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Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

August 2018 Update!

24 Aug 2018 7:31 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

ORCA August 2018 Newsletter

I hope that everyone is enjoying the summer and that the fires and smoke aren't hurting your businesses. As always seems to be the case in the summer and early fall there are a ton of great events coming up, including our August Membership Meeting and the Cannabis Science Conference next week.

Be sure to check out all the events below as they can be really valuable and are offering discounts to our members.

To those who are getting our newsletter for the first time - welcome, we hope that you enjoy it. We send this out once a month, giving you a quick rundown of Oregon events, industry news, market trends, and political/policy developments. With that let's get started... 

State, Federal, and International Updates

Federal Policy Updates 

As the US House is officially on summer recess and everyone is focusing on their elections in November not much has happened in DC since our July Newsletter, so I will keep this short and sweet.

1) 2018 Farm Bill - Hemp legalization is still looking good!  Everyone is very confident that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will get hemp legalized sometime this fall. 

2)  Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act (H.R.6589)- This is a great bipartisan bill that was introduced by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA).  If passed the bill would prohibit, "marijuana metabolite testing from being used as the sole factor to deny or terminate federal employment for civilian positions at executive branch agencies if the individual is in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence."

We at ORCA think this is a great idea, so much so that we have been working for months to lay the ground for a bill that would essentially do the same thing at the state level but for all employers and employees, (it will have the appropriate exceptions of course). 

3) Employee Engagement Trends in the Cannabis Industry - The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) recently released the results of its Employee Engagement & Satisfaction survey. It collected and analyzed data about employee satisfaction, employee desires around benefits, employee demographics, and employee opportunities to engage their communities. Its a really interesting read especially the part about community engagement! 

International Update

On July 30th, Georgia's Constitutional Court abolished the punishments for the consumption of cannabis. So while you can't legally grow or sell cannabis you can now consume it, making Georgia the 5th country (not counting the US) where recreational cannabis consumption is effectively legal. 

To get a decent summary of the medical and recreational countries and their laws just click the map above.

States Update

Oregon Update - 

The legislative session is five months away but legislators are already working on their priorities and we are beginning to see early versions of bills and legislative concepts dealing with cannabis. If you are interested in what ORCA is working on or have ideas about what we should be pushing for, please reach out to Jesse Bontecou ASAP.

The November election, on the other hand, is just three months away and two Oregon cities, Klamath Falls and Ontario, will be campaigning to end their local cannabis prohibition.  The initiative for Klamath Falls has already qualified and will be on the ballot in November. Ontario's should be right behind them as MalheurCAN turned in twice the number of signatures needed to qualify. Klamath Strong and MalheurCAN are working hard but can use all the help they can get, so reach out and support them today!

Cannabis Voter Registration

While we are on the subject of the November election - Please make sure that you, your family, your co-workers, and/or staff are registered to vote. It only takes a minute and can be done online at

If you want to do more, we are asking cannabis businesses to put up this simple 9"x11" poster to help remind employees and customers to register to vote.  It was produced by local volunteers with Indivisible, a nonpartisan group that wanted to help register cannabis consumers to vote. 

To get a poster(s) just email Jesse Bontecouwith ORCA and we will get them in the mail to you right away.

OLCC licensing news - As of Aug. 16th Oregon has 2001 Active Licenses an increase of 33 licenses since our last Newsletter.  

Missouri - Is suffering from too much success. Three different medical cannabis measures, sponsored by three different groups all qualified for the November ballot. This has lead to one lawsuit and a potentially confusing and self-destructive ballot situation for voters. While we hope everything will be worked out quickly this is a reminder of how not being united as an industry can be very costly. 

North Dakota - Might get recreational cannabis before New York. On Monday their recreational measure qualified for the November ballot.  With polls showing North Dakotans giving legalization a 7 point lead the Legalize ND campaign is confident that they will be celebrating come election night. 

Oklahoma - Medical Patients will be able to access smokeable Cannabis after all.  The Governor had to rescind the restrictive rules the OK Board of Health initially passed as they were so restrictive as to be unconstitutional

Utah - Anti-medical cannabis folks in Utah seem a little afraid of the ballot box as they recently filed their 2nd lawsuit to stop the Utah Medical Cannabis Act from appearing on the November ballot. We hope this latest Hail Mary is resoundingly rejected by the courts and the voters get to decide, you know like in a democracy!  As 72% of Utah's voters support the ballot measure we should get to celebrate one more state ending prohibition this fall. 


There's a ton of events coming up throughout the summer where ORCA will have a strong presence, and we'd love to see you there if you're able.


  • August 27th - August ORCA Members Meeting - Portland, OR
  • August 28-29 - Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR
  • September 27-28 - International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR
  • October 10-11 - The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR

August ORCA Member Meeting w/ Rep. Diego Hernandez - Portland, OR July August 27th

We are just 7 days out from our next ORCA Members Meeting.  We will get to hear from one of Oregon's youngest and most engaging policymakers, Rep. Diego Hernandez(Members and invited guests only).

