New Oregon law reduces regulatory burdens for cannabis businesses

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Oregon relaxed some of its cannabis regulations that industry officials said were limiting business growth, hurting licensees and threatening the economic viability of the state’s $1 billion-plus industry.

Most of the provisions of recently enacted Senate Bill 408 will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022, unless regulators take action earlier through emergency rule-making.

“The passing of SB 408 into law is a huge step towards overhauling and modernizing Oregon’s cannabis regulations – creating a better business environment for the industry,” Jesse Bontecou, co-director of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, said in a statement.

Kim Lundin, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Association, noted that “overregulation particularly impacts small businesses” that lack capital, and “jeopardizes businesses of all sizes looking to compete on a national level.”

The new law, which was recently signed by Gov. Kate Brown, includes these provisions:

  • Limits conditions under which Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) may delay processing, approving or denying a license application.
  • Allows for the transfer of certain marijuana products between producers and processors as well as producers with common ownership.
  • Requires regulators to adopt rules supporting marijuana plant diversity, such as by allowing a qualified producer to receive seeds from any source in the state.
  • Simplifies rules regarding tracking documents for deliveries.
  • Increases edibles concentration limits to bring Oregon in-line with other states and allows regulators to write rules to increase purchase limits.
  • Requires the OLCC to identify ways to further reduce the use of plastics by the cannabis industry and submit its findings to the state Legislature by Dec. 31, 2022.