Jesse Bontecou's activity stream


  • published 2018 Cannabis Collaborative Conf in Cannabis Events 2018-01-11 22:21:24 -0800

    2018 Cannabis Collaborative Conf

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    The annual Cannabis Collaborative Conference is a show dedicated to growing the industry and connecting cannabis professionals.  This is a great event and best of all they are giving discounts to their fellow ORCA members, so Register Today!

    • $100 discount for ORCA members to sign up for a booth
    • $50 Dollars off 1 or 2 day passes for ORCA Members (ORCA members use the code "ORCA50" during checkout)

    CCC 4.0 Focus:

    The 2018 CCC conference will focus on resources and knowledge to help cannabis businesses become PROFITABLE! The Cannabis Collaborative Conference will have: 

    • Show-Floor Areas Dedicated to Businesses Profitability – Energy Pavilion: Tips for saving money, New Technology, Cultivation Corner, Lifestyle, Retail, “Canna Help You”​and much more.​
    • OLCC – “Seed to Sale” training and licensing training
    • All State Outreach – We are inviting key representatives, lawmakers and businesses for education, networking & collaboration.
    • 75+ Speakers in over 30 information-packed sessions
    • Investor Forum & Investor speed-dating lounge 
    • Cannabis Connex– Connecting buyers and sellers of retail stores, properties, flower, oil, hemp etc.​
    • Industry Networking - you can connect with 80+ exhibitors and over 2,000 attendees 

    Who else will be there?
    The Cannabis Collaborative Conference attracts entrepreneurs, investors, experts, innovators, retailers, producers, processors, commercial cultivators, wholesalers, manufacturers, ancillary business supporters and funding specialists from the Pacific Northwest and around the nation.

    WHEN
    January 24, 2018 at 8am - January 26, 2018 at 8am
    WHERE
    Portland Expo Center
    2060 N Marine Dr
    Portland, OR 97217
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • published RAD Expo - Jan 17-18 PDX, OR in Cannabis Events 2017-12-08 12:09:48 -0800

    RAD Expo: National Retail & Dispensary Expo - Portland, OR

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    The RAD Expo is going to be a great event for cannabis retailers. This event isn't like many of the other trade shows out there that dispensary owners have stoped attending because they cost too much; have a hodgepodge of vendors; allow in the general public; lack focus; and have the same old speakers talk about the same tired subjects.

    RAD Expo is different - It is businesses only and 100% focused on the retail side of the industry.

    Attendance is FREE for licensed retail stores and dispensaries, as well as qualified applicants in states not yet issuing licenses.  All exhibitors will have products and services aimed at making retailers more profitable. It’s a national show featuring businesses from all over the U.S.

    If you are not retailer and/or want to be an Exhibitor then ORCA has some great news, the RAD Expo is giving ORCA Members a 40% discount off of Exhibitor booths - Exhibitor Registration (ORCA Members use the code "ORCA40" to get your exhibitor discount today!)

    Located at Portland's Oregon Convention Center the conference is squarely in the middle of the biggest legal marijuana market in the world, (60 million consumers in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska).

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 

    The RAD Expo will feature retail-specific exhibitors, including: POS sales products, shelving, display cases, accessories, food, drinks, refrigerators, programming consultants, packaging, POP displays, legal, accounting, CBD products, medical products, and just about everything and anything a retail store owner or dispensary will need to set up a store, or would want to sell. 

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    EXHIBIORS - Businesses serving retailers including branding & marketing, POS, inventory management, security, merchandising, tech and software, displays, accounting, lighting, design, food and drink,  and everything in between.

    EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION

    (ORCA members use Discount Code "ORCA40")

    RETAILERS and dispensary owners from around the U.S. can find everything they need to operate in one organized, professional environment.

     REGISTRATION IS FREE

     

    THE FARMERS MARKET will give licensed cannabis cultivators the opportunity to network with retailers and create lasting business partnerships. 

     

     

     

     

    WHEN
    January 17, 2018 at 10am - January 19, 2018 at 10am
    WHERE
    Oregon Convention Center
    rsvp

  • published Monthly Meeting Tickets in Cannabis Events 2017-05-24 18:19:37 -0700

    ORCA Monthly Meeting Tickets

    ORCA holds monthly member meetings across Oregon.  Meetings are FREE for members and $40.00 for guests.  They generally feature a special guest speaker. The first half covers substantive policy and regulation updates, and the second half is a no-host industry social hour for relaxed networking.  

    Tickets are good for the member meeting in the month they are purchased or you may pay at they door.

    We hold meetings across the state so please check out the ‘Events’ page on our website to see when we have one in your area.  If you’re unable to make it to any of our upcoming meetings you can schedule a one-on-one with our staff.

    If have any other questions, please call or email us anytime.

    Mailing address:

    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association
    PO Box 42516
    Portland, OR 97242

    For questions or concerns:

    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Tel: 541-632-4442
    casey[@]oregoncannabisretailers.com

     

    Donate

  • published ORCA April 2017 Newsletter in Blog 2017-05-05 03:00:27 -0700

    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.

    Orca_Lobby_Day.jpg

    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

  • published ORCA Update - HB 2204 in Update Emails 2017-05-05 02:35:48 -0700

    ORCA Update - HB 2204

    ORCA Members,

    I wanted to start this week with a quick recap of what we've been working on, and specifically about our first ever Lobby Day at the State Capitol last week. 
    The biggest news, right off the bat, is that we may have successfully halted the effort to increase the tax on cannabis sales [HB2204]!  More on that later...
     
    Lobby Day 2017 Recap [from April 4th, 2017]
    We exceeded my overall expectations by at least 300%, and I cannot begin to tell you all how proud I was to watch so many of our members making compelling and informed arguments and counterarguments with policymakers on their turf.
     
