Oregon Cannabis Bill Summaries
Senate Bill 1057
Oregon Senate Bill 1057 provides the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) with additional authority to enforce Oregon’s existing recreational and medical marijuana laws, including authority to prevent the illegal transfer and diversion of marijuana from OLCC licensees, issue letters of reprimand and proceed with investigation of former OLCC marijuana licensees, and oversee marijuana labeling regulations. The bill also requires persons with a financial interest in a marijuana business to submit financial information to the OLCC, and provides the OLCC and the Department of Revenue with access to a database of Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants compiled by the Oregon Health Authority. The legislation also increases the number of OLCC commissioners from five to seven, one of whom must be from eastern Oregon, and one of whom must be from western Oregon, and prohibits more than four OLCC commissioners from being of the same political party.
In addition, Senate Bill 1057 allows the OLCC to issue licenses for the production of medical marijuana at an OLCC-Licensed facility that will allow OLCC-licensed recreational marijuana producers to dedicate, in addition to their recreational canopy allotment, up to 10% of their allotted canopy square footage to produce medical marijuana, 75% of which much be donated to medical marijuana patients for free, and 25% of which can be re-sold to OLCC-licensed retailers, and also transfers authority for crafting the rules for marijuana labeling from the OHA to the OLCC. Similar allowances are made in the bill for recreational processors to process, for a fee, medical marijuana at a licensed-recreational processing facility on behalf of registered OMMP patients and caregivers.
The bill also requires, no later than July 1, 2018, the same seed-to-sale tracking of all marijuana produced and transferred within the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program that is currently required for all recreational marijuana produced and sold within the state. The Oregon Health Authority will impose additional fees on licensed marijuana grow sites, processing sites, and dispensaries in order to fund the new medical marijuana program tracking requirements. The bill also places plant limits on immature medical marijuana plants being grown at any location other than those registered with the OMMO as a medical marijuana growsite.
Senate Bill 1057 also contains a number of miscellaneous “catch-all” provisions, prohibiting OLCC regulatory specialists from carrying guns, inspecting non-OLCC licensed residences, and from assessing compliance with Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants. The bill will also allow OLCC marijuana licensees to transport marijuana items for exhibition at trade shows and the 2017 Oregon State Fair, subject to certain conditions.
Senate Bill 863
Signed by Governor Brown in April, Senate Bill 863 requires all recreational cannabis retailers to destroy any “information [in the retailer’s possession] that may be used to identify a consumer.” Additionally, the legislation prohibits marijuana retailers from recording or retaining any information that may be used to identify a consumer in the absence of informed consent by a consumer, and a marijuana retailer is prohibited from transferring any information related to consumer identity to another person. This bill was enacted in response to concerns of a federal government crackdown under the Trump administration, as lawmakers were concerned that federal officials would have access to information that would enable prosecution of Oregon cannabis consumers.
Senate Bill 319
While marijuana dispensaries and retailers must be located at least 1,000 feet from schools under existing state law, under Senate Bill 319, local governments will be allowed to deviate from this requirement by enacting a local ordinance that allows for placement of a medical marijuana dispensary or retailer within 500 feet of a public school, provided there is a “major physical or geographic barrier separating the two facilities.” Senate Bill 319 prohibits local jurisdictions from allowing marijuana dispensaries and retailers to be located within 500 feet of a public or private school, even in the event that there is a major geographical or physical barrier between the school and the dispensary. With the passage of Senate Bill 319, local governments will only be allowed to permit marijuana dispensaries and retailers within 500-1,000 feet of a school, provided there is also a major physical or geographic barrier between the school and the marijuana retailer or dispensary.
Senate Bill 1015
Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1015, only industrial hemp handlers could process raw industrial hemp into industrial hemp concentrates and extracts, and handlers could only obtain industrial hemp from OLCC-licensed industrial hemp growers. Senate Bill 1015 allows licensed industrial hemp growers and handlers to transfer industrial hemp plants and industrial hemp-derived concentrates and extracts to marijuana processors licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”).
To do so, (i) the industrial hemp grower and/or handler must register with the OLCC on a form to be developed by the OLCC, (ii) the processor must be provided with the test results related to the industrial hemp, concentrate, or extract, and (iii) the industrial hemp, concentrate, or extract must be logged into METRC upon its receipt by the processor. Under those conditions, recreational marijuana processors can use the industrial hemp concentrates or extracts to create derivative marijuana products, although the products must be sold to OLCC-licensed marijuana wholesalers and retailers prior to sale to consumers. The legislation requires industrial hemp growers and handlers, as well as marijuana processors receiving the industrial hemp products, to be licensed by the OLCC, and also requires testing requirements for the finished industrial hemp products that are “substantially the same” as those required for similar recreational marijuana products prior to sale.
Senate Bill 302 and Senate Bill 303
Senate Bill 302 removes criminal offenses, penalties, defenses to crimes, and procedural provisions related to marijuana from the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and transfers these provisions to the Control and Regulation of Marijuana Act. The legislation also reduces criminal penalties for possession of marijuana in an amount four times the legal limit, and increases the penalties for possession of marijuana in an amount greater than 16 times the legal limit. The bill also repeals criminal penalties for the possession, manufacture, and/or sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, and establishes a new criminal offense of committing arson while manufacturing cannabinoid extracts. The legislation also clarifies whether specific provisions of the controlled substances statute do or do not apply to cannabis and cannabis-derived products.
Senate Bill 303 modifies Oregon’s existing criminal law penalties for underage possession of marijuana items, making it a Class B violation, regardless of the amount of marijuana possessed by the minor. Under existing law, underage possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a Class B violation, while underage possession of one to eight ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, and underage possession of eight ounces or more is a Class A misdemeanor. Senate Bill 303 removes the heightened criminal penalties for minors in possession of more than one once of marijuana, establishing underage marijuana possession in any amount as a Class B violation, which is currently the penalty for underage possession of alcohol. The bill further clarifies that it is a Class A violation for minors to operate a motor vehicle while in possession of alcoholic beverages or marijuana items.
House Bill 2197
House Bill 2197 allows the Oregon Department of Revenue to enter into agreements with federally-recognized Indian tribes for purposes of providing tax rebate payments associated with the sale of marijuana items processed and/or produced on tribal lands. The amount of the tax rebate will be calculated based on the estimated tax revenue derived from the sale of marijuana items produced and processed on tribal lands.