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Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

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  • 31 Mar 2020 1:00 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

    Dear ORCA Members and the Cannabis Industry at large,

    We hope that you, your colleagues, your family, and your customers are all doing as well as possible in these chaotic times.  We're doing our best to get by, just like all of you.

    **We have been sending out coronavirus-specific update emails to our entire Newsletter list, rather than only to our members list, in order to provide value and offer our help to anyone who may need this vital information during this time of crisis**

    One of our primary goals is to be of service to our members and the industry in general. To that end, in this update we have consolidated relevant information resources about the coronavirus and government programs to provide valuable reference tool.

    Please note that we are not lawyers or doctors, but we always strive to provide folks with the best and most accurate information available.

    Coronavirus Information:


    Check out Sen. Wyden's letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations about giving cannabis businesses access to the federal SBA loan program (^^^ This is potentially a very big deal! But is only a long shot)


    Governors Office and Legislative Task force:  The Governor's office has created a great Information page that has consolidated information from all the relevant state agencies into one location - Book mark it. Also the legislature's Joint task force has published its recommendations. 

    1. Governor Brown's Oregon Coronavirus Information & Resources page
    2. Governor's Stay Home Save Lives order - Executive Order NO. 20-12 - 
    3. What’s the best way to clean my workplace?
    4. Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response - Letter of Recommendations


    OLCC Resources:
     The OLCC has a coronavirus specific page on their website. It covers both Alcohol and Cannabis, which is at the bottom of the page.  Please be sure you review the OHA Guidance as you are required to comply by the Governor's order. If you have questions or ideas for the OLCC please share them with us at - Staff@oregoncannabisretaierls.com.

    1. OLCC's COVID-19 Business Continuity Information
    2. OHA Guidance - Social Distancing: Keep Your Distance to Prevent COVID-19
    3. OLCC Temporary Rules FAQs for Curbside pick up and OMMP daily purchase limits.
    4. General OLCC Coronavirus FAQs (Covers a series of questions OLCC has been getting form the industry)
    5. Temporary Rules - 845-025-2800 - Retailer Privileges; Prohibitions
    6. Temporary Rules - 845-025-0885 - On-Site Delivery of Marijuana by Retailer


    Oregon Health Administration (OHA): 

    1. Oregon Health Authority - COVID-19 Updates
    2. COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
    3. OHA Guidance - Social Distancing: Keep Your Distance to Prevent COVID-19


    Center for Disease Control (CDC): Sanitation Best practices for the Work place: Please work with your staff to promote and reinforce all the recommended best practices for sanitation and disinfection in the work place. 

    1. CDC Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
    2. Resources for Businesses and Employers
    3. Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
    4. CDC Keeping the workplace safe

    The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI): Has a division called Technical Assistance (TA) for Employers and it is an amazing resource. It provides free advice to employers about all labor law and civil rights law in the state, and most importantly it has a strict firewall between itself and the enforcement divisions. Employers therefore can get free advice without fear of self reporting. 

    If you have any questions about sick time or any type of employee leave please do not hesitate to call or email them - 971-673-0824 or bolita@boli.state.or.us.

    1. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Technical Assistance for Employers 
    2. Oregon BOLI COVID-10/Coronavirus in Oregon: Facts about Sick Time - 
    3. Oregon BOLI Sick Time Law
    4. Oregon BOLI Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)   

    Employment Department: 
    1. COVID-19 Related Business Layoffs, Closures, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits
    2. COVID-19 Workplace Scenarios and Available Sick Leave/Unemployment Benefits
    3. Temporary Rules for Unemployment Insurance Benefits Flexibility
    4. Work Share Oregon - Helps an employer reduces the hours of work for a group of workers instead of terminating staff.
    5. Oregon Unemployment Insurance Benefits FAQS

    Oregon Department of Revenue:

    1. Department of Revenue offices switching to appointment only
    2. Marijuana tax program
    3. COVID-19 tax relief options (Filling extension to July 15) 
    4. Filing Extensions FAQs

    Coronavirus Tracking Resources:

    1. Oregon Health Authority - Oregon Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases (scroll to the bottom)
    2. Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)
    3. Washington Post - Mapping the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. and worldwide
    4. CDC - Coronavirus Cases in the US


    Federal Programs (Cannabis businesses wont qualify for these - We are working on it)

    1. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act).



