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Big Changes Come To Oregon's Cannabis Industry This Year

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Big Changes Come To Oregon's Cannabis Industry This Year

by Bryan M. Vance OPB

Jan. 21, 2016

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A worker examines a bud of the hybrid Gorilla Glue #4 strain at Little Amsterdam in Southwest Portland.

John Rosman/OPB

Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry hit a milestone this month.

About 90 days into the legal sale of recreational marijuana, Jan. 4 marked the first time people could officially apply for licenses to operate recreational businesses in Oregon. And more changes are on the way.

By the end of the year, Oregon’s cannabis industry will look a lot different from what we currently have.

When will new recreational retail marijuana stores be open?

Although the state is accepting business license applications, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission — which will oversee the state’s recreational marijuana business solely starting in January 2017 — doesn’t plan to approve any of the retail store applications until at least the fourth quarter of 2016.

RELATED COVERAGE:

10 Things To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales

“Around October is what we’re projecting,” said OLCC spokesperson Mark Pettinger. Pettinger said the OLCC’s priority right now is licensing outdoor marijuana growers.

“The idea right now is to focus on the outdoor grow applicants because they’ll need to get the crops in the ground soon. As opposed to indoor grow operations, which are going to have multiple cycles to grow throughout the year,” he said.

No doubt the regulators in Oregon learned from the roll-out of recreational cannabis in Washington, which was hamstrung by short supply in the early months.

After getting the growers licensed, Oregon plans to license laboratories, processors, wholesalers, and — lastly — retailers.

Until retail marijuana stores do open, licensed medical marijuana stores in Oregon can continue to sell recreational marijuana products — but only until Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, 2017, medical stores will no longer be able to conduct recreational sales.

Can recreational stores now sell edibles, oils, etc.?

Technically, yes.

Recreational stores will be able to sell the same types of products currently sold at medical marijuana dispensaries when the former begin opening later this year.

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The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is still working on its regulations for cannabis edibles and concentrates, so until the regulations are approved those products are available only to medical marijuana customers.

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

One key difference in the medical and recreational system, however, is that recreational stores won’t have products at the same dosage levels. Medical marijuana dispensaries can provide higher potency products to patients because of their medicinal needs.

And even though the recreational stores can technically sell products like edibles, creating labeling standards could delay those products from Oregon’s retail shelves until sometime in 2017.

The OLCC is still working on those standards, in conjunction with the Oregon Health Authority, which will determine dosage levels for different marijuana products.

Will medical marijuana dispensaries still be allowed to conduct recreational use sales?

Yes, for now. The Oregon Health Authority is overseeing the state’s early adoption of recreational marijuana sales, allowing medical dispensaries to conduct sales through Dec. 31. At that point, however, medical dispensaries will no longer be able to conduct recreational sales.

Can a medical marijuana license holder also hold a license for recreational marijuana growing, production or sales?

With the OLCC taking complete control of recreational cannabis regulation Jan. 1 this year, it’s likely going to force many consumers to visit new shops.

That said, you may still be able to shop for your recreational marijuana from the same company that ran the dispensary you were buying from, so long as the recreational and medical stores operate completely separate from one another.

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Cannabis clones sit on display at Amazon Organics, a pot dispensary in Eugene, Ore., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. Medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon will be able to sell recreational marijuana through Dec. 31, 2016.

Ryan Kang/AP

“You can’t have a one-size-fits-all in the sense that you’ve got one place that’s serving medical and is serving recreationally,” Pettinger said. “It has to be one or the other.”

Basically, business need two different store fronts for two different products. Things are slightly different for growers.

There are two ways a medical marijuana grower can produce for the recreational market. One way would be to simply surrender the medical growing license and apply for a recreational license. Alternatively, if a medical growing operation can get permission from the cardholders it serves, it could sell excess product to the recreational marijuana industry.

“The requirement, though, is that they be a part of that cannabis tracking system. So right now, the medical marijuana market does not have that requirement and that’s not a requirement from the OHA,” Pettinger said.

What else changed about Oregon’s recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 4?

The tax holiday is over. That’s the only thing that actually changed for consumers on Jan. 4. The rest of the changes won’t start to impact consumers until later this year. Since recreational marijuana sales became legal in Oregon on Oct. 1, 2015, they’ve been tax free.

I have to pay a sales tax? How much?

Yep, even though Oregon doesn’t have a general sales tax, it does impose a 25 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana sales at medical dispensaries as of Jan. 4.

“Dispensaries can set whatever price they choose for their products, but the price must be set up front and the law requires consumers be issued a receipt showing the price and tax they’re paying,” said John Galvin, manager of the Marijuana Tax Program.

The first weeks of that tax haven’t been entirely smooth.

As the Oregon Department of Revenue has noted, medical dispensaries must register a tax with the department before remitting payments or filing returns. As of early January, less than half of the 284 medical dispensaries selling recreational products have registered.

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Although a wide variety of extracts, concentrates and edibles are sold at medical dispensaries such as Little Amsterdam in Southwest Portland, most edibles are not yet available to recreational customers under Oregon law.

John Rosman/OPB

The 25 percent tax isn’t permanent, however. When OLCC-licensed recreational marijuana stores begin to open later this year, they’ll drop the charge to a 17 percent state sales tax, with local municipalities able to tack on up to an additional 3 percent — bringing the maximum to 20 percent.