    Of paramount importance is our group's ability to communicate difficult problems clearly, concisely, and with a compelling personal narrative to key decision makers in Salem - and last week really represents us hitting our stride in this capacity.
    It was our work last Tuesday that - I believe - moved the needle measurably with some key legislators on some of the most critical issues facing the industry today.
    And we're not done yet. Now we are heading into the busiest part of the legislative session - when the ultimately fates of proposed bills are decided. That's why we are doubling down and amplifying the voice of our members, especially around the key issues of taxes and industry representation in the OLCC - in addition to continuing our push for SB 307 [social consumption venues and temporary event licenses] and other proposals to protect/expand consumer rights.
    This is a busy week for several of our proposals, and just because our lobby day has concluded that doesn't mean we're finished with our push.  We need our folks in the know ready to roll up their sleeves and help during session's final months.
    Legislative Update:
    The biggest issue that we have been focusing on - both for our lobby day and more broadly this session - is with regards to the proposal to allow localities to increase the rate at which cannabis sales are taxed at the local level, or HB 2204.
    HB 2204 could potentially devastate our industry, will almost certainly boost illegal sales, and will increase the market share of illicit dealers.  As we expressed to lawmakers last week (and as I have been communicating for many months), the legal market place is still fragile and secondary markets are still thriving.  The state must work towards extinguishing the illicit market if the legal market is to win when the two compete with one another.  This additional tax increase would only cause prices to increase and divert more consumers to dealers, while reducing state revenues for schools, law enforcement, and drug prevention.
    We have been making this case to members of the House Committee on Revenue all session long - and  this was the Number 1 topic of discussion on Lobby Day.
    The legislature was due to hold a work session on the bill Tuesday afternoon at 1:00pm, and we planned on emailing you all with an Action Alert to help us inundate their staff's office expressing our uniform opposition to the bill.
    However, the bill has been removed from the Revenue Committee's agenda and no further actions are scheduled at present.  This represents a major victory - for our group and for the industry, and I've heard from staff in the building that it was OUR meetings last week that helped make clear to key legislators how deleterious the effects of this tax increase would be on the legal market.
    If you were able to join us for our Lobby Day last week - and even if you were only able to show your support by being a dues-paying ORCA member - you should take a bow, because this was truly some outstanding and impactful work we did.
     
    But we shouldn't throw ourselves a victory party over this just yet.
    There's still plenty of time for this bill to be called forward and passed out of committee, or for the concept of the bill to be gutted and stuffed and passed in another. You can trust that we will be closely monitoring this legislation to ensure that our members know what is happening.  However, as it stands, it appears that our efforts have successfully neutralized the progress of this bill for the time being.
    Don't ever forget - this is the reason why big corporations spend billions of dollars on lobbying our government every year.  It works.  By knowing the legislative process and strategically involving ourselves, we can be mighty effective.
    Last night, the Joint Committee on Measure 91 held a public hearing on SB 1057, which seems to be the committee's last attempt at merging regulatory aspects of the medical and recreational programs under the OLCC along with technical fixes.
    The measure was introduced along with about a dozen of amendments as well, some of which are wide ranging in their impact and others of which are fairly benign.  Rather than doing a once-over on every piece of the bill, I wanted to highlight some of the changes that are in line with what we have brought to policymakers.  For instance, the -8 amendments would create two additional OLCC commissioner seats like we have been demanding.  However, the current draft does not specify that the commissioners must come from the cannabis industry like statutory requirement for the 'food and beverage' commissioner.
    The OLCC had expressed some concerns in their testimony about how designating a commissioner specifically from the cannabis industry in statute could risk the state's compliance with the Cole Memo, though it remains unclear the extent to which that is relevant any longer in the first place.
    Our aim is to continue working with lawmakers to address these concerns, and to get our industry the best representation in our state agencies as possible.
    The committee is taking written testimony electronically on this proposed bill through this Friday afternoon if anyone else would like to share their thoughts.
    One of the other pieces of heavy lifting with regards to cannabis policy that the legislature is attempting to tackle, this bill seems to have enough support to get out of committee.  We're hearing that most of the opponents have had their concerns addressed, and it should have the support to pass both chambers.
    We discussed with bill with lawmakers at our lobby day last week, and we are continuing those conversations to shore up support as session continues.
    Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation's future for the rest of the legislative session remains unclear as well - and rumor has it that the committee may be wrapping up most of it's business by the end of the month. That means we may see this bill - possibly along with others - fast-tracked in the coming weeks, with votes taking place as soon as next Tuesday's meeting.  Stay tuned to our update emails to hear the latest on how to make our voices heard.
    Federal Lobby Days with NCIA and ORCA on May 16th and 17th (& 18th)!
    Just another reminder to our members that we will be joining the National Cannabis Industry Association for their upcoming Lobby Days in Washington DC on May 16th and 17th - and sticking around for a couple of extra days to do some of our own.
    And we want you to come, too! Especially after the success of our state lobby day.
    We are so close to making some major fixes to federal policy, and with any luck we can help our national counterparts push some of these reforms over the finish line.
    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. NCIA’s Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry looks like.

    If you would like to join ORCA on our trip to DC, here's what you should do:
    1.  Sign up for NCIA's Lobby Day using the above link
    2.  Email me (casey@oregoncannabisretailers.com) to let me know
    3.  Come to our next meeting on April 24th in Portland for more information!
    We did so well advocating for our industry in Salem last week, I would love to see if we can have an equally successful repeat with our visit to Congress.
     
