After Oregon voters enacted the historic Measure 91 last year, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission got to work drafting regulations governing recreational cannabis businesses. The OLCC began its work with a statewide outreach effort asking Oregonians what should be in the regulations.
The outreach effort included a Rules Advisory Committee and technical subcommittees to provide feedback on proposed regulations, 11 town hall meetings held in various cities around the state (including Bend), and an online survey. As you might imagine, a lot of people had a lot to say about the business of legal cannabis in Oregon.
According to the OLCC, the priorities of Oregonians in regulating cannabis businesses are: "protecting [the] children, safeguarding the small marijuana grower, creating economic opportunity and not over regulating, and diminishing the illegal market." That seems like a remarkably broad and thoughtful set of goals, to which I might add: "ensuring a safe and consistent product for the consumer."
Now that the OLCC has heard from the public, it has released a draft set of regulations for the five types of cannabis businesses: producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and laboratories. Each business must hold a license to do its work legally, and each business can hold more than one type of license. This allows for "farm to table" cannabis businesses, or "vertical integration," as it's known in corporate-speak.
Perhaps the most notable restriction on cannabis businesses is the "carpetbagger" rule (also known as the "Screw California" rule) that requires the owners and financiers of the business to be legal residents of Oregon for two whole years before obtaining an OLCC license. This means that actual Oregonians will get a big head start on entrepreneurs from the rest of the world in what might be the biggest growth industry of the 21st century in this state.
Normally, this sort of restriction on business ownership for out-of-state residents would be unconstitutional. But perhaps that's why it is a temporary restriction, expiring on January 1, 2020. After that, even Philip Morris will be able to start a cannabis business in Oregon. Unless they move here earlier, of course. Regardless, the carpetbagger rule should help ensure that existing and new small cannabis businesses will have a fighting chance in this new(ly legal) marketplace.
But by far the most exciting feature of the regulations is cannabis delivery service. That's right, soon you will be able to purchase cannabis without even leaving the comfort of your own home. What a wonderful place the future is!
Under the draft rules, retail businesses would be allowed to make one delivery per day to your home. But only if you call to request delivery before 4 pm on the same day. And they cannot deliver to "a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, or similar commercial business."
Deliveries could be large too. The draft rules allow for delivery of up to one ounce of usable cannabis, 16 ounces of edibles, 72 ounces of liquids, five grams of cannabis extracts or concentrates, and four immature cannabis plants. The regulations also require that your delivery arrive by 9 pm.
The possibilities for delivery seem endless. Will a Dominos of pot emerge to provide hot, fast, cheap cannabis to Oregonians everywhere in the free zones where cannabis businesses are allowed? Will Amazon start carrying joints? Only time will tell, if the draft rules stand.
The OLCC is currently soliciting feedback on the draft rules and will vote on whether to accept the draft rules on October 22. The temporary rules will likely take effect in January 2016 and permanent rules will follow within 180 days.
The OLCC will begin accepting license applications at 8:30 am, January 4, 2016 and hopes to start issuing licenses by October 2016.