  • 27 Jan 2020 7:51 PM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    One conversation topic from our January member's meeting was the importance of parity between Types 1/2 cannabis (highly regulated) and Type 3 cannabis ("Industrial Hemp".)

    Our friends at Leafly recently did an in-depth survey of products on the CBD market that we thought you might find valuable.

    Are you getting the CBD you paid for? We put 47 products to the test

    Bruce Barcott, Ian Chant, and David Downs

    November 18, 2019


    Our national love affair with CBD has hit a rough spot. America, we have trust issues.

    After a flurry of excitement about the wellness benefits of the newly legal cannabinoid, consumers are finding that all products are not created equal.

    Some have too little CBD. Some have too much. Some have none at all.

    Congress’ decision to end federal CBD prohibition in late 2018 opened the door to hundreds of new companies marketing thousands of products. CBD soda, lip balm, gummies, vape pens, and capsules can now be found in supermarkets, gas stations, and drugstores across the United States.

    CBD companies are thriving. But so are scammers and fraudsters....

    For the full article follow this link.


  • 11 Jun 2019 5:39 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

    Oregon Rep. Rob Nosse & a cannabis plant on the House floor for the
    SB 582 vote

    For Immediate Release
    June 11th, 2019
    CONTACT: Jesse Bontecou, (541) 632-4442 or staff@oregoncannabisretailers.com

    In a historic bi-partisan vote of 43-16 on Tuesday, the Oregon House passed SB-582 which will allow Oregon’s Governor to enter into agreements with other consenting states to allow for the legal export of cannabis between state markets.  Governor Brown is expected to sign the bill.

    Senator Floyd Prozanski, the bill’s sponsor, has been a champion of smart, rational cannabis policy in the Oregon legislature for more than two decades – and a key proponent of the concept.

    “This is a very strong statement by the Oregon legislature, and one that will reverberate across the country,” says Sen. Prozanski. “The future of this industry is that cannabis will primarily be grown where it grows best, and most efficiently, and most sustainably. That’s what functioning legal markets do.”

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) has been working with lawmakers to develop a bill to establish a framework for exporting cannabis since 2015.  A similar bill was introduced in the 2017 session, where it was voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed 3-2, but the bill never received a vote in the Senate and died. Last month, the Oregon Senate passed SB 582 in a 19-9 vote.

    “This is a major paradigm shift for sure,” says Casey Houlihan, Executive Director of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA). “When we started the conversation around cannabis exports four years ago, this was not on the radar of most legislators.  But it’s really smart public policy - it’s important to our members, important for our state, and important for the future of the entire cannabis industry.  Passing this bill at this critical moment is a testament to the massive value for the industry in building strong relationships with legislators and working to educate our lawmakers in Salem.”

    “The Emerald Region, from Oregon through Northern California, is one of the best and most important cannabis-producing regions in the world,” says Adam J. Smith, Founder and Executive Director of the Craft Cannabis Alliance, who also supported the bill. “In fact, this region has produced the majority of the nation’s domestic cannabis for generations.  As we move inexorably towards regulated markets, this bill brings us one step closer to sharing Oregon's bounty, legally, with consumers everywhere.”

    The bill contains a  “trigger” requiring that before the governor can enter into such an agreement, the federal government must allow such transfers in federal statute or indicate tolerance via a Department of Justice memo or policy directive. Seen as a long-shot before the session, the bill gained national attention as more and more states explore legalization policies. Under current conventions, every newly legal state must create a self-contained production industry, regardless of economic or environmental suitability.

