Legislative Short Session: Cannabis Update
The Oregon legislature’s short session is traditionally devoted to quick budget fixes, but this year we have seen a handful of cannabis and hemp-related bills proposed in both the House and Senate that could affect our industry.
- HB4035 Put Forward by Representative Lively – This bill directs the OLCC, Oregon Health Authority, State Department of Agriculture and Governor’s office to develop a plan to address issues related to regulatory authority over marijuana. The bill directs these agencies to meet over the next several months to come up with a plan to address the following by the end of the year:
- Reduce administrative costs
- Ensure the efficacy of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program
- Establish a state marijuana reference laboratory
- Support social equity as related to marijuana
- Develop compliance education programs for licensees
The OCA is eagerly following the progress of this bill and we look forward to working with the OLCC on an updated plan for a streamlined system, with equitable enforcement reform and a renewed focus on social justice in our industry. We are thankful that the OLCC has agreed to convene and be an active part of this effort, and Director Marks has agreed to work toward establishment of a safe harbor for certain situations. This bill may see more changes. You can follow its progress and read the amendments here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020R1/Measures/Overview/HB4035
SB1561 Put Forward by Senator Prozanski and Representative Helm – Directs the State Department of Agriculture to develop an Oregon Hemp Plan for the establishment of an Oregon Hemp Program for commercial sale and production of hemp.
Qualifications for receiving a license to grow or handle hemp
Standards for growers and handlers of hemp and procedures for suspending or revoking the license of growers or handlers who violate those standards
Procedures for identifying land where hemp is produced
Procedures for sampling and testing hemp for tetrahydrocannabinol concentration levels
Procedures for disposing of identified marijuana plants
Processes for sharing information with state and federal agencies as required by state and federal law, rules and regulations
HB4088 Put Forward by Representative Fahey – Directs Oregon Liquor Control Commission to establish Cannabis Social Equity Program to provide discounted recreational marijuana licensure fees and other support to program participants.
This bill is being reworked to turn into a task force that will work to propose something in the 2021 session.
HB4156 Put Forward by Senator Prozanski and Representative Helm – Directs State Department of Agriculture to advance design of a cannabis business certification program, which creates incentives for cannabis business operations to use low-carbon cultivation techniques that use energy and water efficiently. The program will be funded by a $300,000 allocation from the Marijuana Control and Regulation Fund, and will then be offered to licensees to help lower their ecological impact and energy costs.
This bill has moved out of committee and will now go to a Ways and Means subcommittee to address the full financial impact of the bill.