On June 29, 2017, Governor Brown signed a bill impacting Oregon’s hemp industry into law. SB 1015, which goes into effect the first week of October 2017, amends Oregon’s industrial hemp statute and significantly increases the industry’s access to the commercial market.
In 2009, the Legislature gave the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) the authority to license industrial hemp growers and handlers. Since ODA issued the first hemp licenses in 2015, hundreds of growers and handlers have entered this new potentially lucrative market. Industrial hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahyrdrocannabinol (THC). Traditionally used to create fiber, fuel, and fabric, contemporary research reveals that hemp also contains cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound linked to several medical benefits (e.g. Charlotte’s Web, anti-inflammatory, epilepsy treatment, etc.).
Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 571.305, makes industrial hemp production, possession, and commercial activities legal in the state of Oregon. Current state law categorizes industrial hemp as an “agricultural product” subject to regulation by ODA. A “grower” produces and cultivates industrial hemp, while a “handler” receives industrial hemp for processing into commodities or products. All growers and handlers must have an ODA-issued industrial hemp license.
Formerly, Chapter 571 did not provide a way for licensed industrial hemp growers and handlers to transfer their hemp products to OLCC processors. SB 1015, now specifically allows these transfers.
The bill’s major provisions include:
Industrial Hemp Concentrates and Extracts Defined
SB 1015’s definitions of “industrial hemp concentrate” and “industrial hemp extract” mirror those of cannabis concentrates and extracts found in the rules governing medical and recreational cannabis (OAR 845-025-1015).
Delivery of Industrial Hemp Products to OLCC Processors
SB 1015 allows an ODA-licensed industrial hemp grower to deliver industrial hemp to an OLCC-licensed processor. Also, the measure allows a state-registered industrial hemp handler to deliver industrial hemp concentrates and extracts to an OLCC-licensed processor. The following restrictions apply:
- Industrial hemp growers, handlers, and marijuana processors seeking to engage in processing industrial hemp into CBD concentrates and extracts must be registered with OLCC for that express purpose.
- Growers and handlers must provide recipient cannabis processors with all results of any required tests conducted on the industrial hemp and the processor must retain those test results.
- Growers, handlers, and cannabis processors must track industrial hemp products using the same CTS tracking system (i.e. Metrc) currently in place for all cannabis businesses in the state.
- Deliveries must be conducted in a manner that satisfies the delivery requirements currently in place for all cannabis businesses in the state.
Processing of Industrial Hemp Products
Upon receiving industrial hemp products, a cannabis processor may process the hemp into industrial hemp concentrates and extracts (like CBD oil). The processor may also use the industrial hemp products to supplement their own marijuana products, but only if that product meets existing processing requirements. This would allow processors to infuse purely hemp-derived CBD into their extracts and concentrates, opening new opportunities for innovation and product development.
Retail Sale of Industrial Hemp Products by Individuals
Any person may make retail sales of industrial hemp products and commodities if the processing method used complies with Oregon law. This levels the playing field for in-state industrial hemp manufacturers and businesses competing with out-of-state importers.
Please keep in mind that the federal government’s position is constantly evolving in addition to our state regulatory structure. If you have any questions regarding SB 1015 or any other hemp-related issue, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our compliance attorneys and keep an eye out for more of our blog updates on our website!