Oregon’s New 2018 Cannabis Laws

oregon marijuana hemp

The Oregon legislature concluded the 2018 session last weekend. As we wrote last month, because 2018 is an even-numbered year, this was a short session lasting just 35 days. We predicted that not all four proposed cannabis bills would pass and that is exactly what happened: the proposed legislation on “special events” for marijuana licensees quickly fell by the wayside. You can be sure someone will push that one again in 2019.

Still, three bills made it through, two of which will impact the Oregon marijuana and hemp industries considerably. These “enrolled” bills have been approved by both legislative houses, and will become law as soon as Governor Brown signs– or within 30 days of passage if she does not. Because these bills passed through two Democrat-controlled chambers, and because Governor Brown is also a Democrat who has never vetoed a cannabis bill, you can be 99.99% sure these bills will soon become law.

Each bill is linked to and summarized below. If you click through, remember that text in bold typeface is proposed new language, and text in [italicized and bracketed] typeface is language that will be removed from existing statutes.

Senate Bill 1544 (Marijuana)

This was the gut-and-stuff bill we discussed last month, which ended up covering a range of issues related to medical and non-medical marijuana, and industrial hemp. Below are the highlights. Note that references to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) concern the adult use program, which nowadays allows recreational operators to serve the medical market. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) references relate strictly to the medical marijuana program.

Unlike most cannabis legislation passed in Oregon over the past few years, SB 1544 does not carry an “emergency” designation. This means that its provisions are not effective on passage. Instead, the effective date of this bill is June 1, 2018, with some of its provisions operative at designated intervals thereafter.

Below, we have emphasized the big moves in bold and added brief commentary.

Allows OLCC producer licensees who are registered to grow medical canopies to provide immature plants to OHA program participants.
Exempts OLCC processors from labeling and packaging requirements and standard when those processors are dealing direct with medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.
Requires OHA grow sites to include a U.S. Postal Service address in their application, if they have one. If not, the grow site has to cough up an assessor’s map showing the exact location of the Continue Reading

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