August 2018 ORCA Meeting - Portland
Monday, August 27th, 6:30-8:30 pm
@ Cultiva Law
222 NW Davis St, Suite 420, Portland, OR 97209

Not a member yet? Join Today

Check-in: 6:00-6:30pm
Meeting begins: 6:30pm
Agenda commences: 6:45pm (we will start promptly)
Social Hour: 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Our membership meetings are very valuable opportunities for our industry to develop essential relationships with elected officials and they are a lot of fun so RSVP today!

Cannabis Science Conference - Portland, OR August 28-29

We are just 8 days out from the Cannabis Science Conference! It is the world's largest science and technology cannabis event.  There is no better place to learn about the cutting edge science and tech that is the foundation of so much in our industry.

Their jam-packed program ensures you get to learn from leading cannabis industry experts, instrument manufacturers, testing labs, research scientists, medical practitioners, and policy influencers. More importantly, they are giving a 25% discount to ORCA Members for Full-Access registration (Use Code "CSC25").

The Cannabis Science Conference is dedicated to improving cannabis science and bringing the latest technology to the industry and its customers. Register Today!

Don't forget the 25% off Full-Access registration for ORCA Members (Code "CSC25"). This discount is not applicable to the 2018 Canna Boot Camp.

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) - Portland, OR September 27-28

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is coming up at the end of September. This year the ICBC will be introducing its first "Mom and Pop Pitch Event" for Oregon's craft cannabis businesses. 

Sign up today to pitch your business to investors and entrepreneurs at the International Cannabis Business Conference. A panel of judges will award one local business $10,000, but the opportunity to present in front of the sold-out ICBC crowd could prove to be even more lucrative. Please see this blog for more details: Mom and Pop Pitch Event

This is set to be ICBC's best conference yet and they are giving an ORCA member discount on tickets (Members use code "orcavip").  This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

The ICBC will provide attendees with the latest information on state and federal issues with sharp insight into the growing national and global industries. Additionally, it always provides top-notch networking opportunities with investors, entrepreneurs, and activists. 

Early bird pricing only last until September 12th. Tickets are $349 ($249 - ORCA Members) for the conference or $499 ($349 - ORCA Members) for the conference + VIP party. 

This event is expected to sell out so register today!

ORCA Members use the code "orcavip" at checkout to get your discount. This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-11

The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) Expo is coming back to Portland because of its huge success last January. This unique B2B event is 100% focused on marijuana retail and dispensary businesses and is dedicated making sure that the Northwest is home to the best industry conference in the country. 

The RAD Expo is FREE for cannabis retail and dispensary owners, buyers and employees so register today They do this to ensure that the quality of attendees and networking is truly top shelf and retail-centric. 

Hey Vendors - As great ORCA members, they are offering ORCA members 33% off Exhibitor booths (Use Code "ORCA33"). This discount is only good at the time of purchase, no refunds will be made after tickets are purchased!

Tickets & More Information:
Phone: (425) 656-3621

“The RAD Expo is the only conference where we know almost everyone we talk to will be a potential client or partner because its focus on retail and brands,” ~ Jeff LaPenna, CEO of The Peak Beyond, a technology company aimed at retailers.

Monthly Retail Sales Report

We've got another of our monthly retail sales reports, courtesy of BDS Analytics, outlining exactly where the industry is moving and by how much.  Take a look.

[Full Report Available As A PDF]

BDS Analytics gets their data directly from cannabis retailers with whom they've partnered, and they use statistical modeling to get a highly accurate picture of what's happening in the statewide market.  What they've put together here is a great high-level summary of the Oregon market and an excellent overview of category and pricing data that we're able to share more broadly.
This, of course, is just a snapshot of what they can offer businesses in terms of data, analytics, and insight.  Specific brand-level and product-level sales data is updated monthly and available on a subscription basis for producers and processors, and they're currently reporting in OR, CA, WA, and CO - with more to come soon.

Contact BDS Analytics' staff in Oregon to learn more about how they can help.

Together We Stand, Divided We Fall - Join Today!

The driving mission of ORCA and our 300+ members is to create a thriving and respected legal cannabis industry through lobbying, advocacy, and community organizing. To this end, our primary focus right now is on fixing regulations and statues to improve the business environment for the industry.

This is very challenging but every new member makes our voice louder, increases our resources, and makes our success more certain.  With trade associations, what is accomplished is always ultimately going to be a function of resources - so growing our membership is vital to our successes.  

If you are not a member yet, sign up today and add your voice to the fight! 

Members also get a ton of great benefits like promotional opportunities, advertising discounts, urgent policy updates, and access to MAPS credit union bank accounts for licensed businesses anywhere in the state. 


That's all for this month.  We're always looking to do more for our members, and we hope these newsletters offer folks a taste of the services, benefits, and vital industry knowledge that folks get access to as a part of their membership.  If you aren't a member already, don't hesitate to contact our staff about how to get involved.

Or, if you're already convinced, you can join online right now by visiting our website.

Thanks again for following our work, and for your interest in supporting the work our organization does.  It truly makes a difference and we appreciate the support.


Jesse Bontecou
Deputy Director

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