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram Problems --- Please Report Deletions!
    One other thing we've been working on on behalf of our members is to work towards fair social media platform policies for cannabis businesses.  Our goal is to persuade Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other relevant social media platforms to stop shutting down the pages of licensed, regulated businesses.
    Our members should have the same rights to develop and promote their brand as any other legal business, and it is prohibitive to their growth and success to continue operating under rules that arbitrarily limit their ability to do so.
    We are collecting as many specific stories from our members as possible about incidents involving social media accounts getting frozen, flagged, or removed because it was for a legal cannabis business.  The more specific instances of this harm we can document, the stronger our case will be as we discuss new policies.
    If your business has recently experienced a problem with a social media account being frozen or removed because you are a cannabis business, please send me an email (Casey@oregoncannabisretailers.com) with the subject "SOCIAL MEDIA REMOVAL REPORT" and include as many details as possible.
    As the legislative session winds down, we will have more bandwidth to tackle some of these year-round problems - and we want to help our members by being on the front lines of these fights as soon as we are able to. Help give us ammo!
    April Meeting in Portland - Monday 4/24
    A quick note to our members that our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 24th at the Lucky Labrador Brewpub in Portland from 6:30pm-8:30pm!
    April ORCA Meeting and Legislative Update in PORTLAND
    Monday, April 24th
    6:30pm - 8:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
    The Lucky Lab Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
    On the agenda for this meeting is the proposed rule changes for testing, as well as an update about what the legislature is working on in their final weeks and months. The timing works out such that we will present our recommendations for these changes to regulators later in the week  - so attend and you can hear them first!
    Due to the limited time during the legislative session, we are combining this monthly meeting with that of the Oregon Responsible Edibles Council (OREC), so there should be opportunities to network with folks beyond the normal circles. Join us!
    OMBC In Eugene on Friday, April 28th!
    Another event I wanted to flag for folks in the coming weeks is the always helpful OMBC, which will be in Eugene on April 28th!
    The timing of this event is such that it is days before the public comment period regarding the proposed rule changes for laboratory testing comes to an end.  So this should be a hot topic of discussion and a good opportunity to learn a lot more about this rapidly changing area of policy and how the state plans to move forward.
    April 28th, 2017
    Valley River Inn - Eugene, OR
    We'll be there tabling, and we hope to see many of you there as well!
    As usual, you will also find a copy of our weekly wholesale report attached to this email.  We have been thrilled with the level of support we have received from our members on this so far and we look forward to continuing to reach out to you to help father these valuable wholesale data points.  The more we can collect, the sharper this tool will be in the future for all of our benefit.
    Our lobby day last week put some kinks in our normal update email schedule, so I'm including the last few wholesale reports as well to get us back up to speed and current.
    In the near future, we will begin limiting this benefit - among others - only to our current silver level members as is called for in our membership benefits list (as a courtesy, we have been extending this benefit to all members up until now).
    That's all the news for now.  Commotion will only be increasing from now until the legislature gavels out for the summer.  We will continue to do our best to keep our members in the loop, and know that we are working hard to fight for you in Salem.
    Respectfully,
    Casey
    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association
    541-632-4442

     


  • published ORCA Update 3.7.17 in Update Emails 2017-05-05 02:34:47 -0700

    ORCA Update 3.7.17

    ORCA Members,

    Just when we thought things were beginning to normalize for a bit there, last week instead turned into a whirlwind, especially with some of the national statements that came out about the new administration's intent to enforce federal law in states that have legalized marijuana.
    To add to that, we've also seen a slew of new legislation and policy proposals discussed in our capitol here in Salem.  We're working overtime to do everything we can to help ensure that our members get to have a voice in this process to help shape policy at ALL levels of government.
    So with that, let's get straight to it.
    National Cannabis News
    However, as though it could not get worse, this was followed up by comments from our newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he intended to direct our Department of Justice to pursue enforcement actions in states that have legalized.
    The conversation about how much longer we may or may not be dealing with Jeff Sessions as our nation's attorney general notwithstanding [with many top lawmakers calling for resignation amid accusations of perjury, among others], this did not signal the 'lets make a deal' pragmatism that many of us hoped to see from a Trump administration. This was the first time since assuming office that the executive branch has weighed in on the issue of state marijuana laws, and it was far from an encouraging response for cannabis business owners.
    As if on cue, our folks at NCIA put out a blistering retort demanding that the administration respect the will of the people (with recent polls showing 71% of adults supporting legalization), the will of the voters, and the state's right to self-govern as they promised during their campaign (attached).
    What may put our minds at ease, however, are the stories now circulating regarding conversations then-Senator Jeff Sessions had with other Republican Senators ahead of his confirmation hearing.  
    As Anthony Johnson articulated better than I could in a recent piece for WeedNews.co and as reported by Politico, Sessions made it clear in private conversations with his fellow Republican lawmakers that he did not plan to pursue federal marijuana enforcement actions in state's that have legalized pot, and we would likely not see a shift away from their states' rights stance.
    Personally, I am a lot more inclined to believe the comments Sessions made to his fellow Republican Senators behind closed doors than I am the comments he made more publicly - especially with his recent problem sticking strictly to facts when speaking in public forums.  The recent posturing sounds to me a whole lot like what Montanans would call 'all hat and no cattle', and I don't think we need to start worrying much until we see the DEA rolling into Oregon.
    Federal Lobbying with NCIA! Join Us!
    But just to make sure we can do our part to make sure that Doesn't happen... We are proud to announce that we will be joining the National Cannabis Industry Association for their upcoming Lobby Days in Washington DC on May 16th and 17th!  And we want you to come, too!
    There are a lot of exciting issues percolating at the federal level, and NCIA and ORCA will be doing a full court press in the halls of Congress to get as many folks on our side of the issue as possible - at least for the common sense fixes like access to basic banking services, 280E (tax fairness), electronic payment processing, and halting (or at least defunding) federal enforcement actions against state-legal businesses through an appropriations bill amendment. Join us!
    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. NCIA’s Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry looks like.

