The long and short of it is that Oregon growers will be allowed to tag in batches of 100 and not per plant but the kicker is that the new rules don’t kick in until 1 Jan 2024
Mike Getlin Board Chair writes…
Dear CIAO Members, Supporters, and Industry Insiders,
It’s with deep gratitude for your support over the many years we have fought for this result that I can proudly and definitively report we have finally won on plant tags.
As most of you know from the recent OLCC email, as of January 1st, 2024, we will no longer be required to individually tag plants. The recent rulemaking to this effect was approved by the commission and the new batch tagging rules will go into effect next year.
To me, as a producer going into my seventh year trying to survive the Oregon market, I know the cash savings this change will create for my farm. But after having led this effort for nearly five years, I think this achievement means much more than simply reducing costs.
From the beginning, the fight over METRC tags has really forced a closer look at the core goals of our regulatory system in Oregon. We have a program that was built to keep the feds off our backs and to address a set of concerns that may have been real in 2015 but are now a thing of the past (as they always should have been).
For our industry to thrive, however, we must develop a system of cooperation between the industry and our partners in government that allows for the laws that govern us to evolve fast enough to match the needs of this unique marketplace. That’s what this fight has been about. We needed to answer a simple question: Can Oregon learn from experience and change its system for the better? Today we proved that we can.
When I first pitched the idea of batch tagging adult plants under one Metrc tag just like immature plants to the OLCC in 2018, Jeff Sessions was still the Attorney General. Needless to say, it fell on deaf ears. Undeterred, my team kept advocating and we were able to slowly start convincing people at the agency and in the legislature to start seeing things our way. Our perseverance finally began to pay off in 2020 when Steve Marks came out to my farm and spent a couple hours crawling around a greenhouse tagging plants. A lot changed after that day.
Soon, instead of us pushing the OLCC to rethink tagging, we moved to a stage where the OLCC was committed to the idea and working hand in hand with us to come up with a solution. This was not as simple as it seems because cutting down on plant tags drastically decreases METRC’s revenue in Oregon, and careful negotiations are necessary to figure out how to do it.
To finally make it happen, the CIAO’s leadership worked carefully, over the last two years, with the OLCC to put this puzzle together, and today’s announcement is the result, victory at last.
Starting January 1, 2024 Oregon Cannabis Farms will be able to batch tag up to 100 adult plants using just 1 Metrc tag.
You can view the whole rule package here – Cannabis Tracking System Batch Plant Tagging – Page 12 is where you can find the language about batch tagging.
For me personally, this is a big win. This is one of the issues that got me involved in public policy in the first place, and has been a core focus of mine for more than five years. I’d be remiss not to thank both Steve Marks and TJ Sheehy for their thoughtful work on this issue. Of course, so much of my gratitude is to all of you who have supported ORCA, FARMS Inc, and OIPA over the years and continue supporting us as the CIAO. Thank you for your contributions, your counsel, your ideas, and your patience. This victory is really yours.
Board Chair, CIAO