On Tuesday, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1057 which expands the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (“OLCC”) authority to regulate medical cannabis. Primarily, the legislation expands OLCC’s authority over Oregon’s medical and recreational marijuana programs in light of the existing uncertainty regarding the Cole memo. The legislation does this by, among many other things, establishing an OLCC-issued medical marijuana business license, and correspondingly allows medical cannabis growers and processors to provide cannabis to recreational retailers.
The catch for the medical marijuana industry is that the legislation requires the implementation of seed-to-sale tracking technology for medical cannabis. Seed-to-sale tracking is commonly used in recreational marijuana programs to track marijuana plants throughout the growing, cultivating, and retail process. Under current law, ORS 475B.070(3)(e)(B), OLCC is prohibited from regulating the number of immature plants and the size of immature plant canopies. The new legislation allows the tracking of medical cannabis plants from seed-to-sale in order to prevent diversion to the gray and black market.
SB1057 also provides the OLCC with authority to require a cannabis business licensee or applicant to disclose the names and addresses of any persons with a “financial interest” in the licensed businesses, as well as the nature and extent of that interest. Therefore, cannabusinesses should be prepared to submit additional business information to the OLCC in the event that there are any questions as to the control of the business. Another key item in the legislation, and in a major shift in regulatory authority, the legislation moves marijuana labeling authority from the Oregon Health Authority to the OLCC. SB 1057 also increases the number of commissioners on the OLCC, and authorizes the OLCC to conduct investigations and issue reprimands to cannabusinesses in violation of regulatory requirements.
SB 1057 has an emergency clause attached, and should therefore be effective as of May 30, 2017. Cannabusinesses who are interested in learning more about the new requirements should contact us here at Green Light Law Group to discuss compliance with these new requirements. We will also provide a comprehensive legislative update in our June newsletter with additional details on failed and successful initiatives from this year’s legislative session.