    Houlihan continued, “For years, most members of the legislature have been overwhelmed with implementing cannabis legalization. With the passage of this bill, Oregon’s lawmakers will likely factor in the many positive local impacts of our position as a global leader in cannabis production.”


    ###


  • 15 May 2019 12:52 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

    OREGON SENATE PASSES HISTORIC CANNABIS EXPORT BILL!

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

    May 15th, 2019
    CONTACT: Jesse Bontecou, ORCA Deputy Director
    (541) 632-4442 or 
    staff@oregoncannabisretailers.com

    In a historic move today, the Oregon Senate voted in favor of a bill that would create a framework to allow Oregon to export cannabis to other states or countries that have also adopted legalization.

    After passing with a 19-9 vote, the bill will now advance to the House, where it has already received support from lawmakers in both parties.  The Governor’s office has also indicated support for the bill, meaning that today’s Senate vote is likely the largest hurdle the bill will face on its way to becoming law.

    Before it would allow exports to occur, the bill requires an indication from the federal government that interstate commercial cannabis transactions won’t be prosecuted under federal law.  

    “There’s still a lot of work to do, but today’s Senate vote is a major step forward for the future of Oregon’s cannabis industry
     – and in securing our position as the country’s leading cannabis exporter” said Casey Houlihan, Executive Director of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA).  

    ORCA has been working with lawmakers to develop a bill to establish a framework for exporting cannabis since 2015.  A similar bill was introduced in the 2017 session, where it was voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed 3-2, but the bill never received a vote in the Senate and died.

    Houlihan continued, “Oregon is already one of the leading exporters of cannabis in the nation, and it has been for decades.  We want those sales to be legal and regulated and taxed. The solution is fairly simple: We need a framework for exporting that excess supply into other states and countries as soon as possible.  

    "There’s not just a surplus of cannabis here – we have a massive wealth of knowledge, talent, experience, and skill that results in our state producing the highest quality cannabis in the world.  Our climate is ideal for large-scale cannabis cultivation.  Allowing Oregon producers and brands to access outside markets will bring innumerable jobs to some of the communities in Oregon that need them the most” Houlihan said.

    State Senator Floyd Prozanski – one of the chief sponsors of SB 582 – said of the bill, “This is a next step for Oregon to be a leader in the cannabis industry. We should do everything we can to promote the industry because it will, in fact, provide good family wage jobs in local communities.”



    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association is a trade association of over 350 cannabis businesses all across the state that work together to advocate for a more vibrant and responsible retail cannabis marketplace, which in turn creates an environment where all upstream businesses can thrive.

    ###

    We will continue to keep our members updated on the progress of this bill as it continues its way through the policymaking process

    Respectfully,

    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director


  • 14 Apr 2019 11:12 AM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    The City of Portland invites you to apply for the 

    2019 Cannabis Social Equity Grants!  

    This is a restorative justice and community reinvestment grant opportunity funded by the City of Portland’s 3% local tax on retail cannabis sales.


    The Cannabis Program in the Office of Community & Civic Life will award eight to ten-month (8 to 10-month) grants to “promote small businesses, especially women-owned and minority-owned businesses” and “provide economic opportunity and education to communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.” 

    For this funding opportunity (fiscal year 2018-19), $490,000 is available for Cannabis Social Equity Grants. Applicants may request funding for projects and programs ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 in the following priority areas:

    RECORD CLEARING AND EXPUNGEMENT
    WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
    RE-ENTRY HOUSING SERVICES


    If you have experience or expertise in one of the priority areas, foster interconnected communities, and provide multicultural and community-specific engagement, please consider applying! 

    Non-profit and for-profit entities of any size are encouraged to apply. Please help us get the word out by forwarding this to your network. 

    You can use this link to download the 2019 Cannabis Social Equity Grants announcement and application, or visit www.portlandoregon.gov/CannabisTax for more information.