Comparatively, retail consumers pay a 37 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana purchases in Washington state. In Colorado, recreational marijuana purchases are subjected to a 10 percent state marijuana tax on top of the 2.9 percent state sales tax. Local municipalities can also add on sales taxes in Colorado.

What’s Oregon doing with all that tax money?

Initially, the tax revenue collected from retail sales will go to cover the Oregon Department of Revenue’s costs to collect the new tax. Then some of it will go to pay for OLCC’s costs associated with launching the recreational marijuana program.

But once those payoffs are complete, the Oregon Department of Revenue says the sales tax revenue will be dispersed in the following way:

•40 percent will go to Oregon’s Common School Fund

•20 percent will go to Oregon’s Mental Health Alcoholism and Drug Services Account

•15 percent will go to Oregon State Police

•10 percent will go to participating cities’ law enforcement offices

•10 percent will go to participating counties’ law enforcement offices

•5 percent will go to the Oregon Health Authority for alcohol and drug abuse prevention, early intervention and treatment services

How will the OLCC make sure the marijuana doesn’t wind up in the hands of criminals?

A concern for some recreational marijuana opponents has been how the state will keep criminals from profiting from legalization.

To help prevent marijuana or marijuana profits from falling into the wrong hands, the OLCC will require all recreational marijuana plants and products to be tracked from seed-to-sale using a cannabis tracking system.

Basically, when plants are immature clones, they’re associated with an RFID tag that will stick with that plant through the entire process.

“Let’s say the product from one plant is then turned into an extract, which is then turned into an edible, which then becomes a cannabis chocolate bar, which then gets packaged into a lot of 10 bars in a case, which gets shipped to two or three different stores,” Pettinger said. “That product is tracked at every step along the way.”

Another benefit of the tracking system is it allows the industry to easily know where products came from if a recall occurs.

What if my city/county is dry?

Although the state did legalize the use and sale of recreational marijuana, it gave local communities the opportunity to ban sales and production. So far, 89 cities and counties have opted to prohibit either the production, processing, wholesaling or retail sales of recreational marijuana. Some communities will have a chance to challenge those decisions on the ballot. That said, if your city or county does opt to prohibit recreational marijuana, it won’t get a share of tax revenue.

For some perspective on the potential returns, Washington state brought in more than $67 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana in its first year of operation. Comparatively, Colorado brought in almost $70 million in revenue from marijuana taxes during the first fiscal year of legalization, according to TIME.

For more information about Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry, check out the state’s recreational marijuana FAQs.

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Wary Oregon wants weaker pot edibles for recreational users

Noelle Crombie | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on January 23, 2016

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The market for marijuana-infused edibles in Colorado includes everything from candies and sweets to drinks and even granola and nut bars as featured in this file photo. Oregon's proposed rules would mean pot-infused candies, chocolates and other treats and snack foods sold to people 21 and older would be half as potent as what's allowed in Colorado and Washington, states that have served as national laboratories of sorts for legal cannabis markets.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/The Oregonian

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A baker at a Colorado company churns out marijuana-infused cookies in this file photo.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/The Oregonian

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The market for marijuana-infused edibles in Colorado includes everything from candies and sweets to drinks and even granola and nut bars as featured in this file photo.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff/The Oregonian

When it comes to marijuana-infused edibles, Oregon wants you to know that, like perfume, a little goes a long way.

Snacks and treats made with cannabis are not only tasty but potent. Oregon regulators have come up with rules that would make these products half as strong as what Colorado and Washington allow in part to protect novices, including those whose most recent experience with the drug dates to the Nixon administration.

Oregon and Alaska are part of a second generation of states with legal marijuana markets that see Colorado and Washington not as models but as a cautionary tales about the appeal and pitfalls of cannabis-infused drinks, sweets and foods. In Colorado, home to a robust edibles market, some rookie consumers had high-profile and, in at least one case, tragic experiences after consuming food made with cannabis. Overall, marijuana-related calls to poison centers increased after legalization in both states.

(See related: Legalizing marijuana: What Oregon can learn from Colorado about regulating edible pot)

So Oregon has proposed setting its sights lower, hoping weaker marijuana products would ultimately protect two groups: inexperienced consumers who eat too much too quickly only to feel sick and impaired, and preschoolers who end up high, disoriented and, in some cases, hospitalized after snacking on their parents' pot-infused treats.

"We wrestled with this for quite a bit, trying to figure out what the right answer is," said Michael Tynan, a policy officer with the Oregon Health Authority, speaking at a meeting of the agency's rules advisory committee on marijuana earlier this month. "We are not an economic agency. We are the public health division. The Legislature gave us the responsibility to protect public health.

"That is the goal and the lens that my bosses and my colleagues are going to apply to this." he said.

But advocates for the marijuana industry said Oregon's proposal is an overreaction that threatens the livelihoods of chocolatiers, bakers, ice cream makers, drink producers and others who infuse their products with cannabis. Customers, they argue, aren't going to be as interested in buying weaker treats or stocking up on chocolates to get high.

Keeping young kids from these products is a priority, say marijuana industry advocates, but limiting their potency does little to address that.

"I mean, a lot of this is really just proper parenting," said John Bayes, a longtime grower and owner of

Bad experiences with edibles like the one Maureen Dowd documented in a now-famous 2014 New York Times column were a factor in Alaska's decision to open its recreational market this spring with lower serving sizes, said Jay Butler, the state's chief medical officer.

"From the retailers' perspective, they don't really want potential new customers going 'Maureen Dowd' on them," said Butler. "The more pleasant the experience, the better."

