Oregon to suspend processing of new recreational cannabis licenses

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In response to Oregon’s oversupplied recreational marijuana market and a backlog of applications, state regulators will temporarily discontinue processing new adult-use licenses effective June 15.

Marijuana businesses in Oregon have experienced plummeting wholesale cannabis prices – they’ve dropped as low as $50 a pound for flower – and the move to keep new businesses from entering the market could help slow the fall.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) announced that new applications for recreational cannabis business licenses received after June 15 will be evaluated in 2019.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • According to an OLCC news release, for the time being, the agency’s licensing staff will focus solely on renewals for current recreational marijuana business licensees, already-submitted adult-use applications and medical cannabis registrants required to start using the state’s tracking system.
  • As of May 23, the OLCC had received 3,432 applications for licenses to process, produce, retail, wholesale, research and test recreational marijuana, the Bend Bulletin reported.
  • The state has licensed 1,900 recreational marijuana businesses since April 2016.
  • The decision to limit applications comes after the agency announced that Oregon’s recreational retailers sold only 108,330 pounds of usable adult-use marijuana last year, leaving 891,670 pounds unsold.
  • Billy Williams, the state’s U.S. attorney, recently expressed concerns about the amount of cannabis being produced in the state and being diverted to the black market.