Wildfires are ravaging Oregon, Washington and California. They are truly terrible. Here in Oregon, a full 500,000 residents have been evacuated as I write this blog post on the evening of September 9. Portland smells like burning ash and the suburbs are in evacuation protocols. It’s awful even here.
For the cannabis industry, things look scary too. According to the Oregonian, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) reported that one in every five licensed marijuana businesses (or 408 businesses) are in evacuation protocols from the 35 uncontained wildfires. A total of 73 outdoor producers have been forced off site entirely. As to hemp grows, which are heavily concentrated in some of the afflicted areas, things may be even worse.
The OLCC moved quickly on Wednesday to issue Guidance for OLCC Marijuana Licensees Impacted by Natural Disasters. The Guidance is straightforward. If emergency officials issue a level 1 or level 2 evacuation notice (as has happened in many locales), licensees may transfer endangered product while notifying OLCC. The product must go to another licensee, although it can be any licensee: the prohibition on producers transferring to producers, for example, does not apply. The 24-hour notice requirement for bulk product transfers