    Our staff will be on the ground in our nation's capitol for Federal Lobby Days, and I am planning on staying in DC for the entire week.  My aim is to coordinate two additional days of lobbying outside of the NCIA lobby days where we can take a group of some of our more bold ORCA members around to discuss some of these important issues with lawmakers - even (and especially) some who don't agree with us.  We must win hearts and change minds.
    If you would like to join ORCA on our trip to DC, here's what you should do:
    1.  Sign up for NCIA's Lobby Day above
    2.  Email me (casey@oregoncannabisretailers.com) and let me know you signed up.
    3.  Come to our next meeting on March 29th in Portland for more information!
    In April, we will also be holding our very own Lobby Day here at our state capitol.  We will have more information and details on how to sign up for that in our next update in the coming days.
    Legislative Update
    Last week was relatively quiet in Salem in terms of cannabis policy.  The Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation did not meet for it's usual committee meeting on Tuesday evening [it is unclear to what extent the decision to do so was impacted by the recent news about the alleged federal crackdowns on legal cannabis], so no hearings or votes on bills last week from them.
    Tonight, however, the committee does have a meeting scheduled for their usual time of 5:00pm - and they will be looking at three different pieces of legislation this evening:
    SB 303Amends, clarifies and creates consistency in statutes setting forth prohibitions and procedures related to minors possessing, purchasing, attempting to purchase or acquiring alcoholic beverages or marijuana items.
    SB 302Removes provisions related to marijuana offenses from Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
    SB 863Prohibits marijuana retailers and medical marijuana dispensaries from retaining identification information of consumers and registry identification cardholders for more than 48 hours after close of business on business day on which marijuana retailer or medical marijuana dispensary acquired information.
    The first two bills are mostly aimed at cleaning up existing statutes to most correctly reflect the intent of lawmakers following our decision to remove most criminal penalties for marijuana.
    The third bill, however, SB 863, may be very concerning to retail businesses and many of their vendors.  The bill, which can be read in it's current form in full online here, would require any customer identification information retained for any purpose during their visit to a retailer to be destroyed within 48 hours of after the close of business on the business day on which the marijuana retailer acquired the information. 
    According to a summary posted earlier this week on Ganjapreneur, the bill originated from concerns that a pending federal crackdown could lead to the bulk collection of consumer data from pot smokers - which could conceivably be used as apart of federal enforcement actions.
    This bill could also be devastating to businesses that have spent time and resources building email newsletters, running customer loyalty programs, or using text message based marketing campaigns.  We need to fight back for equal treatment under the law, and to protect the rights of our state-licensed businesses to be able to communicate with their customers like any other.
    We will be in Salem today speaking with lawmakers ahead of and during the hearing on the bill to discuss some of the problems it presents and how it could negatively harm our members.  I'll be sure to reach out again later today in the event that we need to call, email, and make some noise.
    [Click the little round play button next to today's date, it is visible when the feed turns on]
    Another piece of local news we saw recently...
    Not surprisingly, the state continued to see a decline in the total tax revenue collected on cannabis sales. We have still not yet managed to exceed the $7.8 million collected in October of last year. 
    In fact, it appears that January's figures declined by more than $2.5m down to just $5.2m.
    We have been working on informing lawmakers of just how dire the situation is for businesses in Oregon's legal cannabis marketplace.  I'm confident there is a correlation between decreases in state pot tax revenues and a strengthening illicit market.  That means that these figures could show a legal market struggling to compete for market share with a vibrant underground trade that is not burdened by the costs of rent, licensing, oversight, or compliance - let alone sales taxes.
    As I testified in regards to HB 2204 a few weeks ago, I believe that we share the state's goal of maximizing the revenues it collects from pot taxes - because in so doing, it means that we are growing our statewide gross sales, growing the legal market, and helping to fund our schools. That is why it's so critical that, at this moment, we work together to help defeat the effort to increase the tax rate applied to cannabis sales so as to help extinguish secondary markets.
    You can be sure that news pieces like this - as well as others - are part of the discussions that we are having with policymakers day-in and day-out, and we will be continuing our work showing them the evidence that demonstrate how we can build a competitive legal market.

    OLCC Chair Rob Patridge Resigns
    Patridge's last day will be March 10, and it currently remains unclear who is likely to fill his vacancy on the OLCC.  We do know that since the current seats on the OLCC commission are determined by Congressional District, the appointment to the board would have to be a resident of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District.  
    Interested parties who are residents of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District should contact the Governor's office, as it is a gubernatorial appointment to fill the vacancy.
    As per usual, you can find this past week's wholesale report attached to this email.  We are continuing to dutifully collect these wholesale data points and if you haven't heard from us recently, you likely will be hearing from us in the coming weeks to gather more of this information.
    Prices at the wholesale level have been very volatile in recent weeks and months, due in no small part to the transition to OLCC licensing for all types of businesses. This seems to have sent supply lines into disarray, many of which are only now getting reestablished.
    If you are an intake manager for a retail business, work for a wholesale company, or do sales for a grow that sells to wholesalers or retailers, you are always welcome to email casey@oregoncannabisretailers.com with any relevant wholesale data points from the past week, and include the data either in the body of the email or as an attachment.  A complete data point must include: strain name, price per pound, weight bought/sold in the transaction, grow type [indoor, outdoor, greenhouse], and a subjective quality rating.
    If we continue to increase the volume of data our partners use to aggregate the information in our reports, then we will continue to get more accurate snapshots of where the market is from week to week, and in-so-doing giving buyers and sellers a more powerful tool to help their business.
    March Meeting in Portland 3/29!
    Wanted to give everyone an opportunity to mark their calendars for our next monthly meeting, which is coming up in a few weeks on WEDNESDAY, March 29th in Portland at the Lucky Lab Brew Pub.  With session in high gear, this one is not to be missed!
    March ORCA Meeting and Legislative Update in PORTLAND
    WEDNESDAY, March 29th
    6:30pm - 8:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
    The Lucky Lab Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
    This month, we'll be going over the bills being considered by the legislature, discussing the implications of the recent threats of a federal crackdown, and detailing some of our plans for our upcoming lobby days in Salem and in Washington DC.  Join Us!
    **PLEASE NOTE - This meeting is on a WEDNESDAY evening, not our usual Monday***
    With so much going on, there may be times where we have difficulty answering everyone's questions in real time as they come in - especially when we are running around the capitol during session.  However, we will be sure to do our best to make sure our members get the latest information available so we can be active in shaping policies.
    That's all for now. I can't tell you how much I appreciate getting to work alongside all of you as you pioneer this exciting industry.  I look forward to being there with you every step of the way.

