Title: Oregon marijuana growers diversify with hemp amid CBD boom
Date: 14 May 2018
A glut of legal marijuana has driven Oregon pot prices to rock-bottom levels, prompting some nervous growers to start pivoting to another type of cannabis to make ends meet — one that doesn’t come with a high.
Applications for state licenses to grow hemp — marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin — have increased more than twenty-fold since 2015, and Oregon now ranks No. 2 behind Colorado among the 19 states with active hemp cultivation. The rapidly evolving market comes amid skyrocketing demand for a hemp-derived extract called cannabidiol, or CBD, seen by many as a health aid.
In its purified distilled form, CBD oil commands thousands of dollars per kilogram, and farmers can make more than $100,000 an acre growing hemp plants to produce it. That distillate can also be converted into a crystallized form or powder.
“Word on the street is everybody thinks hemp’s the new gold rush,” said Jerrad McCord, who grows marijuana in southern Oregon and just added 12 acres of hemp. “This is a business. You’ve got to adapt, and you’ve got to be a problem-solver.”
Title: Marijuana surplus pushes Oregon farmers to hemp
Author: USA Today
Date: 14 May 2018
Title: Deschutes County looks to California for cannabis guidance
Author: The Bulletin
Date: 12 May 2018
After looking to a variety of Oregon agencies for guidance on Deschutes County’s approach to recreational marijuana, county planners could look south for a solution.
Last week, the Deschutes County Commission discussed approaches to limit the density of marijuana growing operations in certain rural parts of the county that have seen the lion’s share of land use applications, including Tumalo and Alfalfa. Nick Lelack, community development director for Deschutes County, said this has been a priority for the commission since it began reaching out to rural residents last year.
“There are a couple of areas that are experiencing more issues than others, and the board wants to address those issues,” Lelack said.
One of the suggested approaches, which will be explored in greater depth during a work session Wednesday, is to emulate approaches being considered in certain cities and counties in California to limit the newly legal industry there.
Before the commission meeting May 7, Deschutes County planning staff provided a list of four cities and counties in California that had enacted or has proposed rules to restrict marijuana cultivation: Humboldt County, Sacramento, Santa Barbara County and Monterey County. The approaches vary in each community, from proposed limitations on the number of cultivation licenses in Humboldt County, to mandating that cannabis cultivation must occur within an existing warehouse or greenhouse in Monterey County.
Lelack noted that looking at California’s restrictions is just one method among many when exploring ways to limit the marijuana industry in rural parts of the county. There aren’t examples of these types of limitations in Oregon counties, so looking outside the state could help the county identify a legally defensible approach, he said.
“We’re going to need a solid justification for any caps,” Lelack said. “The bar will be very high.”
Deschutes County finalized rules for recreational marijuana growing operations outside urban growth boundaries in fall 2016. The regulations were always intended to be revisited, and Deschutes County commissioners and staff have been looking at changing their approach to marijuana regulations since last September.
GREEN LIGHT LAW GROUP
Here is a summary from the OLCC’s recent notification discussing the new law for medical marijuana growers.
Oregon Senate Bill 1544 now requires medical marijuana growers to use the same tracking system that the recreational growers have been using. The Bill requires that all OMMP medical marijuana growing sites with three or more patients must use the Cannabis Tracking System (“CTS”) on or before July 1, 2018. The Bill exempts medical marijuana grow sites limited to two or fewer growers and two or fewer patients.
If you are one of the 2000 OMMP registered grow sites the OHA has identified as falling under this new SB 1544, the process to use the CTS begins with designating one grower at the grow site address as the grow site administrator (“GSA”). OHA will be conducting a series of outreach sessions around Oregon to help OMMP registrants understand the new tracking and reporting laws and also begin learning about CTS. The OHA and OLCC will launch a second series of meetings to provide registered medical growers, processors, and dispensaries information on the requirements for using CTS. Oregon’s CTS provider, METRC, will also be providing training workshops.
GSAs will be allowed to sell up to 20 pounds of marijuana into the OLCC regulated recreational marijuana system in a 12-month period. The GSAs must provide proof of legal access to water before the marijuana can be sold into the OLCC market. This sell-in option applies to a grow site as a whole, so a grow site with four growers would only be allowed to sell a total of 20 pounds into the recreational market, not 80 pounds.
The OLCC will begin auditing OMMP grow sites, processors, and dispensaries subject to tracking in CTS in July 2018. Later in 2018 OLCC inspectors will begin visiting OMMP grow sites required to use CTS to verify CTS tracking information, check to make sure CTS is being used properly, and look for any other violations. However, because OHA regulates the OMMP program, OHA will determine any enforcement based on investigations conducted by OLCC.