Oregon Adopts Regulations for Rec Industry

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Oregon entrepreneurs now have a road map for pursuing business opportunities in the state’s recreational cannabis industry.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), which has been working on recreational regulations for nearly a year, formally adopted 78 pages of temporary rules governing the licensing and operations of cannabis businesses.

The rules cover everything from seed-to-sale tracking requirements and production limits for growers to edibles packaging and regulations on cannabis delivery.

A final version of the rules likely won’t be ready until June because the legislature still has some tweaking to do, said Rob Patridge, chair of the OLCC.

One area primed for changes, Patridge said, involves ownership of rec businesses.

Under the rules adopted Thursday, recreational cannabis companies must be at least 51% owned by Oregon residents who have lived in the state for at least two years.

Patridge said he’s spoken to several state lawmakers who intend on changing that during the legislative session. But Patridge added that he isn’t clear on exactly what type of modifications they will seek.

Another controversial part of the rules that may change is a limitation on commercial growers.

The new regulations create two tiers: the first allows for up to 20,000 square feet of canopy, and the second allows up to 40,000 square feet.

While local governments will be able to petition the state to grant exemptions for larger grows, Patridge acknowledged that some cultivators have expressed concern that the general 40,000-square-foot limit is too low.

The state will likely start issuing recreational marijuana licenses in March or April, and Patridge said he anticipates that retailers will begin opening in late 2016.

Currently, only licensed medical cannabis dispensaries can sell recreational marijuana.