    Join  for one of our information sessions to learn more:

    April 26, 2019
    10 to11am, East Portland Community Office
    1017 NE 117th Ave, Portland OR 97220

    May 2, 2019
    4 to 5pm, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
    (4815 NE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97211)


    Applications for funding are due Friday, May 24, 2019 by 11:59pm Pacific. 



    Questions?

    Please contact Kimie Ueoka with the Cannabis Program 
    at 

    503-823-2094 or kimie.ueoka@portlandoregon.gov.



    City of Portland Cannabis Program logo
  • 10 Apr 2019 11:36 AM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is providing the following information to: recreational marijuana licensees and medical registrants.

    Bulletin CE2019-05 covers the following issues:

    • Sampling and Testing Procedures for Pre-Rolls

     

    Sampling and Testing Procedures for Pre-Rolls

    This bulletin describes how the weight of pre-rolls should be calculated for sampling and testing for purposes of potency.

    Two types of pre-rolls exist:

    • Non-infused (“plain”) pre-rolls that consist only of usable marijuana, unflavored rolling paper, and a filter, tip, or cone. These types of pre-rolls are usable marijuana and may be made by Recreational Producers, Recreational Wholesalers, and Recreational Retailers.
    • “Infused” pre-rolls that contain usable marijuana combined with anything other than plain paper and a filter, tip, cone, etc. This may include, but is not limited to, combining usable marijuana with any of the following: flavored rolling paper, flower petals, concentrate (e.g. kief), or extract (e.g. oil). These types of pre-rolls are “other cannabinoid products” and may only be made by Recreational Processors.

    A previous bulletin (CE2019-04) describes how pre-rolls should be categorized in Metrc beginning April 1, 2019.

    OLCC’s labeling rules describe the requirements for labeling weights and potency of usable marijuana (non-infused) pre-rolls as well as cannabinoid product (infused) pre-rolls.

    Visit OHA’s Oregon Medical Marijuana Program’s rules webpage for regulations regarding testing. Testing rules can be found under Division 7 for both medical and recreational marijuana.

    Non-Infused (Usable Marijuana) Pre-Rolls

    If usable marijuana has been created into pre-rolls prior to testing, the following procedures should be followed:

    For purposes of sampling: the full item net weight, including the unflavored paper, filter, tip, cone, etc., counts towards the weight of the 15 pound batch limit.

    For purposes of testing and calculating Total THC and Total CBD: labs should unroll any pre-rolls that have been sampled and conduct tests on only the usable marijuana. When calculating Total THC and Total CBD as milligrams of THC (or CBD) per gram of item weight, only the weight of the usable marijuana should be included in the denominator of the calculation.

    For purposes of labeling percent THC and CBD: labels for non-infused (usable marijuana) pre-rolls require the concentration of THC and CBD to be expressed as a percentage. The value on the label should be based on only the weight of the usable marijuana.

    For example:

    • A Recreational Producer has a single-strain harvest lot that they intend to use for pre-rolls. If the pre-roll is 1 gram of usable marijuana and an aggregate weight of 0.5 grams of unflavored rolling paper, filter, tip, etc., the Producer could have a maximum of 4,535 pre-rolls in a 15 pound batch for purposes of sampling.
    • The appropriate number of samples are taken by the lab. When the lab tests the pre-rolls for Total THC the result is 200 milligrams of THC per pre-roll; the lab would report the result as 200 mg/g Total THC because the weight of the usable marijuana is 1 gram.
    • The label of the pre-roll for sale to a customer would list the THC percentage as 20% because the weight of the usable marijuana in the pre-roll is 1 gram.

    Usable marijuana may be tested prior to making into non-infused (usable marijuana) pre-rolls. As long as no additional elements are added other than unflavored paper, a filter, tip, cone, etc., the test results for the batch of usable marijuana remain valid. If creation of the pre-rolls is done after testing has been conducted, the labeling of the percentage of THC and CBD should be based only on the usable marijuana weight of the pre-roll and should not be based on the full item net weight (see above labeling example).

