New Oregon recreational marijuana applicants must wait a year-plus for approval

New applicants seeking entry into Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are going to have to wait at least a year before getting licenses, according to the state’s cannabis czar.

The delays could prove costly for new applicants who’ve already rented facilities in anticipation of getting a business license.

Steve Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), which regulates the state’s marijuana industry, issued a letter Aug. 30 addressed to the state’s recreational cannabis business owners.

In the letter, Marks wrote that the state received a flood of new applications ahead of a June 15 moratorium on new licenses. In May, the state said it would temporarily halt accepting any new licenses for rec businesses.

The 2,210 new business applications received by June 15 are expected to take a year or more to process. It could take longer for anyone who submitted an application immediately before the cutoff.

According to Marks, his agency has assigned two workers to handle the approvals. Retail, wholesale and processing licenses will have priority, given that those permit types can be processed more quickly than producer applications.

Marks also noted the agency has assigned 11 investigators to process the backlog of license renewals. He estimated that renewals for 2017 and 2018 will take about a year. Processing changes to business structures and ownership will take 3-6 months, depending on the complexity of the changes and the number of alterations.

Marks also wrote that the OLCC intends to ask the state Legislature for additional staff to help with the licensing workload and to assist with compliance and enforcement activity.

The Statesmen Journal of Salem reported that the OLCC plans to ask lawmakers for up to $7 million in recreational cannabis taxes per biennium to help track medical marijuana.

The Associated Press also reported that the state’s new harvest notification policy takes effect Saturday. Marijuana producers are required to notify the state before harvest so regulators can monitor for any diversion out of the licensed market.

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One comment on “New Oregon recreational marijuana applicants must wait a year-plus for approval
  1. William Cumby on

    My marijuana producer application to the OLCC was accepted with LUCS February 1st, 2018.

    Note my LUCS from Columbia County took 9 months to obtain PRIOR to the OLCC application submission.

    Note in order to submit a LUCS you have to prove rightful ownership of the property in which to grow. This purchase was made in March of 2017 specifically to take advantage of this Oregon business opportunity.

    After obtaining my Land Use Compatibility Statement from Columbia County I attempted to obtain my building permit from the same branch of government. This building permit was for internal improvements to an existing building on my property. These improvements were for odor mitigation and security requirements required by the OLCC and the county. After compiling a host of signatures, documents, drawings, and engineering plans I was told I could not obtain a building permit until my security background check from the OLCC was complete.

    Originally I was told this was a 6 month wait. It has been 11 months to date.

    22 months after starting this process I’m not even allowed to obtain a building permit to put up some internal walls, security cams, and electrical wiring in an existing building on my privately owned property.

    This seems like tortious interference with a business and would like to hear from a qualified lawyer who is willing to pursue.

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