    Respectfully,
    Casey
    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association
    541-632-4442

  • published ORCA Update 3.17.17 in Update Emails 2017-05-05 02:26:16 -0700

    ORCA Update 3.17.17

    ORCA Members,

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!  It's been another very busy week with the legislative session fully underway. The next three weeks are going to be even busier because of several important ORCA events, which I need your help with so let’s get right to it

    I am thrilled to invite you to the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association 1st Official Lobby Day, Tuesday, April 4th! The goal is to get at least 25 of our Members in front of influential State Representatives and Senators to discuss the important issues that are effecting our businesses. More importantly, we need to make sure they know the positions of our members on key pieces of legislation being considered this year that could really impact the industry.

    The event will be held at the Capitol building, 900 Court Street NE, Salem OR and we will begin our training that morning 10:00am SHARP, with check-in beginning at 9:30am.  We have reserved a room in the capitol building to conduct our lobby day training in the morning, and we have a series of meetings with legislators scheduled throughout the afternoon.  
    It is crucial that we get information about which of our members will be attending  - and what times they are available to do so - ahead of time as much as possible, so please be sure to have this completed ahead of our next meeting on March 29th.
    Tuesday, April 4th 2017
    9:30am - 5:00pm
    Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation Meeting 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    For those that really want to see the whole process in action, folks are also welcome to stay for the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation meeting, which are held on Tuesday evenings at 5:00pm.  Depending on their agenda for the meeting, there may be opportunities for our members to provide testimony in front of the committee directly for those up to it.
    It is not mandatory that participants stay for the entire day, but it is necessary that we find out ahead of time when people will and will not be available to join us and for which meetings. However, attending a lobby day training is required - either on the day of the event beginning at 9:30am, or at our next ORCA meeting on March 29th [more info below]
    Legislative Update
    The Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation met this past Tuesday to discuss two specific bills, and to hold an informational hearing on laboratory testing rules.
    SB 863 - Prohibiting Retailers from Retaining Identification Information of Consumers and Registry Identification Cardholders for more than 48 hours After Close Of Business on Day of Sale
     
    There had been a fair amount of concern about this bill that was explained in our last update email, specifically how this could impact retailer's abilities to keep and utilize contact information volunteered by consumers for the purpose of marketing (like emails, phones, etc).
    We brought these concerns to the bill's Chief Sponsor, State Senator Floyd Prozanski, who made it a point in his testimony on the record to clarify that preventing retailers from retaining information that consumers volunteer for marketing purposes was not the intent of this bill, and it would not be the effect because of our efforts.  Sen. Prozanski is a prosecutor by day, and one of the best technical legislators I've ever had the honor of meeting, so I believe him.
    The language of the bill, as explained, would apply only to ID information and not to volunteered contact information.  Some of the concerns spurring the bill stemmed from the idea that the federal government may try to use bulk data from recreational cannabis consumers - possibly in conjunction with other information databases like firearm purchases - for a crackdown.
    It would not prevent a store from retaining an email address or phone number from consumers if they volunteer it for marketing purposes, though it may be wise for retailers to get something signed from consumers to that effect.
    This bill shouldn't hurt out members.  But, it is a great example of why lobbying is so important. We can't allow any changes to slip through that could have negative consequences for our industry - something that happens all too often in Salem.  We are tracking and working on all legislation that is interesting or concerning to our members, and doing our best to weigh in as needed.
    The bill was passed out of committee unanimously with a do-pass recommendation.  It should go on to a vote in front of the full Senate in the coming weeks.  You can read the full text online here.
    Informational Hearing on Testing Rules and Proposed Changes
    The committee also got to see an informational presentation on some of the current and proposed cannabis testing requirements for OLCC licensed laboratories. The presentation was conducted by Jeffrey Rhoades, the Governor's Policy Advisor on Cannabis, and Andre Ourso from the OHA.  
    They two detailed the current lab testing requirements, and how the latest draft of the proposed rules would differ from how things are currently.
    Below you will find the test of the proposed rules, and all of their accompanying charts and documents.  We'll be talking more about these at our next meeting on March 29th!
    Public Comments can be emailed to: publichealth.rules@state.or.us 
    You may also send comments by fax to (971) 673-1299
    If you wish to present oral testimony, the following public hearings will be held: 
    April 27, 2017 starting at 11:00 am 
    Planning and Development Department Atrium Building 
    99 W 10th Ave. ,Sloat Room 
    Eugene, OR 97401 
    April 28, 2017 starting at 10:00 am 
    Portland State Office Building 
    800 NE Oregon Street Room 1A 
    Portland, OR 97232
    We are working with our members and other industry partners to create public comments on behalf of the group, and help inform the state agencies about ways we can improve testing here in Oregon without sacrificing public safety.  Those conversations are happening alongside our conversations with members of the legislature, so we can utilize some of our allies in that branch of government to avoid statutory changes.
    HB 2198 - Changes name of Oregon Liquor Control Commission to Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
     
    This bill caused a fair amount of controversy at Tuesday's Public Hearing, and understandably so.  It's a big and confusing bill.  The -1 Amendments, which were discussed at length on Tuesday's hearing, were over 300 pages long and acted in many ways as a wholesale rewrite of the OMMA (Oregon Medical Marijuana Act). 
    The core function of the bill, as introduced, was to migrate the regulation of medical marijuana production to the OLCC - and that's no simple task.
    My biggest area of concern - and the area most relevant to retail cannabis businesses - is that unlike the original draft of the bill, the latest amendments don't call for adding ANY voting members of the commission specifically from the cannabis industry.  The original bill called for adding four from the industry, which was a concept our members have strongly supported.
    We provided testimony on the bill in writing to the members where we explained the need for this regulatory measure so that we can add an element of accountability to the agency regulators responsible for overseeing this market. 
    It is critical that these folks have industry knowledge, expertise, and experience to draw from and that is something that is sorely lacking in the current commissioners. We will continue to voice this to legislators throughout session.
    The bill did not advance at the hearing and no work session or vote was held.  As explained to me by legislators, the stage the bill is in presently is a bit like having unpacked all of the items in your garage everything is pulled apart and feels messier than it actually is.  Hopefully everything will come together in due time.
    Federal Lobbying w/ NCIA THIS MAY [SIGN UP NOW!]
    Just another reminder to our members that we will be joining the National Cannabis Industry Association for their upcoming Lobby Days in Washington DC on May 16th and 17th!  
    And we want you to come, too!
    There are a lot of exciting issues percolating at the federal level, and NCIA and ORCA will be doing a full court press in the halls of Congress to get as many folks on our side of the issue as possible - at least for the common sense fixes like access to basic banking services, 280E (tax fairness), electronic payment processing, and halting (or at least defunding) federal enforcement actions against state-legal businesses through an appropriations bill amendment. Join us!
    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. NCIA’s Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry looks like.