     

    Infused (Other Cannabinoid Product) Pre-Rolls

    Infused pre-rolls must be tested like any other cannabinoid product – all input material must be tested according to the Oregon Health Authority’s rules based on the input product type (see the “if intended for further processing” column at this link) and the final item must be tested for potency. For purposes of sampling, testing, and labeling the full item net weight (including the filter, tip, crutch, etc.) must be used.

    For example:

    • A Recreational Processor combines 1 gram of usable marijuana; 0.25 grams of keif; and a total of 0.5 grams of flavored rolling paper, filter, tip, cone, etc. The full infused pre-roll net weight is 1.75 grams.
    • The appropriate number of samples are taken by the lab. When the lab tests the pre-rolls for Total THC the result is 450 milligrams of THC per pre-roll; the lab would report the result as 257.14 mg/g Total THC because the net weight of the pre-roll as a whole is 1.75 grams (450 mg THC ÷ 1.75 grams item net weight). 
    • On the label for sale to a customer, cannabinoid products must express THC and CBD as milligrams in each serving and in the container. The label of this infused pre-roll would list the Total THC for the container as 450 mg (257.14 mg/g THC * 1.75 gram item net weight). The per-serving Total THC amount would be 450 mg divided by the number of servings.

     

    Resources for Licensees and Medical Registrants Related to Pre-Rolls

     

    OLCC rules impacting this issue:

    For More Information:

    www.marijuana.oregon.gov

    Email: marijuana@oregon.gov

    Phone: 503-872-5000, Option 1

    Toll Free: 800-452-6522, Option 1

  • 8 Feb 2019 10:24 AM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    Problem: CurrentlyOregonians are at risk of losing their jobs or being denied an employment opportunity simply for the consumption of legal substances in their off-hours.

    Oregon employees may be fired or not hired solely due to their employer learning that they have consumed legal substances like cannabis during their personal time, even if they were never impaired at work and the use did not impact their performance.

    This is especially problematic for cannabis use, as metabolites can remain detectable in the system for 20-30 days following a single use. Currently, off-hours tobacco use is protected from employment discrimination by statute.

    The current dynamic is hindering the ability of otherwise qualified people to find and/or keep jobs - increasing Oregonian’s risk of financial insecurity. This is especially true for lower wage employees, further entrenching legal cannabis as a right only for the wealthy and privileged.

    Solution: Support HB 2655, and extend current employment protections to include cannabis the same way it protects off-hours tobacco use, with the proper exceptions for safety, negotiated labor contracts, actual on the job impairment or use of intoxicants.

    • This would not protect employees who are impaired on the job, and only prevents using off-hours consumption as grounds for terminating or rejecting employment

    • We can include certain necessary exemptions for jobs that have a legitimate or ‘bona-fire occupational requirement or qualification’ that would be highly relevant.

    • Exceptions can also exist for collective bargaining agreements or other positions where employees enter into a contract agreeing not to consume in their off-hours.

      Oregon would not be the first state to pass an employment protection law of this kind.
      There are currently at least nine states providing employment protections for either medical or recreational cannabis and Vancouver B.C. now provided these protections to its police force.

      We Urge You To Please Vote Yes on HB 2655!

      The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a trade association of over 300 member businesses working to develop smart cannabis policy that promotes a robust retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon. 

  • 7 Feb 2019 10:18 AM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    On behalf of our members we strongly support legal cannabis export and believe that it is essential to the long-term health and success of Oregon’s cannabis industry.  Accordingly, we appreciate the intent of this bill but we have concerns with the language and would suggest several changes. 

    National legalization and the ability to export cannabis nationally and internationally is an inevitability at this point. National polling from October showed the 66% of Americans now support legalization, thirty-three states have medical cannabis and ten states plus Washington D.C. have recreational cannabis and there is every indication that these trends are continuing rapidly.  