Though Washington's serving sizes mirror Colorado's, the state has taken a harder line on the types of products it allows.

Perishable treats such as ice cream and cooking staples such as butter are off limits. The state has proposed prohibiting foods that have to be baked or cooked at home, like pancake mixes or cookie dough.

The fear, said Kristi Weeks, policy counsel with the Washington Department of Health, is that consumers would "go home and make a 100 milligram pancake and have a bad experience."

A three-person team at the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board screens each infused edible product before it's allowed on the market, weeding out anything "especially" attractive to kids, said Weeks. Oregon does not limit the kinds of edible products that can be sold to recreational consumers, only how they are packaged and labeled.

Among the rejects in Washington: microwave popcorn, cotton candy, hot cocoa and a product called "pot ramen."

"You have to laugh at that one because who eats Top Ramen?" Weeks said. "College kids. And they are 18, 19 and 20."

Worries about kids getting into potent products drove Washington to also limit products intended for medical marijuana patients.

Starting in July, the state will allow medical marijuana patients who meet certain conditions to purchase what the Washington calls "high THC" products, such as skin patches, capsules, tinctures and suppositories.

Weeks said the limited line of potent products doesn't include candies and other treats and instead resembles "more traditional forms of medicine that a child wouldn't be likely to find and consume."

"Most kids are taught that pills are medicine," she said. "They look like medicine as opposed to a cookie."

In Oregon, state health officials expect to finalize rules for serving sizes by summer.

Meanwhile, makers of these products worry the proposed limits will turn off consumers looking for alternatives to smoking and dabbing the drug.

Some consumers will be happy with a couple of milligrams of THC, while others may want as much as 25 milligrams, said Daniel Stoops, whose Portland company Danodan Grassworks makes marijuana-infused caramels using organic ingredients.

"A mother of two who comes home to a couple kids and has to make dinner and wants to relax a little bit might need 25 milligrams," he said. "That might be her jam."

Under Oregon's proposal, that mother would get two servings in a package, while someone content with 5 milligrams will get 10. If the state moves ahead with the proposal, Stoops said he'll end up putting 10 5-milligram caramels in a package and selling them for between $15 and $30.

"It's a real penalty," he said, "to someone who has a higher tolerance and needs a few more milligrams."

oregonlive

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie">http://greenbodhi.org]Green Bodhi, a medical cannabis business in Eugene and Portland.

Practically speaking, Oregon's limits would work like this: A chocolate bar sold on the recreational market would be made up of 5 milligram servings, each marked on the bar itself so the consumer could easily identify a single portion. The whole bar could have no more than 50 milligrams of THC – enough for 10 servings.

Products where individual servings can't easily be marked, say a drink or container of ice cream, would be limited to a total of two servings, or 10 milligrams.

The proposed limits are half of what's allowed in Washington and Colorado, the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Both limit a single serving to 10 milligrams and whole packages to 100 milligrams.

The health authority would allow higher limits for products intended for the medical marijuana market, where patients in general tend to consume more cannabis and use more potent products. These products would be sold only to medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.

For states with legal marijuana markets, pot-infused edibles pose a challenge. There's little science to suggest what constitutes a single serving, leaving regulators to guess at a starting point for consumers.

What's more, cannabis-infused foods tend to have natural kid-appeal. They come in the form of tasty snacks and confections, like chocolates, jelly beans, candies and baked goods, and tend to look no different from ordinary treats.

Oregon, like Washington and Colorado, prohibits labeling that appeals to kids and requires that marijuana be sold in child-resistant containers. Packaging, for instance, can't feature cartoons or super heroes. Oregon public health officials plan to require a "universal symbol," a marijuana leaf next to an exclamation mark, to signal a product contains cannabis.

Advocates of lower serving sizes say those requirements are essential, but don't go far enough to protect kids, who may look past warning labels and get into a container of cannabis-infused sweets.

"You are putting a recreational drug, a euphoric drug, into a form that is uniquely attractive to children," said Dr. Robert Hendrickson, associate medical director of the Oregon Poison Center, which last year received 25 calls related to children under 6 consuming marijuana, up from 11 the previous year. (By comparison, the center received an estimated 1,800 calls in 2014 about young children getting into household cleaners, according to data provided by the agency.)

Though they look familiar, these products can pack a wallop.

Plus, they take longer to have an effect. An adult disappointed that a bite of chocolate fails to make them high may eat more – and maybe even more – instead of waiting a couple of hours. Eating too much too quickly, as some Colorado consumers learned early on, can be miserable.

The Rocky Mountain Poison Center received 84 calls from Colorado last year related to people of all ages consuming pot-infused edibles – representing roughly one-third of all marijuana calls to the agency last year, according to data the regional center provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The number of calls the center received about young children ingesting marijuana-infused edibles spiked from 5 in 2013 to 22 last year.

At Children's Hospital Colorado, 14 kids under 10 were treated for marijuana ingestion in 2014, the first year of regulated recreational marijuana sales. The number was an increase from previous years, hospital data shows. Data for 2015 is not yet available.

About half the children who come to the hospital for treatment of marijuana-related symptoms end up admitted for observation, said Dr. Sam Wang, a pediatric toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at Children's Hospital Colorado.

In younger children, marijuana ingestion typically involves edibles, Wang said.

While adults are cautioned to take it easy with pot-infused edibles, young kids aren't likely to show such restraint, said Wang.

"From a child's standpoint," he said, "if they have it and no one catches them, they aren't going to stop with just one."

