24-hours before the first planned harvest date. This notification will allow enforcement staff ample opportunity to monitor harvests and ensure compliance with pertinent laws and rules.

The Commission will be holding a Public Hearing to hear from interested parties on the proposed Harvest Notification rule.

After the hearing, you may submit written comments in person, by mail, by fax or by e-mail (see above for relevant contact information). However, all written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Download the Proposed Rule Draft

Download the Notice of Public Hearing

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at occnewspaper420@gmail.com

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