Oregon’s New Marijuana Law: 2021 Edition
The 2021 Oregon State Legislative Assembly ends on Sunday, June 27. Therefore, I am here for a traditional annual update of all our new cannabis laws. This year, I counted 10 bills passed that directly involve marijuana. Some of these bills have been signed by Governor Brown, while others are still on her desk. As a reminder, if the governor does not sign the registered bill within 30 days, it will become law anyway. I don’t expect Governor Brown to veto any of these 10 bills, only one may be an exception.
From an industry perspective, the content passed at the meeting is as compelling as the content that failed. I will start this article by introducing two big failed bills, and then we will continue to discuss the winners.
HB 3112 Cannabis social justice
in my Preview of this meeting Back in January, I wrote: “If we were to see the Marijuana Social Justice Act become law, it should be this year.” Unfortunately, that was not a year. The reasons for the failure of the bill are complicated, but HB 3112 was killed behind the scenes after four months of intermittent.
In the absence of the Cannabis Social Fairness Act, the boost will be heavier every year. In January, I studied some of the challenges that HB 31112 will face and concluded:
Unfortunately, this ship has sailed to a certain extent. Thousands of cannabis industry licenses were issued by Oregon at this time, and potential beneficiaries of the Oregon Cannabis Rights Act will start from the parking position. The legislature should deal with it in this way as early as 2015.
From a larger perspective, the fate of HB 3112 is not unique. HB 2002, a comprehensive statewide bill against structural and systemic racism in Oregon, was also set aside.That said, Oregon did pass a large number of independent race and criminal justice bills, which you can read in a broader summary Here.
SB 864 To increase taxes
The bill will increase the maximum tax rate levied by counties and cities on the sale of cannabis products from 3% to 10%. SB 864 was close to passing the Senate, but the industry firmly opposed it, and perhaps more importantly, the chairman of the House Income Committee let it give up. One factor might be the additional US$1 BB included in the state’s May revenue forecast and the US$2.6BB received from the federal government.
It will be interesting to observe what happens to future cannabis tax increases proposals, especially if the treasury is streamlined again, and since most cannabis taxes have disappeared Measurement 110. I’m on the record Marijuana tax could be higher, Although for the sake of our customers, I hope they don’t do this.
HB 3000 Control damage to artificially derived cannabinoids; etc.
This is a very large and significant comprehensive cannabis bill that has done a million things. The following are the biggest for me:
- Authorize the Oregon Alcohol Control Commission (“OLCC”) to supervise artificially derived cannabinoids.
- Require industrial hemp commodities or products for human consumption to be processed by licensed hemp processors.
- Anyone other than licensed cannabis retailers is prohibited from selling designated industrial hemp goods or products to consumers.
- The OLCC is required to adopt rules that stipulate the maximum concentration of total delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids (including artificially derived cannabinoids) in a single cannabinoid product.
- Directs the Oregon Department of Agriculture (“ODA”) to administer the Oregon Hemp State Program to produce, process, and sell industrial hemp.
- ODA is required to conduct criminal record checks on applicants for industrial hemp grower licenses. Allow personnel authorized by the department to transport designated industrial hemp and industrial hemp products within the state.
- ODA is required to establish requirements for tracking the transfer of designated industrial hemp commodities and products.
- Instruct ODA to adopt rules that require industrial hemp growers to report any crop loss or non-cultivation intent.
- Growers ordered to destroy or repair industrial hemp crops are required to provide the department with destruction or repair documents.
- If someone grows industrial hemp crops or commits specific violations before applying for grower registration, instruct ODA to refuse to issue registration or take other specific actions.
- If the goods or products meet specific requirements, hemp processors are allowed to transfer, sell or transport industrial hemp goods or products to non-cannabis processors, retailers or wholesalers.
- Unless the goods or products meet specific requirements, the sale of industrial hemp products or products for human consumption to consumers is prohibited.
- The civil fine is stipulated not to exceed US$10,000 and applies to certain people who grow industrial hemp crops containing specific THC concentrations.
- Establish a cannabis-derived narcotics task force.
Most of these projects are self-explanatory, but for me, the key takeaways are 1) The entire industry should be satisfied with this bill; 2) Oregon is seriously looking for solutions to bad behavior-mainly in Josephine And Jackson County-related to its loosely regulated cannabis industry, and 3) Despite HB 3000’s consumer protection preferences, Oregon chose not to ban all artificial cannabinoids because 11 other countries have done so so far. Oregon will regulate these cannabinoids. I think the country’s rational response and respect for market vitality in the context of evolving research should be commended. We will follow up with more detailed posts about this development soon.