    Our staff will be on the ground in our nation's capitol for Federal Lobby Days, and I am planning on staying in DC for the entire week.  My aim is to coordinate two additional days of lobbying outside of the NCIA lobby days where we can take a group of some of our more bold ORCA members around to discuss some of these important issues with lawmakers - even (and especially) some who don't agree with us.  We must win hearts and change minds.
    If you would like to join ORCA on our trip to DC, here's what you should do:
    1.  Sign up for NCIA's Lobby Day above
    2.  Email me (casey@oregoncannabisretailers.com) and let me know you signed up.
    3.  Come to our next meeting on March 29th in Portland for more information!
    OMBC In Eugene!
    Another event I wanted to flag for folks in the coming weeks is the OMBC in Eugene on April 28th!
    The timing of this event is such that it is days before the public comment period regarding the proposed rule changes for laboratory testing comes to an end.  So this should be a hot topic of discussion and a good opportunity to learn a lot more about this rapidly changing area of policy.
    April 28th, 2017
    Valley River Inn - Eugene, OR
    We'll be there tabling, and we hope to see many of you there as well!
    Attached to this email you will find copies of our two most recent wholesale reports.  In the madness of the legislative session we occasionally end up doubling these up if too much time passes before we can get another update email out.  We hope you don't mind.
    These reports can also be found on the members-only section of the website, where members can access past copies as well as loads of other member only content we've been working on.
    Thanks again to all of the folks who continue to help us by participating in this data project by submitting their wholesale data points for aggregation.  We're going to keep working to improve the accuracy of these results by continuing to expand on our data inputs as much as possible.
    March Meeting & Lobby Day Training 3/29 [w/ Special Guest Rep. Rob Nosse]
     
    Also wanted to remind everyone about our upcoming meeting in Portland on Wednesday, March 29th at the Lucky Lab in SE Portland where we'll be joined by State Rep. Rob Nosse!  Rep. Nosse is the representative from HD42,  inner SE & NE Portland, and the Lucky Lab is actually in his district, so it works out.  He also serves on the House Revenue Committee, which is currently where HB 2204 is located - the proposed local cannabis sales tax increase from 3% to 8%.
    Rep. Nosse will be there to listen to the concerns of our members and to provide insight into the conversations that have been happening in the legislature recently. Especially if you or your business are based in HD42 Portland, this one is not to be missed!
    March ORCA Meeting and Legislative Update in PORTLAND
    w/ Rep. Rob Nosse, HD 42
    WEDNESDAY, March 29th
    6:30pm - 8:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
    The Lucky Lab Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
    On the agenda for this meeting is also a Lobby Day Training for folks that are interested in beefing up their policy chops ahead of our Lobby Day the following week on April 4th.  It's also a good opportunity for anyone who's unavailable to attend the morning training on Lobby Day, but would still like to join us for the meetings we have scheduled for the afternoon.  Attending at least one of the two scheduled trainings is required in order to participate. Attending both is encouraged.
    That about wraps it up for this week.  I will be doing a whole lot of follow up calling to the membership over the course of the next week so don't be surprised if you hear from me.  I'm probably just asking if you can make it to any of the exciting things we have coming up soon.
    As always, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about anything that's going on in the policy world - it's what we're here for.
    Have a great weekend and I hope to see you all soon.
    Respectfully,

    Casey
    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association
    541-632-4442

  • published ORCA Update Email 3.24.17 in Update Emails 2017-05-05 02:19:20 -0700

    ORCA Update Email 3.24.17

    ORCA Members,

    I'm going to try something new with this week's update.  There's so much going on right now, and we know that everyone is short on time, I'm going to try to get right to the point so everyone can actually read the whole update in just a minute or two.  So... Onward!
    March Meeting and Lobby Day Training 3/29
    First, a quick reminder about our upcoming meeting in Portland on Wednesday, March 29th at the Lucky Lab in SE Portland where we'll be joined by State Rep. Rob Nosse!  Rep. Nosse is the representative from HD42,  inner SE & NE Portland, and serves on the House Revenue Committee, which is currently where HB 2204 [Proposed Cannabis Sales Tax Increase] is located. Join us!
    March ORCA Meeting and Legislative Update in PORTLAND
    w/ Rep. Rob Nosse, HD 42
    WEDNESDAY, March 29th
    6:30pm - 8:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
    The Lucky Lab Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
    We'll also be having a Lobby Day Training during the meeting for folks who can't make it to the morning portion of our lobby day at the state capitol the following Tuesday (4/4).  Speaking of...
     

    Our first Official Lobby Day is set for Tuesday, April 4th! So far we already have over 40 members signed up to attend.  But don't let that stop you!  If you can, sign up online and join us!

     

    The event will be held at the Capitol building, 900 Court Street NE, Salem OR and we will begin our training that morning 10:00am SHARP, with check-in beginning at 9:30am. 
    It is crucial that we know who will be attending  - and what times they are available - ahead of time as much as possible, so please be sure to sign up ahead of our next meeting on 3/29.
    Tuesday, April 4th 2017, 9:30am - 5:00pm
    9:30am: Check-in
    10:00-11:30am Lobby Day Training
    11:30-12:30: Break for lunch
    12:30-1:00: Group Photos in the capitol rotunda
    1:00-5:00: Meetings with legislators
    5:00-7:00: Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation Meeting 
    This is going to be such a great time, and a big step for our group. I am really looking forward to seeing a bunch of you at the capitol - all spruced up and ready to speak with policymakers.
    Legislative Update
    Real short update this week from the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation.   The committee met Tuesday for all of six minutes to pass a set of conforming amendments to just one bill.  The bill was about minors-in-possession and didn't impact cannabis businesses directly.  The bill already passed in the Senate 25-4 over a week ago; the changes are just technical fixes.
    You can watch Mark Mayer from Legislative Counsel explain the same thing in the video of the committee hearing online here: http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=22960
    Behind the scenes, most of the conversations are still about how to integrate the medical marijuana production regulation with the recreational marijuana program.  It is unclear exactly which direction this is moving but it looks like it will be handed off to the OLCC to control.

