By Habit 420
Oregon Cannabis Connection
As expected by many, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Oregon Medical Marijuana Program has decided to make a rule change to allow more time for medical marijuana processors and dispensaries to get licensed and registered. The new rule supersedes the old one from early this year which was implemented to allow the OHA to conform to the legislatures mandate under HB 3400. Previously, all processors were to be registered with the new OHA system and all dispensaries had to be license by Oregon Department of Agriculture’s food safety division before October 1st, 2016 (if they submitted an application, they could continue to operate until the disposition of the application). Now they have until January 1st , 2017 to get licensed and registered.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) faced problems previously when switching over to only “licensed” extract processors, and wanted to avoid a repeat of the same shortage with edibles. On March 3rd on 2016, OHA implemented a rule that did not allow unlicensed extracts to be sold in dispensaries. But, no extract companies were allowed to operate until April 1st, leaving a month long gap where no extracts would be available. A compromise was reached, and the OHA allowed extracts to continue to be transferred from a company that had merely filed an application, at least until the disposition of their application was decided.
The new rule intends to, “allow more time for processors to become registered while not recreating a lack of products for medical marijuana patients to purchase from dispensaries,” according to a memo released by the OHA.
Andre Ourso, the director of the OMMP program, explained to Oregon Cannabis Connection, “We will be ready to do on-site inspections of processing sites to issue registrations starting this month.”
There are many requirements to be a commercially approved food processor, or be a food retailer, as well. This is great news for processors struggling to get licensed, and can give them more time to afford those costs, too.
Memo from Oregon Health Authority:
Date: September 9, 2016
FROM: André Ourso, Manager
Oregon Medical Marijuana Program
RE: Notice of Temporary Rulemaking for OAR chapter 333, division 8 – “Operations of a registered dispensary and transfer to a registered dispensary”
The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is temporarily amending administrative rules in chapter 333, division 8. With the passage of HB 3400 (Oregon Laws 2015, chapter 614) in the 2015 legislative session, the Legislature directed the Oregon Health Authority to establish rules and a registration system for medical marijuana processors. The application process for processors opened on April 1, 2016. Processors were required to be fully registered by October 1, 2016. The Oregon Health Authority is temporarily amending Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 333-008-1200 and 333-008-1230 to move the required registration date to January 1, 2017 to allow more time for processors to become registered while not recreating a lack of products for medical marijuana patients to purchase from dispensaries. As a result, the date that dispensaries will be required to be licensed for food safety by the Oregon Department of Agriculture will be moved from October 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017.
This rulemaking is effective September 9, 2016 – March 7, 2017. It is the Authority’s intention to begin the process to make these rules permanent.
For more details, please see the full text of the rules at the following website: www.healthoregon.org/ommprules
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