Always interesting to see what’s been tabled in Oregon as the state tends to be a year or so ahead of the rest of the country with regulated cannabis issues.

 

ORCA report

 

2021 Cannabis Bill Legislative Roundup

Bill Number: HB 3112 – Oregon Cannabis Equity Act 

[ORCA Strongly Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Establishes Cannabis Equity Board within office of Governor to provide equity oversight of cannabis industry in this state. 

Status: Currently the bill is awaiting its formal committee assignment, likely to the House Judiciary Committee, where we’re hoping for a hearing in the second half of March. Be ready – because we’ll be supporting this one loudly.

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Bill Number: HB 2263 – METRC Reform and Technical Fixes

[ORCA Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Directs Oregon Liquor Control Commission to study recreational marijuana tracking. 

Status: Currently this bill is in the House Committee on General Government, where it was recently discussed alongside several other cannabis bills.  This is a concept that we’ve been working on for some time alongside other industry stakeholders.  The concept may ultimately get folded into another piece of legislation, but ultimately the aim is to reduce unnecessary costs and burdensome regulations involving the CTS (cannabis tracking system) that do not provide any tangible security benefits to the OLCC.  Good bill, do pass.

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Bill Number : SB 408 – Cannabis Omnibus Bill 

[ORCA Strongly Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary:  Allows marijuana producers owned at least 51 percent by same person to transfer to one another marijuana and usable marijuana. Allows marijuana producer to receive specified marijuana items from marijuana processor. Specifies information required in transfer manifest for transport of marijuana

Status: This bill is currently sitting in the Senate Committee on Labor and Business, and, despite the initial bill summary, is likely to be replaced with a long list of additional changes that we are proposing alongside an industry-wide group of stakeholders.  This bill has lots of potential and could result in expanded purchase limits for consumers, the elimination of the need for routing for wholesale delivery, reduction in certain violation punishments, and many other very favorable changes for the industry.  Stay tuned!

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Bill Number: HB 2111 – Change Agency Name to Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission

[ORCA Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Changes name of “Oregon Liquor Control Commission” to “Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.” Declares emergency, effective Aug 2, 2021.

Status: This bill is also in the House Committee on General Government where it recently had a hearing held, which was largely well received.  This change has been a long time coming and this may finally be the year it passes.

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Bill Number: HB 2519 – Allow for Cross-jurisdictional Retail Delivery

[ORCA Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Allows delivery of marijuana items, pursuant to bona fide orders, to consumers within city or county in which marijuana retailer is located and to consumers in cities or counties that have adopted ordinances allowing for delivery of marijuana items from adjacent cities or counties.

Status: This bill is also in the House Committee on General Government where it recently had a hearing held, where our Co-Director Jesse Bontecou testified in favor of the proposal, which was largely well received.  This is a reintroduction of a bill that had made significant progress last session and is expected to make it further into the process this time – though it’s possible that the language for this bill may get folded into another bill more likely to pass.

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Bill Number: HB 2973 – DOUBLES PURCHASE LIMITS FOR ADULT-USE CONSUMERS AT OLCC STORES FROM 1 OUNCE TO 2 OUNCES

[ORCA Strongly Supports this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Prohibits person 21 years of age or older from possessing more than two ounces of usable marijuana in public place. Provides that delivery of not more than two ounces of usable marijuana to person 21 years of age or older is exempt from certain laws regulating marijuana. Directs Oregon Liquor Control Commission to adopt rules in accordance with possession limits. 

Status: ORCA petitioned the OLCC earlier this year to increase in rule the purchase limits for home-delivery orders in the wake of the pandemic, with the state encouraging folks to make fewer trips outside of the home.  Statutory limits on how much cannabis a person can possess in public (1 ounce) complicated matters a bit for increasing in-store purchase limits.

This bill would fix those statutory restrictions by doubling the amount of cannabis a person can possess on their person outside of their home from 1 ounce up to 2 ounces, and would also double the purchase limits at OLCC stores.  This bill is also in the House Committee on General Government where it recently had a hearing held, where our Executive Director Casey Houlihan testified in favor of the proposal, which was also received well by legislators. We are optimistic about this proposal, though it may get folded into our Senate omnibus bill if that’s the best path forward.

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Bill Number: HB 2014 – Changing Cannabis Tax Revenue Distribution

[ORCA OPPOSES this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Provides for distribution of moneys in Oregon Marijuana Account to certain cities determined by population and location of city and based on share of retail sales of marijuana items in state, as exception to standard distributions based on city share of population and of licenses for marijuana-related businesses.

Status: This bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Revenue, where hopefully it won’t see the light of day.  We’re already doing a great deal of work this session on allocating the cannabis tax revenues to extremely worthy causes, and we don’t want anything else to muddy the water.

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Bill Number: HB 2015 – Increases Local Cannabis Sales Tax to up to 10%!

[ORCA OPPOSES this bill!]

Catchline/Summary: Increases maximum percentage of tax that governing body of city or county may impose on sale of marijuana items. 

Status: This is one of the WORST bills for the cannabis industry that we can expect to see introduced this year, as it seeks to INCREASE THE 3% LOCAL SALES TAX UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 10% – bringing the total applicable sales tax for retail cannabis up to 27%.  This bill would cost our industry innumerable dollars in revenue and would likely send many consumers back to illicit legacy markets.  The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Revenue, where hopefully, like HB 2014, it won’t see the light of day any time soon.

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Bill Number: HB 2294 – Seeks to ADD A WHOLESALE CANNABIS TAX!

[ORCA OPPOSES this bill!]

Catchline/Summary:  Imposes tax on wholesale sales of marijuana items across county borders.

Status: Like the other two bills impacting cannabis taxes, this bill would seek to add an entirely new tax for cannabis at the wholesale level when it’s sold into a county other than the one in which it was produced.  This would, in effect, raise taxes on the overwhelming majority of cannabis sold in the state and put some of our highest quality production regions at a tremendous disadvantage.  The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Revenue, where, like HB 2014 and HB 2015, it shall remain buried and inactive…we hope…