In Colorado, edibles' popularity took state regulators by surprise. According to an analysis of Colorado data by Marijuana Policy Group, a Denver-based economic and policy consulting firm, edibles accounted for an estimated one-third of recreational marijuana sales last year.

A handful of high-profile experiences with edibles, including the case of a young man who ate a marijuana-infused cookie and later fell to his death off a Denver hotel balcony, prompted officials to establish new rules intended to ensure that products are marked and packaged so that consumers can easily identify a single serving.

Products that can't be easily marked, such as granola, are limited to 10 milligrams.

"You need to be able to intuitively tell what the dose size is," said Mike Van Dyke, branch chief for environmental epidemiology and toxicology at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We had some issues around that early on in Colorado where you could have a product that contained a total of 100 milligrams and it was a cookie and the serving size was a 10th of that cookie. That was not very intuitive."

Van Dyke called Oregon's proposal to set the limit at 5 milligrams for a single serving and 50 for a package "a reasonable recommendation."

"I think for a recreational market setting the limit at 5 (milligrams) is going to be helpful for those novice users, people who haven't used before, which is presumably a good portion of the market," he said.

Even with Colorado's official serving size of 10 milligrams, the advice to consumers from the state and from the marijuana industry itself is to start out even lower. Informational cards at Colorado marijuana shops advise consumers: "Start low. Go slow."

Bad experiences with edibles like the one Maureen Dowd documented in a now-famous 2014 New York Times column were a factor in Alaska's decision to open its recreational market this spring with lower serving sizes, said Jay Butler, the state's chief medical officer.

"From the retailers' perspective, they don't really want potential new customers going 'Maureen Dowd' on them," said Butler. "The more pleasant the experience, the better."

Though Washington's serving sizes mirror Colorado's, the state has taken a harder line on the types of products it allows.

Perishable treats such as ice cream and cooking staples such as butter are off limits. The state has proposed prohibiting foods that have to be baked or cooked at home, like pancake mixes or cookie dough.

The fear, said Kristi Weeks, policy counsel with the Washington Department of Health, is that consumers would "go home and make a 100 milligram pancake and have a bad experience."

A three-person team at the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board screens each infused edible product before it's allowed on the market, weeding out anything "especially" attractive to kids, said Weeks. Oregon does not limit the kinds of edible products that can be sold to recreational consumers, only how they are packaged and labeled.

Among the rejects in Washington: microwave popcorn, cotton candy, hot cocoa and a product called "pot ramen."

"You have to laugh at that one because who eats Top Ramen?" Weeks said. "College kids. And they are 18, 19 and 20."

Worries about kids getting into potent products drove Washington to also limit products intended for medical marijuana patients.

Starting in July, the state will allow medical marijuana patients who meet certain conditions to purchase what the Washington calls "high THC" products, such as skin patches, capsules, tinctures and suppositories.

Weeks said the limited line of potent products doesn't include candies and other treats and instead resembles "more traditional forms of medicine that a child wouldn't be likely to find and consume."

"Most kids are taught that pills are medicine," she said. "They look like medicine as opposed to a cookie."

In Oregon, state health officials expect to finalize rules for serving sizes by summer.

Meanwhile, makers of these products worry the proposed limits will turn off consumers looking for alternatives to smoking and dabbing the drug.

Some consumers will be happy with a couple of milligrams of THC, while others may want as much as 25 milligrams, said Daniel Stoops, whose Portland company Danodan Grassworks makes marijuana-infused caramels using organic ingredients.

"A mother of two who comes home to a couple kids and has to make dinner and wants to relax a little bit might need 25 milligrams," he said. "That might be her jam."

Under Oregon's proposal, that mother would get two servings in a package, while someone content with 5 milligrams will get 10. If the state moves ahead with the proposal, Stoops said he'll end up putting 10 5-milligram caramels in a package and selling them for between $15 and $30.

"It's a real penalty," he said, "to someone who has a higher tolerance and needs a few more milligrams."

oregonlive

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie[/url]

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Oregon Begins Recreational Marijuana Sales on Saturday

Retailers may use generic packaging and labeling until their new ones are approved

By Ben DiPietro

Sept. 30, 2016

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Recreational marijuana stores can open for business in Oregon on Saturday. The state already allowed medical use of the drug. Here, Shane Cavanaugh, owner of Amazon Organics, a pot dispensary in Eugene, Ore., arranges the cannabis display in his store in September 2015.

Photo: Ryan Kang/Associated Press

The two agencies that regulate Oregon’s marijuana industry approved rules to allow retailers to keep products on their store shelves that don’t meet new testing, packaging and labeling standards that take effect Saturday, the first day recreational marijuana stores can open for business.

Products that didn’t meet the new standards could have been removed from stores, but the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Health Authority agreed that if licensees don’t yet have preapproved packaging and labels, they may use generic packaging and labeling until their packages and labels are approved by the OLCC.

There are 26 recreational marijuana retailers licensed by the state, and some could be open for business as early as Saturday, said Steve Marks, executive director of the OLCC. “We’re right on time. It’s Oct. 1 and we’re ready,” he said.

Retailers had complained of a backlog in getting approvals for labels and packages and said there were only a few laboratories capable of testing to the new, more stringent standards. Mr. Marks said in a conference call with reporters on Friday that the state is caught up with testing, and that four of the 10 laboratories presently licensed by the state are capable of conducting pesticide testing as required under the updated rules. More labs will be accredited in the coming weeks, he said.

