Oregon Cannabis Industry Proposes Changes to Rules and Statutes

This note discusses legislation proposed for this year’s Oregon legislative section. Specifically, Senate Bill 408, titled “Enforcement Reform,” that seeks to amend the statutes governing recreational marijuana and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (“OLCC”) promulgation and application of administrative rules. The chief proponents of SB 408 are the Oregon Retailers Association of Cannabis (“ORCA”), the Oregon Cannabis Association and F.A.R.M.S. Inc. The bill is sponsored by Senator Prozanski.

From our perch representing marijuana producers, processors, retailers and wholesalers, SB 408 looks pretty good. Below are a few of changes proposed by SB 408.

Limits when the OLCC may delay processing applications or take other enforcement action

Presently, ORS 475B.060 provides that upon receiving an application for a license, the OLCC may not “unreasonably” delay processing, approving or denying the application or, if the application is approved, issuing the license. The statute gives no other guidance as to when the OLCC may delay processing.  Consequently, what happens when an application is submitted—and months and months go by—may be a mystery to the applicant. Sometimes delay occurs because the OLCC is dealing with a substantial backlog. But other times the OLCC places a “hold” on the application, often unbeknownst to the applicant,

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