HB 2284A Hemp Commodity Commission
Obviously, legal cannabis operators want a committee to collect taxes and market themselves, similar to the Oregon Wheat Commission or the Oregon Beef Commission. This is an interesting development for a relatively new state-owned industry. We will pay close attention.
SB 408 Cannabis plan adjustment
This is the Christmas Tree Act that the industry should be satisfied with. First of all, it is determined that OLCC has done a lot of work on law enforcement issues that we have criticized for many years on this blog. SB 408:
- Specify the reasons why OLCC may delay processing, approve, or reject cannabis license applications.
- OLCC is required to consider mitigating factors when revoking, suspending or restricting licenses.
- The OLCC is required to establish a timetable in accordance with the rules that shows the number and types of violations by the applicant or licensee in ignoring the law.
- OLCC is required to report no later than December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022 regarding the establishment of a schedule of violations and the establishment of public safety-related rules.
If implemented properly, these changes should help set the industry’s expectations for application processing and, more importantly, eliminate ambiguous standards and agreements when licensees are accused of violations. In terms of administrative enforcement, SB 408 also:
- Authorize OLCC to revoke, suspend, or restrict cannabis licenses for reasons including the transfer of cannabis to interstate or illegal markets, and the introduction of cannabinoids or cannabis produced by METRC that are not OLCC license holders or trackers.
- Authorize OLCC to revoke cannabis retailer licenses for specific reasons.
Finally, SB 408 attempts to close some procedural gaps and clarify some vague terms in current rules and regulations:
- Commonly owned cannabis producers are allowed to transfer cannabis and available cannabis to each other, and define “co-ownership.”
- Allow cannabis producers to obtain designated cannabis items from cannabis processors.
- Specify the information required for the transportation of cannabis in the transportation list.
- The OLCC is required to adopt rules that allow cannabis producers to receive specified quantities of cannabis seeds from any source in Oregon.
- Increase personal possession of marijuana to two (2) ounces in public places.
- Instruct OLCC to apply rules related to THC concentration in single serving cannabinoid products or cannabinoid concentrates or extracts.
HB 2519 In-state delivery
The bill allows retailers to deliver cannabis items to consumers in neighboring cities or counties, as long as these jurisdictions have passed laws allowing such delivery. Very good repair.
SB 808 OLCC Peace Officer
This small bill brought important changes. It gives OLCC the distinction of supervisory experts “peace officials” (basically police powers), while OLCC has expanded its jurisdiction over artificial cannabinoids and more generally cannabis. The idea here is for inspectors to start encounters in the wilderness of Jackson and Josephine counties, where sheriffs have arrest warrants for a large number of unauthorized cannabis activities, and fear of cartel-style activities is growing.
HB 3295 County’s tax distribution eligibility
I admit it is a boring one. HB 3295 modifies county eligibility requirements for transfers from cannabis accounts in Oregon. It also requires counties (with few exceptions) to convene a cannabis advisory group before passing specific laws related to cannabis in order to be eligible for fund transfers. Enough said.
HB 3369 Medical marijuana medical professionals
This common sense bill allows nurses (such as doctors) to discuss the use of medical marijuana with patients. It also designates licensed healthcare providers who may recommend medical uses of cannabis to registered ID holders. Cool.
SB 307 Medical marijuana card discounts for veterans in Oregon
Another common sense bill. For certain veterans who wish to obtain a medical marijuana card, this can be waived (very minimal in any case). Every qualified veteran must have a total disability rating of at least 50% because they were injured or sick or worsened during active military service, and they must be discharged or released under unhonorable conditions. As early as January, I wrote, “This seems to be a low-hanging fruit. The only question is whether 50% is the correct number.” The same question, I think, but overall it is good.
HB 2111A Change the name of OLCC
Change the name of the “Oregon Alcohol Control Commission” to “Oregon Alcohol and Marijuana Commission”. This is appropriate, and it’s a bit weird that it took so long, especially considering the acronyms remain the same.
SB 96 Supervision of inhalant delivery systems
Last but not least, SB 96 authorized OLCC to supervise the testing and labeling of inhalation delivery systems including cannabis-derived vapor projects. Of all the bills submitted to Governor Brown at this session, this is the only signature that is an open issue. I don’t have a good understanding of this, but I think she will sign eventually. If so, this regulation will be a major task for OLCC. stay tuned.