Oregon Proposes Recreational Marijuana Licensing Fees

Recreational marijuana businesses in Oregon would have to fork over several thousand dollars annually in licensing fees under the latest draft of proposed rules covering the state’s adult-use program.

The licensing costs would come on top of local fees, leaving some cannabis entrepreneurs worried that they may not be able to survive the burden.

“I am afraid these fees, on top of the fees that localities are imposing, are putting prices too high, and pricing out mom and pop and hurting the ability of the regulated market to compete with the unregulated market,” Anthony Johnson – chief petitioner for Measure 91, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state – told the Oregonian.

Under the draft rules, marijuana growers serving the recreational market would have to pay either $3,750 or $5,750 annually for a license, depending on the size of the  operation. Processors, laboratories, wholesalers and retailers would have to fork over $4,750 annually for licenses.

Fees are listed on page eight of the 76-page rule proposal.

Fee revenue will be used to oversee Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s proposed fees are based on estimates of how much it would cost to administer the program.

The commission must have rules in place before Jan. 4, 2016, when the state is scheduled to begin accepting license applications. It is scheduled to vote on the proposed rules Thursday.

If the commission doesn’t approve the current draft this week, it will have another opportunity to vote in November.

Other controversial regulations in the proposed draft rules include a ban on on-site consumption at licensed cannabis institutions, residency requirements for business owners and a rule outlawing the sharing of locations between medical marijuana facilities and recreational stores.