To remain on shelves, products produced before Oct. 1 must clearly state they were tested under the old regime and must leave stores in childproof packaging.

By allowing retailers to sell products produced before the Oct. 1 rules changes, the state will provide a smooth transition for retailers to sell existing product and for those medical dispensaries that want to transition into a recreational license, said Nathan Rix, a senior policy analyst at the commission. To date, the OLCC has approved a total of 326 licenses in the following categories: producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and labs.

While recreational retails sales officially begin Saturday, medical marijuana stores had received waivers to sell recreational products temporarily until retailers could be licensed. Oregon voters approved medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational marijuana in 2014.

The OLCC also passed a temporary rule to give it more control over the names of various marijuana product strains to make sure they are not aimed at minors by referring to toys, movies, cartoons. The commission cited as examples products with names such as “Girl Scout Cookies”; “Candy Land,” a well-known children’s board game; “Smurfette,” a cartoon character; and “Skywalker” and “Jedi Kush,” references to characters from the “Star Wars” movies.

“It’s a move to regulate words,” Mr. Marks said. Of about 500 strain names already reviewed, fewer than 20 strain names appear to be affected.

As for testing, the commission will permit a smaller number of batches in each harvest lot to be tested, even though the new rules mandate testing for all batches in a lot. As testing capacity grows at existing licensed labs and those still awaiting a license, the state expects to gradually increase testing.

To protect medical users of marijuana, OHA is prioritizing testing for those products. The agency is responsible for developing and implementing testing rules for both medical and recreational marijuana.

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Oregon recreational marijuana sales top $160 million for first nine months of 2016

Submitted by Marijuana News

Thu, 10/20/2016

ore%5B1%5D.jpg

Marijuana dispensaries in Oregon sold more than $160 million worth of recreational marijuana products in the first nine months of the year, sales tax figures released Monday by the state Department of Revenue show.

The agency received $40.2 million in recreational marijuana sales tax payments from dispensaries between the start of January and the end of September, suggesting that about $160.8 million worth of recreational pot products were sold in Oregon. State-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries selling recreational marijuana charge a 25 percent sales tax to customers for all flower, edible and other marijuana items.

“We don’t have those ready yet,” Department of Revenue spokeswoman Joy Krawczyk said.Department of Revenue officials still are waiting for some dispensaries to respond with quarterly tax returns from earlier in the year. Without the returns, the agency does not have details about which recreational marijuana products sold the most and produced the most sales tax money.

This month, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensed the first retailers in its recreational marijuana program. The retailers charge a 17 percent state sales tax for all recreational marijuana products.

The OLCC, as of Monday, listed three licensed recreational marijuana retailers in Lane County. Two of the retailers are in Eugene — Emerald City Medicinal at 1474 West 6th Ave. and Hwy 99 Cannabis Co. at 1083 B Highway 99N — and one, Apothecaria, is in Cottage Grove.

Medical marijuana dispensaries, which the Oregon Health Authority oversees, must become licensed retailers with the OLCC if they want to continue to sell recreational pot after the start of 2017. Until the end of this year, any dispensaries that have not become recreational retailers will continue to collect a 25 percent sales tax.

Medical marijuana dispensaries that opt not to sell recreational pot can continue to provide medical pot to patients.In Eugene, 26 medical marijuana dispensaries also sell recreational pot, according to the Health Authority.

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Can Oregon become the cannabis capital of the world?

Written by Kim Moore

October 25, 2016

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One year after the legalization of recreational marijuana, Oregon’s pot industry is booming with more than $400 million in projected sales in 2016.

But like any new industry, pot entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of building a strong brand and developing new products to attract underserved customers.

The industry has to work fast to establish itself as a leading manufacturer and retailer of marijuana products because cannabis will probably be legal in the United States in a few decades, predicted Renee Spears, creator of Smuggle, a cannabis products retailer.

“We have a slim window to brand Oregon as the cannabis capital of the world,” said Spears, who spoke as a panelist at an Oregon Business Hot Topics Cool Talks breakfast event on Tuesday. “This is Oregon’s moment.”

One advantage Oregon marijuana growers have over other jurisdictions is access to the plant’s diverse genomes, said Jeremy Plumb, founder of Newcleus Nurseries, a commercial cannabis cultivator. The diverse strains of the cannabis plant that are cultivated here make it possible for Oregon retailers to sell a variety of cannabis products.

“We are sitting on a treasure trove,” said Plumb. “There is no limit to the products and categories.”

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In some ways the state’s pot industry mirrors the emergence of Oregon’s craft brewers, which have evolved as leading creators of artisanal, unique-tasting beers. But Plumb sees the potential for cannabis to also be branded as a wellness product because of its use in pain management.

“People are comparing (the cannabis) sector to beer and wine,” said Plumb. “But it has a social, therapeutic outcome.”

The state’s pot sector also has the potential to bridge the state’s urban-rural economic divide.

Agricultural companies, in particular, stand to benefit from the growth of the cannabis industry by employing sophisticated growing techniques to help cultivate the plant. Cannabis production is known for its intense energy and water use, making it an ideal sector for more efficient farming methods.

As the cannabis industry matures, it will be increasingly important for businesses to build their brand to distinguish themselves from the competition, said Spears. Her company, Smuggle, specifically targets women and baby boomers, which she says is an underrepresented market.

“If you want to stand out, you need to build a brand right now,” said Spears.

Claire Kaufmann, northwest regional director of BDS Analytics, a cannabis industry research firm, said she does not see a lot of smart branding of cannabis products.

