ORCA April 2017 Newsletter

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Hello everyone,

It's been quite a while since ORCA put out a newsletter, but not for lack of keeping busy.  

Since our last newsletter the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association has been instrumental in providing cannabis businesses a voice in the policymaking process and in shaping our industry's regulatory policies and here in the state.

Since our last newsletter, our membership has grown... well... like a weed.  We now represent over 150 different cannabis businesses all across Oregon - including retailers, edibles manufacturers, processors, wholesalers, growers, and all sorts of ancillary businesses!  Our goal, however, remains the same: ensure Oregon has a thriving legal retail cannabis economy.

We've been working with state regulators to flag problems with policy changes before they come to a head, as well as making sure our members are up to date on these changes and what they mean for their businesses.  Halting efforts to increase tax rates on cannabis sales by 5% has been our main priority for the current legislative session.

But that's not all! Here's a little bit more about what we've done, what we're doing right now, and what we've got planned for the weeks ahead.


ORCA Lobby Day Recap

Our first official Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol went off without a hitch, and wildly exceeded expectations.  Our delegation of 20 members did an incredible job communicating our concerns and focusing legislators' attention on our policy priorities - all while forging personal connections.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of establishing relationships with your Representatives and Senators.  It goes such a long way in breaking through the noise that barrages them during session.

It was clear from many of our conversations that we were able to measurably move the needle in our favor on our priority issues with key legislators and staff.

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In addition to discussing our opposition to the proposed tax increase [HB2204], we also discussed other important issues being explored by the legislature: creating licenses for temporary events and social consumption lounges [SB307], ending employment discrimination for off-hours cannabis use[SB301], and the necessity for adding OLCC commissioners from the cannabis industry to improve representation and accountability [SB1057].

Our staff is working tirelessly with lawmakers at the capitol to help ensure we achieve our legislative priorities.  We are very effective at presenting arguments to legislators. But, hearing the real life impacts of these policies directly from local business owners and constituents is much more impactful.
We are proud that ORCA Lobby Day will be a regular event that will continue for all subsequent legislative sessions, and we look forward to having an even greater showing of our members there  in the future!


OMBC In Eugene THIS WEEK!
OMBC Friday 4/28, and ORCA Pre-OMBC Happy Hour Thursday 4/27

The Oregon Marijuana Business Conference (OMBC) is coming up in Eugene TOMORROW, Friday, April 28th! 
April 28th, 2017
Valley River Inn - Eugene, OR
The fine folks that run the conference have extended a discount on ticket prices for the conference to ORCA members, which you can access online here:
 
You can find out more information about the event - including guest speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors - on their website at oregonmbc.com

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ORCA is also going to be hosting a Pre-OMBC Happy Hour LATER TODAY at the Steelhead Brewery in downtown Eugene from 4-6pm.  Stop by!
ORCA Pre-OMBC Happy Hour
Thursday, April 27th, 4-6pm
Steelhead Brewery
199 E 5th Ave, Unit #1
Eugene, OR
Start the OMBC off right and join ORCA for a casual happy hour. This is an open event for members and prospective members to socialize, meet the ORCA team, and get answers to any questions that you may have for us.  RSVP Today!

Cannabis Industry Workshop w/ The HR Group 5/1

I also wanted to remind everyone about the first of a really great series of workshops being put on by one of our members, The HR Group, about a variety of topics vital to cannabis business owners.

In their own words:

Attention Fellow ORCA members!  

The HR Group and the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association are excited to present the first in our Cannabis Workshop Series, Growing Green. This workshop will walk through the past, present, and future of the Oregon cannabis industry with "Pioneer Pete" Gendron, Leland R. Berger, and OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks!
The topics we’ll be addressing will be relevant to all cannabis professionals and based on the direct feedback that you have provided.
We have had great success with our workshops in similar industries so expect so expect to receive valuable information from some of the top professionals in the industry. We hope to see you there!
Sincerely,
Michael L. WatkinsBusiness Development ManagerThe HR Group
Growing Green - A Snapshot of Oregon's Cannabis Culture
Monday, May 1st; 2:00pm - 4:00pm
The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company
921 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland OR

Guest Speakers Include: 
OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks
"Pioneer Pete" Gendron
Leland Berger
Get your tickets for Growing Green here!


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These folks know the ins and outs of business better than anyone, and I'm sure that between the workshop content and the special guest speakers, there will be a lot of valuable information shared during the workshop that should prove useful.

D.C. Lobby Days with NCIA - May 16th and 17th!

In just a couple of weeks, it will be time for business owners, activists, and advocates from all over the country to converge on our nation's capitol for the annual National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Federal Lobby Days!

NCIA’s Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a legitimate and responsible cannabis industry looks like. We can help raise awareness of issues like the unfair banking and taxation policies hampering our industry’s potential to grow, and demand fair regulations like other industries.
NCIA Federal Lobby Days
May 16th and 17th
Washington, DC
Especially after our strong showing at our Lobby Day here at the state capitol, I'd really like to see what we can get done making our case at the federal level.
From NCIA:

Eager to get more involved in cannabis politics and make your voice heard? Wondering how you can help secure the future of our industry in a time of uncertainty? Good news! NCIA’s annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days in Washington, D.C. are coming in May.

It’s one of the most important ways you can stand up for cannabis reform and your business, and we don’t want you to miss it.

So CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY and join us on May 16 and 17 for NCIA’s 2017 Cannabis Industry Lobby Days.


 

May ORCA Meeting - Wednesday, May 31st in Portland

Also, be sure to mark your calendars because we've got our May meeting set for Wednesday, May 31st at the Lucky Lab beginning at 6:30pm, where we'll be joined by our special guest Jesse Sweet, Policy Analyst for the OLCC.

May ORCA Meeting w/ OLCC Policy Analyst Jesse Sweet
Wednesday, May 31st 
6:30pm-8:30pm [Doors at 6:00pm]
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub
915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97214

The first half of our meeting will be policy updates and talking with our special guest speaker, and the second half will be a no-host Social Hour where members can network and interact with one another (or ORCA staff) in a casual atmosphere. 

Join ORCA Today!

We're now in our third year of organizing businesses within the cannabis industry to advocate for our shared priorities.  In that time, our groundbreaking policy victories provided significant measurable help to our members.  We've also developed a robust suite of member benefits and services, like weekly wholesale reports, legislative updates, monthly meetings, members-only online content, promotional opportunities, support staff, and access to banking services!
But our work is far from over, there are always new opportunities and new threats to our industry.  There is no upper bound to what ORCA can take on if we have the resources and support of industry pioneers like you.
As a member supported organization our successes are ultimately a product of our resources. This means that in order to keep fighting for a thriving industry at the state and federal level and to expand the scope of our work, we need your support.
If you're not a dues-paying member of the association, please join the more than 150 businesses already fighting to make Oregon the epicenter of America's cannabis economy, and sign up today at our website - http://www.oregoncannabisretailers.com/.
If you're already a member thank you for all the support!

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We truly appreciate the support, and look forward to continuing our mission of establishing a vibrant legal cannabis economy in Oregon, and working towards the larger goal of normalization regarding all cannabis policies.

For more information, please feel free to check out our website at:
Respectfully,

Casey Houlihan
Executive Director
Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association


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