Recreational Marijuana Resource Center
Legal marijuana in Oregon passed by voters
The November 4, 2014 Oregon general election resulted in the passage of Measure 91. This ballot measure, formally known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, makes Oregon the third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
The ballot measure decriminalizes private consumption and possession of personal quantities of marijuana for adults under Oregon law, and specifies licensing, regulation, and taxation of commercial marijuana. Aspects of the measure, which proponents called a “smart law”, are unique from other states’ implementations. For example, the measure allows limited home cultivation of unrefined marijuana, in contrast to Washington State’s law which forbids home cultivation and growing activities by retailers.
The measure, including the decriminalization provisions for adults age 21 or over, took full effect July 1, 2015. The state legislature has continued to modify the provisions and effect of the ballot measure, with the passage of HB3400A and SB460.
How does it affect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program?
It does not. The OMMP and the 2013 dispensary bill administered by the Oregon Health Authority will remain in place to serve patients. The safety and potency testing requirements for cannabis products issued at registered dispensaries have continued to be refined by the Oregon Health Authority.
While adult patients may find expanded liberties and availability under provisions of Measure 91, Green Leaf Lab encourages continued care and supervision by a medical practitioner, and medicines issued by registered dispensaries. These organizations are experienced in servicing the unique needs of individuals prescribed medical cannabis for symptomatic relief and therapeutic use. Medicines tested for dosage potency and safety are especially important to those with critical care needs, including individuals with compromised immune systems and weakened health.
When do retail sales begin?
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is given the authority to administer and regulate all aspects of retail and commercial marijuana sales and production. The ballot measure required OLCC to begin accepting license applications by January 4, 2016, and mandates they shall not unreasonably delay the processing of applications or fail to issue licenses due to federal law.
The stop-gap provisions of Oregon Senate Bill 460 allowed medical marijuana dispensaries meeting certain requirements to begin selling cannabis to the general public on October 1 2015, to avoid a continued gray market until fully-licensed recreational marijuana businesses begin operation. The recreational sales at dispensaries provision of this bill ends December 31, 2016.
OLCC began issuance of licenses in late 2016, with several businesses (including Green Leaf Lab) now licensed for recreational marijuana operations. With the final regulations in place October 1 2016, businesses can now begin hiring and obtain marijuana worker permits, obtain product testing, and finally offer retail sales as the supply chain of licensed businesses is completed.
Will Green Leaf Lab provide testing for retail recreational sales?
As of October 1 2016, Green Leaf Lab extends its testing services to the retail production of recreational marijuana, within the parameters of OLCC rule-making and licensing.
What are the license requirements for commercial operations?
Four license types are defined by Measure 91: producer, processor, wholesale, and retail. Additional license types for testing laboratories and research institutions have since been added. A licensee may hold multiple licenses and multiple license types. A license must be issued to the business owner for each premises where licensed operations take place. Premises may be examined by the OLCC at any time.
There is no limit given on the total number of licensees statewide by Measure 91 itself, but OLCC may refuse to issue a license if it has determined that there are already sufficient licensed premises in the area of operation.
Rules defining the privileges and further requirements of each license type were completed and published after a public rulemaking process was completed by OLCC.
An initial nonrefundable application fee of $250 and a $1000 annual license fee was established by Measure 91 for each license. Continued legislation now allows the OLCC to set its own fee schedule for licensing.
What is the function of each license type?
- A producer is also known as the grower. The responsibility of paying the production tax and the highest level of mandated record-keeping is imposed on producers.
- A processor is a business that will transform the raw marijuana into another product or extract. Processors are also responsible for packaging and labeling of recreational marijuana.
- A wholesaler is a business that purchases marijuana products for resale to retailers or other non-consumers.
- A retailer is a business that sells directly to consumers. A retailer must pay state and any local sales taxes imposed on cannabis retailers.
New licence types have been added for ORELAP accredited laboratories and research facilities.
OLCC may require a commercial operation to acquire a license for each activity category performed by a business.
Which licensees must obtain testing services?
OLCC may require testing before any transfer of marijuana products between licensees takes place.
The power to require and specify laboratory testing at various stages of production is given with the ballot measure language:
SECTION 50. Compliance with standards.
- No marijuana items shall be sold or offered for sale within this state unless such marijuana items comply with the minimum standards fixed pursuant to law.
- The Oregon Liquor Control Commission may require a marijuana producer, marijuana processor, or marijuana wholesaler to provide a laboratory analysis demonstrating to the satisfaction of the commission that particular marijuana items comply with the minimum standards in this state.
- No marijuana items offered for sale within this state may be altered or tampered with in any way by any person not licensed to do so by the commission.
- The commission may prohibit the sale of any marijuana items for a reasonable period of time while it is determining whether the marijuana items comply with minimum standards in this state.
What type of testing is required?
The laboratory analysis testing complement and minimum standards continue to be refined by the OLCC and OHA after the public rulemaking process was completed. Green Leaf Lab’s services page has up-to-date information about required testing, and compliance packages include testing for all analytes currently required by the state.
What labs are qualified to provide testing?
Analytic laboratories providing testing for retail marijuana products must be licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Facilities must be ORELAP accredited.
Will OLCC provide testing?
The commission has no power to own or possess any marijuana or marijuana items, and therefore will not be able to offer analytical laboratory services.
Can home growers obtain testing?
Green Leaf Lab has recently added an “Adult Use” client type to its ordering process, to allow individuals to place orders for cannabis flower they have grown or marijuana products they possess.
Note that Green Leaf Lab is a closed secured premises, and does not currently accept walk-in business. Sampling of products must be performed by a Green Leaf Lab sampling representative. Please contact us for testing details for your unique needs.
Full text of Measure 91:
OLCC recreational marijuana information portal:
Disclaimer: This information is Green Leaf Lab’s interpretation of laws and requirements set forth in the text of Measure 91 and preliminary information published by OLCC, and is neither meant to be construed as, nor is a substitute for, legal advice.