“When it comes to branding, sometimes (companies) can get ahead of themselves. Brand expression needs to resonate with customers,” she said.

As the pot industry grows it is inevitable that big businesses will move in and aggressively compete with the state’s craft growers and merchandisers.

Scotts Miracle Gro, the maker of garden maintenance products, is one multi-national corporation that has entered the pot market nationally by selling fertilizers and soils to cannabis growers, as well as lighting and hydroponics equipment.

Kauffman predicts large businesses will make a big move into edibles and cannabis concentrates in particular.

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A lot big money is already considering investment in the state’s pot business, said Vince Silwoski, an attorney at Harris Moure.

He does not see big money directed at the pot growers market yet.

Silwoski expects pot companies’ access to traditional banking services will expand as more states legalize recreational marijuana use. Marijuana businesses have to deal in cash because most banks deny credit card processing.

“We are close to a tipping point,” said Silwoski. “We will see the banking thing change in the next couple of years.”

Check out this clip from panelist Claire Kaufmann below.

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Oregon cities setting rules after opting in to legal pot

By Andrew Selsky

The Associated Press

Updated November 18, 2016

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FILE–In this Sept. 27, 2016 file photo, different strains of marijuana are displayed in West Salem Cannabis, a marijuana shop in Salem, Ore.

(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Some 30 counties and cities in Oregon approved some type of marijuana businesses in last week’s election, and officials in those communities now must establish rules for every step in the production and supply chain.

When voters legalized recreational marijuana statewide two years ago, the communities — from the cowboy town of Pendleton to Sweet Home in the Willamette Valley — opted out. But many switched it up this month, voting to allow at least some form of the pot industry, including medical marijuana.

“No one has done this in Oregon since liquor Prohibition,” said Scott Winkels, a lobbyist with the League of Oregon Cities. “This is the first time we’ve had to step in and develop and regulate a marketplace for a controlled substance since 1933.”

Local officials must determine operating hours for marijuana retailers, growing farms and processors. They also were trying to figure out whether the businesses should be allowed near parks and what sort of security and odor controls the businesses must provide.

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FILE–In this Sept. 30, 2016, file photo, a marijuana harvester examines buds as they go through a trimming machine in a rural area near Corvallis, Ore.

(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, file)

The rule-setting also was happening in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

In California, which approved pot last week, the San Jose City Council imposed a temporary ban — including on outdoor gardens — to give officials time to develop regulations for sales and farming.

In Colorado, where voters passed marijuana in 2012, the rules were still being tweaked.

This month, Denver became the first U.S. city to allow people to use marijuana in bars and restaurants, though state licensing officials announced a rule Friday that prohibits businesses with liquor licenses from allowing pot consumption on their premises. The move strikes a major blow to the voter-passed initiative.

In Oregon, the Liquor Control Commission didn’t begin finalizing regulations and licensing businesses until this year. The communities that approved marijuana businesses on Election Day are now starting to look at regulations.

“Most have been borrowing from each other,” said Rob Bovett, legal counsel of Association of Oregon Counties, describing efforts to establish ordinances.

Opt-in ballot measures go into effect in January, Bovett said. If the jurisdictions want to reap the tax benefits at the earliest opportunity, they should have the regulations finalized before then so marijuana companies can seek licenses and start doing business, liquor commission spokesman Mark Pettinger said.

The League of Oregon Cities has drawn up a guide to help struggling local officials.

It says cities may impose restrictions on the hours of operation and the locations of producers, processors, wholesalers, as well as retailers and medical marijuana grow sites, processing sites and dispensaries. They may also regulate public access and how the businesses operate.

“Probably most cities will use (the guide) as a template,” Winkels said. “The easiest way is to cut and paste the ordinance in … though some will probably be making local adjustments.”

Robert Snyder, lawyer for the town of Sweet Home, said forming the rules is “going to take work” and that it will be up to the city council to decide whether to get public input.

One marijuana ballot measure that passed last week imposed a 3 percent local sales tax on marijuana products, on top of a 17 percent state sales tax, Bovett said.

Even counties and cities that decided to prohibit marijuana businesses hedged their bets by approving the additional tax so they can be prepared to impose it if voters eventually say yes to pot.

“All (of Oregon’s) 111 cities and counties voted yes on the local tax,” Bovett said.

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Weed Week Descends on Portland Next Week!

By TWB

November 20, 2016

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WEED WEEK SET TO DESCEND ON DOWNTOWN PORTLAND NOV 30 – DEC 4

PDX Weed Week presented by TJs Gardens is five incredible days of cannabis activities and events in Portland, Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Weed Week is a grassroots movement bringing together the cannabis community to share information, insights, and ideas through education, events, and entertainment.

Weed Week kicks-off with the Weedmaps Cannabis Crawl. The idea is simple: groups of Portland Weed Week attendees will go from cannabis-business to cannabis-business in the downtown vicinity to learn more about them. It’s different, it’s dynamic, and for people who don’t have the opportunity to get out and see the cannabis community in Portland, it’s absolutely something special.

For people who value learning and education, Weed Week offers two full days of talks and workshops. Attendees will choose from more than 30 seminars covering four different tracks – business & technology, breeding & growing, health & wellness, and a hobbiest track. The lecture series is Thursday, Dec. 1 and Friday, Dec. 2 at the Leftbank Annex.

