Cannabis rule changes afoot in Portland and rest of Oregon

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Marijuana businesses in Portland as well as other Oregon cities soon could see some relief with new and pending rules from city and state regulators.

The Oregon Health Authority issued revised testing regulations this week that essentially require marijuana growers to go through the same tests, but with less frequency, for potency, solvents and pesticides, The Oregonian reported. The aim is to get more flowers, oils and marijuana-infused edibles on depleted store shelves.

The new rules take effect immediately and are designed to help rectify a supply shortage and drop in sales.

In addition, state regulators are considering changing the rules in early 2017 for marijuana testing so they are more like regulations for other agricultural crops.

Current state regulations require that cannabis go through frequent and thorough testing, while crops like grapes and apples are tested only randomly for pesticides, according to The Oregonian.

There also was good news specific to Portland, where dozens of applications for adult-use retail licenses have been stalled by the city processing bureaucracy.

City regulations mandate that retailers have a license in hand by Jan. 1 to begin operations. But the city’s top cannabis official, Amanda Fritz, promised that marijuana retailers whose applications are stuck in the backlog won’t be shut if they don’t have their recreational licenses by the deadline, the Portland Business Journal reported.

The Portland City Council also added a license category for delivery-only cannabis businesses to a marijuana regulation proposal that will be voted on next week, The Oregonian reported.