It has been a bumpy ride for recreational cannabis in Oregon. On July 1st of 2015, recreational cannabis became legal under Measure 91. Only three months later on October 1st, recreational sales became legal, resulting in long lines for dispensaries like Shango (pictured above).
However, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has had a few hiccups in processing and distributing applications.
Thankfully, an emergency provision allowed for medical dispensaries to sell products to recreational users (SB 460; since there were no approved recreational retailers by October 1st, 2015).
But cannabis extract businesses in Oregon had a rough March of this year due to a state law (HB 4014) that prohibited businesses from extracting cannabis without a license. Many businesses ceased all operations for an entire month, which is an incredible burden on small companies.
The plan was for the OLCC to begin processing business applications starting on January 4th of 2016 so that there would be ample time for businesses to prepare for the commencement of the official program in January of 2017.
Better late than never right? The OLCC still plans to have the recreational industry up and running by January 2107, and has pledged to rapidly process business licenses so organizations can begin setting up shop without fear of punishment.
The OLCC issued eight licenses to cultivators throughout the state. Granting licenses to cultivators first allows them to begin operating once they pay their annual business license fee.
This was a smart move by the OLCC, since cultivators need the maximum time to set up their operations and produce flowers. While the Oregon recreational rollout has not gone as smoothly as it could have, Oregon continues to consider the supply chain and accessibility for recreational consumers.
For instance, medical cannabis dispensaries have been allowed to sell to recreational consumers 21 and older through the end of 2016. The OLCC claims it will be granting licenses during weekly meetings through early June.
The agency plans to issue over 850 licenses by the end of the year when the OLCC assumes full control over the recreational cannabis program.
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