Many of the social events begin on the weekend, including the Taste of Terps Festival on Saturday, Dec. 3, and the Cannabis Classic exhibitor’s fair and awards show on Sunday, Dec. 4. The Taste of Terps Festival is for consumers looking to sample different types of products. There are two sessions, and Weed Week attendees must RSVP through the Weed Week app.

The Cannabis Classic exhibitor’s fair is on Sunday, Dec. 4, and features PitchFest, which is an opportunity for people with a cannabis business idea to pitch the ladies of The Marijuana Show for a chance to earn $50,000 of seed capital. In addition, businesses will be in attendance vending, demonstrating, and showcasing their products and services. The final act of Weed Week comes in the form of the Cannabis Classic awards show, where awards and cash prizes will be bestowed upon Oregon’s top producers and growers.

PDX Weed Week presented by TJs Gardens is a dynamic event aimed at bringing the cannabis community together to make things happen. If you are interested in attending PDX Weed Week presented by TJs Gardens, please visit www.pdxweedweek.com, where you can see the entire schedule of events as well as purchase all-access passes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cory Wray

Tel: 619-380-0055

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.pdxweedweek.com

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Best Buds – Episode 2 – Life in Bend, Oregon a Year After Marijuana Legalization

Published on Dec 13, 2016

In the second installment of Best Buds, Chris and Brian follow the marijuana legalization trail as they head west to experience the best things to do in Oregon while high. They kick off their adventure at Bend, Oregon dispensary Oregrown, where they stock up on plenty of high-quality recreational cannabis for their adventures. After that, they meet up with Madison Louch and her friend Devin to take a leisurely float on the Deschutes river, pedal down the street on a Cycle Pub, and get high (up in the air) in a giant hot air balloon.

About the series:

BFFs Chris Nester and Brian Sturgill are just two dudes exercising their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of cannabis. Join them as they travel the country in search of the best things to do while high.

Want to embark on your own cannabis adventure? Get inspired at https://www.leafly.com/.

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Need pot, but can't leave the house? Marijuana delivery services are coming to Portland.

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A committee of 15 people will advise the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on rules for regulating marijuana.

Noelle Crombie | The Oregonian/OregonLive

By Jessica Floum | The Oregonian/OregonLive

December 21, 2016

Portland on Wednesday blessed "marijuana couriers" and other pot-related "micro" business types in a move to ease financial barriers for entrepreneurs.

The council voted unanimously to immediately adopt the additions and other changes to the city's marijuana code.

"Since the state regulations keep changing and the industry keep flourishing, we'll be coming back with multiple changes I'm sure," Commissioner Amanda Fritz said. "I look forward to that time."

Courier businesses can now produce marijuana and other cannabis products but they can sell it only through delivery.

Like other marijuana businesses, couriers need a licensed headquarters within a permitted building in an area where it's allowed by city zoning rules. All marijuana retailers licensed with the city must first obtain a license from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Couriers cannot sell pot from storefronts. But they can open their licensed headquarters near other marijuana businesses. Traditional retailers and dispensaries must keep their shops at least 1,000 feet apart.

Current pot businesses licensed by the city and the Oregon Health Authority on or before July 1, 2015, and still in good standing, do not need to meet the distance requirement.

Another amendment addresses a sometimes slow and burdensome process for businesses transitioning from providing medical to recreational marijuana. It allows marijuana shops to operate without a city-issued "marijuana regulatory license" for up to five business days after the state grants them a retail license.

To get a city license, marijuana business owners must fill out a personal history form. They must also obtain an alarm permit from the Portland Police Bureau and an electrical permit for the Bureau of Development Services. They also need proof of an air filtration system.

Any violation of the city's code could result in a fine of up to $5,000. Enforcement falls to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, currently led by Fritz.

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oregon-cannabis-stats-702x336.jpg

 
What Are Oregonians Smoking? 
 
By Allie Beckett
May 4th, 2017


The numbers are in! Oregonians bought and consumed $37 million worth of cannabis products in the month of March alone.

 

This year is proving to be the biggest year for cannabis in Oregon. Data from BDS Analytics‘ GreenEdge Retail Sales Tracking Data shows The Beaver State has already sold 24% more cannabis than this time last year, rounding out at $101 million worth of cannabis sales in the first quarter of 2017. Despite slowing retail sales nationwide, which fell by 0.2% in March according to the US Census Bureau, cannabis sales are growing at an accelerating rate. The sales of cannabis vape pens alone grew 441% in Oregon over the previous year.

Oregon’s medical marijuana market accounted for nearly 22% of the total $37 million sales.

 

So what were Oregonians spending their dough on?

 

No surprise here that dried bulk flower leads the way at $19.9 million, while an additional $1.9 million in pre-rolled joints were sold.

 

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BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge Retail Sales Tracking Data

 

Concentrates as a whole brought in $7.7 million of revenue, with vape pens contributing to the majority of those sales at $4.9 million. Breaking it down further, $1.2 million worth of shatter, $416,000 worth of oils, $190,000 worth of live resin, and $110,000 worth of wax was sold throughout Oregon in the month of March.

 

Due to complications processors have faced getting established in the marketplace over the last year, I expect these numbers to increase significantly over the next few months as more concentrate products make it to retail.

 

While the options for marijuana-infused edibles have been limited as processors have slowly been getting licensed and settled into the market, the category still sold $4.7 million worth of products in a short period of time. Compared to February, consumers in March purchased 43% more marijuana-infused edibles. Candy led the way at $2 million with chocolates close behind at $1.5 million. The remaining subcategories accounted for $1.2 million: $754,000 of tinctures, $285,000 of infused foods, $92,000 of pills, and $92,000 worth of infused beverages.