    There's already a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday as well (3/28) and so far there is only one bill scheduled for a Public Hearing and that's HB 2556 - restricting the sale and delivery of marijuana paraphernalia.  I don't think Anyone in the building expects this bill to go anywhere.
    We'll be there all day on Tuesday anyway, putting in our two cents just to make sure of it.
    You can watch the live feed of the hearing at 5:00pm (3/28) by clicking the play button next to the day's date: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Committees/JMR/2017-03-28-17-00/Agenda
    The HR Group / Cannabis Industry Workshop Series [And Accompanying Survey]

    We're also pleased to let everyone know about an upcoming series of workshops being put on by one of our members, The HR Group, about a variety of topics vital to business owners.

    In their own words:

    Attention Fellow ORCA members! 
     
    The HR Group is excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association in an ongoing series of workshops geared toward the concerns of cannabis professionals.
     
    The topics we’ll be addressing will be relevant to all cannabis professionals and based on the direct feedback that you have provided.
     
    With that in mind, please take a moment to fill out the following survey. It’s fast and it’s fun. We will use the results to develop workshops that address actual industry concerns.
     
    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.
     
    Please take a moment to fill out the following survey. It will only take a moment and the data we gather from it will make a direct impact on the workshops subjects, as well as the timing of said events.
     
    Survey Link:
     
    Finally, we’re currently developing a 2018 cannabis industry calendar. It will highlight 12 of the more interesting dispensaries and farms in the NW, as well as relevant events. If you would like to be featured, or are planning any events that we should include, please let us know by emailing Michael@Wedohr.com , for now thanks for taking the survey.
     
    Sincerely,
    Michael L. Watkins
    Business Development Manager
    The HR Group
    Attached you'll find this week's wholesale report.  Not much new to report.  We'll keep reaching out to more and more folks for data and we'll keep getting more and more accurate figures.
    That's all for now.  We have some real busy weeks coming up real soon.  Stay tuned for more.
    Until then, Happy Friday, everybody.  Have a great weekend.
    Respectfully,
    Casey
    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

  • published ORCA Update Email 4.21.17 in Update Emails 2017-05-05 02:03:09 -0700

    ORCA Update Email 4.21.17

    ORCA Members,
    Hope everyone out there had a very excellent 4/20 yesterday, and that business was booming for all!  I'm sure you all still have plenty of business to attend to, so I'll keep it as brief as I can for all of our benefit on this beautiful Friday afternoon.
    April Meeting Reminder - Next Monday, 4/24
    Firstly, a reminder that this coming Monday night (4/24), we'll be having our monthly meeting for April at the Lucky Lab Pub in SE from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
    We'll be going over the latest that's been happening in the legislature, and reviewing our recommendations we are submitting as public comments for the proposed lab testing rules.
    April ORCA Meeting and Legislative Update in PORTLAND
    Monday, April 24th
    6:30pm - 8:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
    The Lucky Lab Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
    Legislative Update
    It was a very busy week in Salem this week, for our issue and every other.  Tuesday (the 18th) was a critical deadline by which bills must have passed out of their first committee or else they are considered dead.  There are a bunch of committees and bills to which this doesn't apply, including several of ours, but it does apply to some.  More importantly, it also means that it's crunch time in the legislature - the remaining time is waning and bandwidth to get bills through is narrowing.
    We're working with folks on the committees to promote the changes we want to see in the larger marijuana bills, and to play defense against the proposals we would like to see die (or stay dead).
    Here's a quick overview of what some of those bills are, and where they are in the process [and I'll try not to get too 'inside baseball' or hyper-technical about it]:
    HB 2204 - Proposed Local Tax Increase
    Status - Not dead yet
    Explained - The bill is in the House Revenue committee, which is exempt from the aforementioned deadline.  They had a work session scheduled to vote on it last week but that was cancelled.  I think our lobby day efforts helped that happen quite a bit.  We're keeping a close eye on it and doing everything we can to make sure that it stays there until the session is all the way over. If it moves at all, you'll probably be hearing from me immediately because we'll want our folks to get very loud about it to their representatives right away.
    SB 301 - Ending Employment Discrimination for Legal, Off-Hours Pot Use
    Status - Bleeding out, Likely to die
    Explained - This was a good bill that just never got off the ground because of major opposition from business groups (not ours).  Sen. Prozanski got the bill up for a vote ahead of this week's deadline - and it even passed narrowly 3-2 - but it was quickly announced soon after that it didn't have the votes to get out of the full Senate and is effectively dead [as explained by Saul Hubbard in the RG].  Major credit to Lee Berger and Portland NORML for trying to move this forward and getting the conversation started - incredibly important work.  Maybe next session.
    SB 1042 - Allowing for the creation of Interstate Compacts
    Status - Alive, uncertain future
    Explained - This bill could let us start setting up agreements with other states [with legal marijuana] to export our excess products.  It could potentially be a huge game-changer for Oregon's cannabis economy [on paper, anyway].  It's a wild concept that needs to get tackled eventually, and now is as good a time as any to start.  It, too, passed out of Sen. Prozanski's Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of the deadline and is technically still alive, but I suspect with the uncertainty at the federal level they aren't likely to push it much further - and this could definitely generate pushback from federal enforcement teams and possibly provoke a response.
    SB 1057 - Integrating Aspects of Medical and Adult-Use, other technical changes
    Status - Alive, uncertain future
    Explained - The committee has worked on this for several weeks and there are now almost two dozen amendments to it.  There's a lot of interested parties with a lot of important changes wrapped up in this bill, so I'd say there's a better than average chance it gets through - but it'd need to happen fast.  We like parts of this bill because it adds two more OLCC commissioners - another big help for adding accountability to the commission. It's scheduled to be looked at again this coming Tuesday, so we'll know more soon.
    SB 307 - Social Consumption Lounges and Temporary Event Licenses
    Status - Unknown
    Explained - This is a bill that had a lot of support despite tackling a really hairy issue, but over the course of this week hit some major hurdles.  A few key stakeholders - like public health officials - continue to take issue with some of the aspects of the bill, and appear to be making moves to gut most of it in the process.  It's not dead, and there's a lot of good folks making pushes to get it through [including and especially Sam Chapman of New Economy Consulting], but it's remarkably unclear if it has the legs to get over the hurdles it's come up against in the remaining weeks of session.

