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Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

September ORCA Newsletter

21 Sep 2018 5:57 PM | Jesse Bontecou (Administrator)

ORCA Sept. 
2018 Newsletter

Hello and Happy Friday to all of you cannabis industry folks out there. 

First things first, ORCA Members need to RSVP to our monthly meeting as soon as possible, because it's this coming Monday, Sept. 24th, and the ICBC folks will be there raffling off a pair of VIP Passes (Value $1200) to their conference in Portland next week!

Cannabis policy is making so much progress at the local, national, and international level - it would be impossible to cover it all.  One thing is clear, however - Oregon is at the cutting edge of progressive cannabis policy right now. 

We are driving the conversations nationally on issues like social consumption, legal export, and more! With the nation's eyes on us, it is imperative that we all come together and make these policies become law.  

In this newsletter, we're going to cover as much of it as you can reasonably be expected to read when you're checking your email.  Here we go:

Oregon Update

The legislative session is just 4 months away, and voting for the November election starts in just 28 days!  If you are interested in what ORCA is working on or have ideas about what we should be pushing for, be sure to become a member to receive our weekly update emails and to follow our progress in Salem on your behalf!

It's also hugely important that folks participate in their local elections, and directly engage the folks who represent them in the capital - especially their State Senators and Representatives.  If you don't know yours, you can find them here:

Find Your Legislator

Cannabis Voter Registration

While we are on the subject of the November election - 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 receive physical copies of the poster(s) just email Jesse Bontecou with ORCA and we will get them in the mail to you right away.

OLCC licensing news - As of Sept. 19th, Oregon has 2026 active Licensees an increase 25 of licenses since our last Newsletter. In that same time period, 20 more businesses surrendered their licenses, 19 of which were farms. 

Federal Policy Updates 

Congress is back in session and we are seeing some action on cannabis bills again. 

As proven by Sen. Feinstein finally seeing the light and adding her name to the STATES Act, cannabis activism is working! Our allies keep increasing in number while our enemies continue to become fewer and further between.

Here's some of what's been happening that's relevant to the work we're doing:

1) 2018 Farm Bill and Hemp - Congress held its first bicameral Conference Committee meeting for the 2018 Farm Bill on Sept. 5th.  As expected Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) flexed his muscles letting everyone know how excited he is about the hemp provision. The legislation is expected to pass and could be a B.F.D.

2)  Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws (H.R.6589) - Picked up two new co-sponsors including Oregon's own Rep. Earl Blumenauer. If passed the bill would protect federal employees who use cannabis in compliance with the marijuana laws in their state of residence. 

An Oregon version of this bill, covering all employers and employees is, one of ORCA's top legislative priorities for 2019 so stay tuned for more!

3) Madeline Martinez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucuses - Oregon's own Madeline Martinez did an incredible job speaking in front of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute about "the criminal justice, economic and public health aspects of cannabis legalization."  Read more!

International Update

South Africa's Constitutional Court - Unanimously ruled on Sept. 18th, that the country's ban on the personal use and cultivation of cannabis is unconstitutional, thus, legalizing it.  Basically, South Africa is now in the same situation as Vermont.  Another month and another new country where cannabis is essentially legal bringing the total to six (not counting the US).

The European Union - Is working to unify the laws regulating medical cannabis inside each member country and create a global policy across the Union. As compassionate global citizens, ORCA is working hard so that Oregon's Farmers can make sure they don't have any supply and demand issues!

The Caribean Community - Progressive Cannabis legislation is making big strides amongst the 15 member countries. Efforts to do everything from decriminalizing, to expungement of convictions, to medical legalization have been moving forward.

Mexico, Export, and NAFTA - ORCA isn't the only one working towards cannabis export, former Mexican President Vincente Fox is pushing for cannabis to be included in NAFTA. 

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


Sept. ORCA Member Meeting - Portland, OR Sept. 24th

Our September meeting will focus on two of our biggest legislative priorities cannabis export and social consumption. We will also hear from Logan Gilles, Chief Policy Advisor to Sen. Dembrow. As always we'll also enjoy socializing with appetizers and drinks provided by Cultiva Law and pre-roll samples provided by our members.

September 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!

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

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) is coming up next week. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible this is one of the most informative and valuable events in the industry.

ORCA Members - The ICBC is offering up to $200 off on tickets if you register before Sept. 26th (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. 

ORCA Member Discount only last till the 26th. Tickets are $449 ($299 - ORCA Members) for the conference or $599 ($399 - 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

What do 1000 retailers from all over the west coast have in common? They are going to be at RAD EXPO in Portland. This 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. 

Admission is FREE (As it should be!) for all industry folks, store owners, and buyers, so register today at, They make this event as accessible as possible to the industry to ensure that the networking and is truly top shelf. 

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

The Retail & Dispensary Expo is the Cannabis industry’s only retail-focused conference. It brings together the largest gathering of industry retail owners and operators country. (RAD is NOT a grow show!). The event offers unique networking opportunities to show off the latest technologies and business solutions for cannabis retailers.

RAD is business only. Attendance is free to industry professionals.

Portland is the ideal location for the event as Oregon dispensaries can sell a wide variety of non-Cannabis products.

For more information contact their sales manager at, or 425-656-3621

The DOPE CUP Oregon 2018 - Portland, OR OCT 28

The DOPE Cup, one of the most anticipated cannabis competitions in the country, continues to elevate its game through a highly transparent and technical judging process coupled with an evening of food, friends, and music. This year the DOPE Cup carries on its tradition as Oregon’s High-Halloween on Sunday, October 28, 2018. 

Growers and Processors, there is still time enter the competition and show why Oregon has the best cannabis in the country. The deadline for entries is October 10, 2018 5pm PST!

What To Expect - The 2018 Oregon DOPE Cup will bring together the Oregon Cannabis Community for one night. Music will be a highlight of the night with local artists and a special guest performance from the Wu Tang Clans - Ghostface Killah. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from some of Portland's top Food Carts. The night will conclude with the DOPE Cup Awards Ceremony.

RSVP for Free genneral admission into the 2018 Oregon DOPE Cup. *No cannabis is included with ticket. Must be 21+ with ID

VIP Experience - Grab a VIP Experience pass ($35.00) to gain access to the exclusive VIP Lounge where guests will enjoy complimentary food and beverages along with a coveted swag bag with gifts from our partners. *No cannabis is included with ticket. Must be 21+ with ID

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 absolutely vital to our continued success.  

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

The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Assoc.
Upcoming Events

The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a member-supported non-profit trade association that fights for smart cannabis policy on behalf of our 300+ members in support of a vibrant retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon.

Become a member and help us fight for a thriving, safe, and respected legal cannabis industry - Join Now!

September 24th - ORCA Members Meeting - Portland, OR

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

October 10-11The RAD (Retailer & Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR

October 28th - DOPE Cup Oregon - Portland, OR 

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