 

Topicals, one of the best “first-time” cannabis products, accounted for $489,000 of the month’s total sales — possibly due to the lack of topical producers in the market.

 

Overall, the market is experiencing massive growth in sales of all categories but concentrates and edibles are particularly booming as more Oregon producers get established. 

 

As more stats emerge, we’ll keep you up-to-date and informed on the most popular and fastest growing products in Oregon’s cannabis market.

 

All data provided by BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge Retail Sales Tracking Data.

 

 

marijuana.com

 

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Portland backs cannabis lounge bill, envisions 'craft' tourism boost

 

Pete Danko  Staff Reporter
May 17, 2017


The city of Portland has joined with cannabis businesses in lobbying for a bill that would allow consumption of cannabis at licensed lounges akin to tobacco smoking patios.

 

Part of the city’s argument for Senate Bill 307: It could help boost craft cannabis tourism.
 
“The same way as Oregon and our city celebrate our craft beer and wine industry, Portland welcomes and wants to provide opportunities for our emerging craft cannabis industry,” Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the city’s cannabis regulatory body, said in testimony submitted to the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation this week.

 

“SB 307 would provide the regulatory framework for tourists to enjoy the products from Oregon’s growing craft cannabis industry legally and safely, outside the home and outside of public view,” the Portland leaders went on.

 

As originally introduced, SB 307 allowed for consumption at temporary events and at indoor lounges. But after the bill ran into opposition, a workgroup produced an amended version, discussed at a public hearing on Tuesday, that drops the events provision and shifts to the smoking patio concept, with at least one open wall.

 

Licenses would only be allowed in cities or counties that pass ordinances allowing for them.

 

The Portland officials, along with other supporters, also said the bill is needed for citizens who, for whatever reason, can’t smoke in their residence.

 

“Absent a legal, regulated, and safe place outside of the home to consume cannabis … Oregonians may find themselves consuming cannabis in public view on sidewalks, on streets, in vehicles, and in parks,” they wrote.
 
Various health workers and officials testified against the bill, arguing that it could expose workers to dangerous second-hand smoke and send the wrong message to children.

 

“Our kids are watching,” Jennifer Vines, deputy health director for Multnomah County, testified. “Our concern is that the normalization of smoking when it is allowed in public erodes the decades of work that we’ve done in public health to roll back that social norms around tobacco and smoking products.”

 

 

bizjournals

 

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Where to Get Food Late at Night in Portland

 

Where to get munchie meals. 


Potlander_Original-Hot-Cake-House.jpg
(Original Hot Cake House, Emily Joan Greene)
 

By WW Staff  | 
April 17
 

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Devil's Dill
1711 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-236-8067, devilsdill.com. Pickup till 3 am.

 

Mouth dry? Stomach empty? You desperately need a giant, delicious sandwich at like 2:30 am on a Sunday? Arguably, this hoagie spot is the best meal available in this city at that hour. It'll take delivery orders until 2:30 am for a hefty five-spice pulled pork No. 1 ($9.50) or let you slide in at the bar next door and wash it down with booze.


Hammy's Pizza
2114 SE Clinton St., 503-235-1035, hammyspizza.com. Delivers till 4 am daily.

Hammy's is the cure for every munchie—a 4 am delivery pizza that will put your obsessive rumination to use on slow-proofed, thick and tangy crust, fresh meat and daily-made sauce.


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Javier's Taco Shop
121 N Lombard St., 503-286-3186. Open 24 hours.

 

Do not go to Javier's sober for burritos. Do not go un-high for a chimichanga. You won't appreciate it. Ride here stoned in a Lyft at 4:30 am, and feel weird in front of police officers and EMTs who are always here with you, eating meat with…many textures.


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(The Roxy, Christopher Onstott)

 

The Roxy
1121 SW Stark St., 503-223-9160, theroxydiner.com. Open 24 hours, but it don't like Mondays.

 

The Roxy is the only thing in Portland seemingly immune to the ravages of time, with DayGlo-yellow gravy, omelets thick as thighs and tables full of teens conceived on Molly who also take Molly. Long may it ruin the digestion of the drunk and high.


Hot-Cake-House_Emily-Joan-Greene.jpg
(Original Hot Cake House, Emily Joan Greene)

 

Original Hotcake House
1002 SE Powell Blvd., 503-236-7402, hotcakehouse.com. Open 24 hours.

 

The pancakes and seasoned-griddle omelettes at the all-night Hotcake House don't scratch an itch—they smother it in carbs and fat and turn you into the world's happiest paperweight.


SizzlePie_pizza_JoeRiedl.jpg
(Sizzle Pie, Joe Riedl) 


Sizzle Pie
624 E Burnside St. and elsewhere, 503-234-7437, sizzlepie.com. Till 3 am school nights, 4 am Friday-Saturday.

 

Vegan? High? Well, welcome to heaven. Sizzle Pie will bring you vegan things that taste and look like pizza, until 4 am on weekends, right to your door.


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(Lonesome’s Pizza, Vivian Johnson) 


Lonesome's Pizza
1 SW 3rd Ave, 503-234-0114, lonesomespizza.com. Till 3 am daily.

 

The menu looks psychedelic and so do the owners and so do the insides of the pizza boxes, larded with art. Order the No. 26—the vingt-seize, in French—with soppressata and banana peppers. There is no other pie, and it'll come to your house til 3 am.


wweek

 

 

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