    SB 863 - Prohibiting Retention of Consumer Identification Information by Retailers
    Status - Passed, Signed, Enrolled
    Explained - This is a done deal that is not only now law, it is now in effect since the bill had an emergency clause.  In fact, many of you probably saw the OLCC's email notice yesterday afternoon explaining how to enact these new changes moving forward, and the steps you need to take to destroy past data by May 18th.  
    But if you're a retailer, don't go deleting all of your marketing data just yet!  
    Some data - like, for example, a list of email addresses not connected to any other consumer information - should not fall under the scope of the information affected by this bill. But the OLCC's bulletin made it sound like this new measure applied to ALL previously collected data. We reached out to the OLCC today because it appears that their instructions for compliance somewhat exceed the scope of the bill, and we expect to get a written clarification on this sooner than later. 
    [Now seems like a really good time to remind everyone that I'm not a lawyer, and that the information in these emails do not constitute legal advice, and that our updates are for informational purposes only.
    Eugene OMBC 4/28, and ORCA Happy Hour 4/27
    Also wanted to remind everyone that the OMBC is coming up in Eugene next Friday, April 28th!
    April 28th, 2017
    Valley River Inn - Eugene, OR
    Alex and the fine folks that run the conference have been kind enough to extend a discount on ticket prices for the conference to ORCA members, which you can access online here:
    ORCA is also going to be hosting a Happy Hour  on Thursday - the day before the conference - at 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
    We'll be there tabling at the conference, and we hope to see many of you there!
    SpringBIG Promotional Offer to ORCA Members
    We're pleased to announce that one of our new members, SpringBIG, would like to offer a promotional offer to ORCA members on their business and marketing services!
    SpringBIG is empowering small businesses with big business marketing tools. As the leading loyalty and marketing platform for Marijuana Dispensaries across the nation, SpringBIG provides text message marketing and digital loyalty punch cards to keep your customers yours. Our dispensaries see an average increase of 25% foot traffic each time they send out a campaign!
     
    Please don't hesitate to reach out to us to talk more, and to set up your free trial account to receive 20,000 FREE text messages!
     
    Want to see a full demo? Schedule some one-on-one time here (they don’t bite, promise).
     
    Already using a SMS or loyalty service? No worries, let them know and they’ll hook you up with a special switch-over program! 
    For more information on their services or to take advantage of the offer, contact: Heather@springbig.com
    The HR Group - Cannabis Industry Workshop  - May 1st!
    Also wanted to remind everyone about an upcoming 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 is excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association in an ongoing series of workshops geared toward the concerns of cannabis professionals.
     
    The topics we’ll be addressing will be relevant to all cannabis professionals and based on the direct feedback that you have provided.
     
    With that in mind, please take a moment to fill out the following survey. It’s fast and it’s fun. We will use the results to develop workshops that address actual industry concerns.
     
    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.
     
    Please take a moment to fill out the following survey. It will only take a moment and the data we gather from it will make a direct impact on the workshops subjects, as well as the timing of said events.
    Survey Link:
     
    Finally, we’re currently developing a 2018 cannabis industry calendar. It will highlight 12 of the more interesting dispensaries and farms in the NW, as well as relevant events. If you would like to be featured, or are planning any events that we should include, please let us know by emailing Michael@Wedohr.com , for now thanks for taking the survey.
     
    Sincerely,
    Michael L. Watkins
    Business Development Manager
    The HR Group
    We've got yet another weekly wholesale report attached for you, as well.  Now that we've been at it for years, and as market trends normalize, it's clear how this tool has becoming increasingly useful and how helpful it can be for businesses.
    Please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly if you would like to help us expand the scope of our data sources and provide us with some verified wholesale data points about your recent transactions.  Personally identifiable information is never submitted, so your data remains anonymous when we enter it for aggregation.
    That's all for this week.  I hope to see many of you at our meeting next Monday, and I suspect I'll see many more of you in Eugene later in the week.
    Have a great weekend!
    Respectfully,
    Casey
    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association
    541-632-4442

  • started a monthly donation via 2018-01-15 14:19:25 -0800

    Green Level Membership

    ORCA's entry level membership is a great and affordable way to support policy changes that help Oregon’s cannabis industry, and to stay tuned in to the legislative process.

    Green Member Benefits

    • Business’s name and website listed in ORCA's membership directory and on ORCA’s website
    • Free Admission for one (1) to ORCA’s monthly meetings, where members can network with other industry professionals and policy makers – Featuring a new topics or guest speakers every month
    • Legislative and Policy email updates - Featuring importing legislative and administrative news as well as information about featured vendors, products, events, and other industry developments.

     

    Donate

  • published 4.27.2017 ORCA Newsletter in Update Emails 2017-04-27 11:44:53 -0700

    4.27.2017 ORCA Newsletter

    ORCA_Nationbuilder_logo.jpg

    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.

    Orca_Lobby_Day.jpg

    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

    OMBc_Eugene.png
    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!


    We_Do_HR_Going_Green.jpg

    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!

    Join-Now-Button-2.png

    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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