Greetings Everyone, we hope autumn is treating you well. This month we have some big news about bills for Oregon's 2019 legislative session and of course, we give you a quick & easy rundown of important cannabis news from across the country.
Also, October has 3 important events that we hope to see you at, The RAD Expo starts tomorrow and ORCA's monthly membership meeting and the DOPE Cup are at the end of the month. Growers and Processors the deadline to enter your products in the DOPE Cup is tomorrow, Oct. 10th.
With that let's get into it...
We are happy to be able to tell you that there will be at least four major cannabis bills in the Oregon Legislature next year, which will address - Cannabis export, Social consumption venues and events, Automatic expungement of cannabis convictions, and Worker protections for legal off hours consumption. If you are curious about the details or want to know how you can help with these please reach out to Jesse Bontecou.
Sign on to support Cannabis Export: As I hope everyone knows, one of our top priorities is passing legislation that would ensure Oregon can export cannabis as soon as is legally feasible. That is why ORCA partnered with the Craft Cannabis Alliance to create the ONE Fix Cannabis campaign. We are asking that everyone visits the website onefixcannabis.org and sign on to our letter to the legislature endorsing cannabis export. We need to show the legislature that there is overwhelming support for this issue, so please sign on to the letter today.
Portland City Council voted to reduce fees, defer payments, and create a social equity program to support business owners who were directly impacted by cannabis prohibition.
Don't forget about the two campaigns in Oregon working to end local prohibition at the ballot box this November. 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
The deadline for new voters to register to vote is 11:59 PM Oct. 21st so please make sure all your friends, family, customers, and co-workers are registered. You can register online using turbovote.org or the Oregon SOS Online Voter registration form.
OLCC licensing news - As of Oct. 9th, Oregon has 2050 active licensees an increase 24 of licenses since our last Newsletter. In that same time period, only five more businesses surrendered their licenses, one lab and four farms.
Washington state announced sweeping changes to rules governing edible production last week, effectively banning all hard candies, fruit chews, dummies, and stylized chocolates in a bid to eliminate products that might appeal to children. The LCB stressed that this is a compliance enforcement action against industry players who have not followed existing rules, but many processors are worried about the implications of the new interpretations.
Seattle Municipal Court, at the urging of the Seattle City Attorney, agreed to vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions and dismiss all misdemeanor possession charges from the years before legalization. Up to 542 people can be helped by this decision, and the Seattle Times Editorial Board are urging other jurisdictions to follow suit.
California also passed a bill to help automate the process of expunging past cannabis convictions. Misdemeanors can be expunged and felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors under the new regime. This is a huge step towards social justice for those disproportionately affected by the failed War on Drugs. With your support Oregon should be following suit and passing its own version of automatic expungement in 2019.
Federal Policy Updates
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reassured growers that it will continue to implement provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill even though the overall legislation expired at the end of last month. While Congress continues to align competing bills for the future of Hemp cultivation, farmers are reassured by a number of other budget measures that protect the current status quo.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy acknowledged the existence of a marijuana policy committee organized by the Administration but disputed the notion that it is "secret" or biased against cannabis.
US Customs and Border Protection agency shamefully confirmed that they do not recognize cannabis as a legal business and that Canadian travelers risk being banned if they simply admit to past consumption. This poses a problem for both employees and investors as they are subject to scrutiny, and travelers have already been denied entry.
The Government of Ontario, CA has made progress on social consumption. It issued guidance that citizens will be allowed to consume cannabis where ever it is legal to consume tobacco, although consumption in cars and boats will still be outlawed.
Jamaica has successfully exported cannabis to Canada with the intention of eventually selling to Canadian patients. Although production and consumption are restricted within the country, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries have stated that " The shipment marks the first step in positioning Jamaica as the medical marijuana hub for the world."
The Constitutional Court in South Africa has legalized consumption of cannabis and the ability of citizens to grow privately. While trade remains illegal, proponents believe this is a huge step in legalization and hope it will be codified in law by parliament in the next two years. South Africa would be only the third country to legalize medical marijuana after Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Malaysia is racing to be the first medical country in Asia after a draconian criminal ruling sparked public debate. In SE Asia drug trafficking faces harsh penalties with little difference between cannabis and harder drugs like cocaine. Thailand is also considering how to legalize cannabis for medical use, but challenges remain.
The UK government will rely on imports to supply cannabis as prescriptions become available to patients later this year. The recommendation comes as part of a broad set of guidance as the UK accepts and explores the value of Cannabis-derived medicinal products. Here is one more reason that Oregon and congress need to move legal export forward as fast as possible.
To get a decent summary of the medical and recreational countries and their laws just click the map above.
Fun With Polling:
National support for cannabis continues to grow, while opposition continues to decline. Republicans remain the demographic most unlikely to support legalization, but even amongst this demographic the balance continues to shift, especially among younger voters at 74%. So Make sure Young folks Register and Vote!
The RAD (Retail and Dispensary) EXPO - Portland, OR October 10-1
The RAD Expo starts tomorrow at the Portland Convention Center. Online registration is closed but you can get tickets at the door for just $25. Every industry sector and license type is welcome.
There is no better opportunity to meet and network with thousands of retailers from all over the country at the largest retail-focused B2B cannabis event in the world.
The team behind the RAD Expo has proudly made Portland and the Northwest home to one of the best national conferences around – don't miss out!
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.
October ORCA Member Meeting w/ Rep. Julie Fahey - Eugene, OR, October 29, 2018
We are three weeks out from our next ORCA Members Meeting. We will get to hear from, Rep Julie Fahey, one of our industry's biggest champions in the legislature and a key ally in passing our legislative priorities.
October 2018 ORCA Meeting - Eugene
Monday, October 29th, 6:30-8:30 pm
2644 River Road, Eugene, OR 97404
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!
If you are a Producer [Silver Level or higher], Contact our staff if you'd like to be a Flower Sponsor for one of our upcoming meetings! It's great way to show off some strains you'd like to get into the hands of shop owners!
**OPEN TO MEMBERS AND INVITED GUESTS ONLY**
Not a member yet? Join Today
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.