    That being said we do not know how, when and in what manner national legalization and/or legal export of cannabis will happen.  For example, there could be a period where cannabis is not descheduled but export is allowed between states with compliant medical and recreational programs or there could just be full national legalization with states opting in.

    As we cannot predict the manner by which export becomes legal we strongly believe that an export bill should provide as much flexibility as possible to the Governor’s office and the OLCC to authorize and regulate the export of cannabis as soon as it is legally possible under as many legal structures as possible.

    Therefore we would advocate for changes amendments to this bill to ensure that the following goals are achieved: 

    1) Provide enough flexibility and authority to the Governor’s office and the OLCC to export cannabis as soon as is legally feasible without having to come back to the legislature (since we don’t know when legalization might happen). 

    2) Provide guidance, resources, benchmarks for the Governors administration and the OLCC to develop the necessary rules, administrative structures, and systems to regulate cannabis export ahead time.

    3) Establish a reasonable and nationally competitive tax rate for exported cannabis. And, ensure that a significant portion of the taxes are fairly distributed to the counties in relation to amount of cannabis being farmed.

    Thank you for your time and please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

    Respectfully,

    Casey Houlihan
    Executive Director
    Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

    http://www.oregoncannabisretailers.com

    Two in Three Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana 

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/243908/two-three-americans-support-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

  • 6 Feb 2019 10:22 AM | Miranda Weigler (Administrator)

    Currently, Oregon’s cannabis industry is in crisis, especially our cannabis growers. Oregon’s 1000+ farms are producing far more cannabis than Oregonians can consume -forcing a price war among producers that has driven prices down to unsustainable rates. The result is thousands of companies fighting to survive, putting thousands more jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of local capital at imminent risk of loss.

    The constraints on Oregon’s market are a consequence of legalization. The barriers preventing growers from accessing legal markets within the state will force much of that perishable excess supply into other states, no matter what. That’s already happening. Oregon has been a net-exporter of cannabis for decades. We know prohibition doesn’t work. We want those sales to be legal, regulated, and taxed.

    The Solution is simple – We Must Legalize Cannabis Exports. It would:

    1. 1)  Ensure that Oregon and our cannabis – world-renowned for its outstanding quality - are the leading supplier of cannabis to the rest of the country and the rest of the world, just like we are for hops.

    2. 2)  Create a thriving cannabis economy, employing tens of thousands and generating hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of revenue for Oregon’s cannabis farms and other small businesses.

    3. 3)  Create a new stream of tax revenue for the state and local counties potentially many times larger than we currently raise from the in-state retail sales of cannabis

    4. 4)  Incentivize licensure and dramatically reduce the amount of cannabis entering the illicit market

    Oregon Legislature’s Role: Please pass a bill that gives the Governor’s office and the OLCC the authority and flexibility to regulate and legally export cannabis to other states or countries as soon as possible. We know that the federal legalization of cannabis is looming, and we want to make sure that Oregon can begin exporting as soon as that happens. We must remove the barriers in state statute now.

    Ways the legislature can help Oregon’s cannabis farmers and processors:

    1. Fix Oregon’s statutes that currently make it illegal to export cannabis even if it were federally legal.

    2. Enable the OLCC to develop the necessary rules and systems ahead of time so that we are fully ready

      to increase our production and exporting to inter-state and international markets as soon as possible.

    3. Protect the value of existing cannabis licensees and the early investments that it took to create them.

    4. Drive the legal cannabis export conversation forward nationally, to expedite federal legalization.

    5. Accelerate the creation of thousands of jobs in cannabis production, processing, and distribution.

    We urge you to support legislation that would allow for the legal export of cannabis as soon as possible, so we can grow this important sector of the state’s economy.

    The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a non-profit trade association of over 350 member businesses working to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry in Oregon.

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