As we creep towards the finish line of the Oregon legislative session, the issues seem to be winding down. The Committee has finalized a deal on the medical piece of legislation and is working on the final issues around Ballot Measure 91. Here is a brief timeline of what to expect next:
July 1st: Possession limits go into effect. Everyone can possess and cultivate up to 4 plants per household. People may share with each other but can not distribute for consideration.
July 11th: The Legislature absolutely has to be done by this date. It doesn’t matter if nothing gets done, this is the end. That means we will know the statutory guideposts for implementation by this date.
Now- October: Between now and October the various rules committees start to work. Each doing their part to help craft the draft rules that already exist out there. These are important meetings to keep track of mostly because of the snippets of information they may provide about what the final rules will look like. This is a good opportunity for the industry people on those committees to give some solid, practical input.
October- December: In our office we view this as a mad scramble to get licenses (specifically producer licenses) ready for submission. How much scrambling will depend on how in-depth the OLCC wants to go in approving licenses. If the rules mirror HB 3460 (which I think is nearly impossible) then this process will be relatively painless. If OLCC want to do a deep dive into any piece of the applicants history- taxes, finances, requiring certain types of land use work to have been done- then prepare for crazy.
***Some of this you can start now. You can make sure your corporate structure is sound, your building or facility is permitted, that you are caught up on your taxes and that the people who own the entity are likely to pass muster. Because we anticipate that come October everyone is going to kick into high gear getting ready, doing some work ahead of time might make the difference between getting an application done on time and not being ready to submit.
January 2016: The OLCC issues the first licenses which will most certainly be cultivator licenses. This will be it’s own kind of crazy. For outdoor cultivators this means a sense of security and an understanding of how big they can go next year. For indoor we don’t know what it means. Maybe stockpiling for adult use? Continuing to oversupply the medical market until adult use hits? Needing more capitol to make it until retail licenses are issued?
Sometime between January and Fall: Processing licensing are issued. Same issue as above. Does this mean stockpiling product? Sitting on product for a long time? A lot of how this rolls out will depend, I think, on the fundamental understanding of how processing works, how much material it takes and whether or not people are going to be able to continue to supply the medical market.
***As a side note, sitting on product can be dangerous- whether it is flower or concentrate. How each person in this industry deals with that issue will be extremely important. We do not want people hurt. Please make sure you have proper security in place and policies concerning break-ins, locking up and emergency situations.
Sometime between January and Fall: There will be two or more scrambles for licenses. Processing, retail, wholesale, maybe a nursery license and a lab license. Each of these may be completely crazy or relatively painless. I’m veering towards completely crazy.
Fall: Retail licenses will be issued and we hit the go button.
Here are a few more issues to consider:
1. Land use and how that will interface with applications.
2. What will happen with banking before we hit go.
3. What will local governments do with opting out, regulating time place and manner, etc. This is the biggest hurdle, on a state level, that the industry faces.
4. Where will people who are not patients get their cannabis until fall of 2016. That question might be rhetorical.
5. How big will OLCC let people go? We understand that it will be similar canopy size for indoor, outdoor and greenhouse but where that number lands (I predict 10k of flowering canopy) is yet to be announced.