Oregon's medical marijuana program riddled with problems

The agency overseeing Oregon's legal medical marijuana industry conceded in a report Thursday it has not provided effective oversight of growers and others in the industry, creating opportunities for weed to be diverted to the black market.

The blunt internal review echoes complaints from federal authorities that Oregon hasn't adequately controlled its marijuana businesses, and that overproduction of pot is feeding a black market in states that haven't legalized it.

Oregon was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 1998, and in 2014 voters approved allowing recreational use. The state's struggles to move what had for decades operated illegally in the shadows into a regulated industry set an example for other states moving toward legalization.


The curious case of the cannabis Aphid

At the time, the bugs crawling on Steve Bailey’s new cannabis plants didn’t seem particularly special. They weren’t even all that annoying.

It was early 2016, during the first few months of Oregon’s legal recreational marijuana market, and a Portland company was running a “grow the best clone” contest. Entrants each received cuttings of the same strain from the same source to see who could grow it best.

And the clones received by Bailey and his partners at Bull Run, a craft “farm-to-jar” cannabis brand with cultivation operations in Boring, Oregon, had bugs.


How cheap can legal marijuana get?

The laws of supply and demand are creating the cheapest marijuana in North America… but is that good for the long-term viability of the industry?

When legal recreational marijuana sales began in the Pacific Northwest in 2014, prices were as high as $30 per gram for flower.

“My hope is on my home state of Oregon to ramp up production and bottom-out prices,” I wrote for High Times. “I want to see a $50 legal ounce before 2020, dammit!”


Oregon marijuana growers turning to hemp as CBD extract explodes

A glut of legal marijuana is driving Oregon pot prices to rock-bottom levels, prompting some nervous growers to start pivoting to another type of cannabis to make ends meet, one that doesn’t come with a high.

Applications for state licenses to grow hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin, have increased more than twentyfold since 2015, making Oregon No. 2 behind Colorado among the 19 states with active hemp cultivation. The rapidly evolving market comes amid skyrocketing demand for a hemp-derived extract called cannabidiol, or CBD, seen by many as a health aid.


Pot company uses proceeds to help kids taken from undocumented parents

cannabis company in Oregon has teamed up with a dispensary to help kids taken from undocumented parents. Leif Goods will donate $1 for each of its chocolate bars sold at Farmaduring the next week. In the last six weeks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has separated nearly 2,000 migrant children from their parents.


Non-cannabis sourced CBD cafe opens in Portland, Oregon

A cafe serving drinks and chocolate infused with CBD not extracted from cannabis plants has opened in Portland, Oregon, according to local news outlet KATU.

The cafe is owned and operated by Grön Chocolate, an existing licensed edibles manufacturer in Oregon. The cafe sources CBD from evergreen tree bark from southeast Asia — not from cannabis or hemp — so that it can remain unregulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.


Oregon to pause accepting marijuana license applications

Faced with a backlog of applications for recreational marijuana licenses, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says it will set aside any applications received after June 15 until the pileup is cleared.

The commission says it has issued almost 1,900 recreational marijuana licenses since April 2016 as well as almost 29,000 marijuana worker permits.

The agency says the pace of application submissions has not eased, causing the review process to lengthen.

To power through the backlog, the agency says it will temporarily shift employees to focus on renewals and applications that have already been submitted.


Oregon officials say state is overgrown with recreational cannabis

Oregon cannabis growers have been flooding the legal market with their plants. And no one can say with certainty how this will play out.​

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the state agency charged with regulating Oregon’s two-year-old legal cannabis market, has reported that growers in the state are producing far more recreational weed than is being consumed at the retail level.

According to OLCC data, licensed cannabis cultivators produced more than one million pounds of dry cannabis flower in 2017. But retailers sold only 108,330 of herb to consumers. That leaves an additional 891,000 pounds of weed in the market.


Looping case charges dismissed for seven Sweet Leaf budtenders

Charges against seven of the fifteen budtenders arrested for alleged illegal marijuana sales at Sweet Leaf dispensaries have been dismissed, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office and Denver County Court documents.

Christopher Arneson, Andrea Cutrer, Cassidy Thomas, Joseph Gerlick, Ian Matthew Ferguson, Timothy Macrorie and Devin Wagiand, all of whom were facing misdemeanor charges of marijuana distribution or possession, each saw their charges dismissed recently.


U.S. attorney says feds will put an end to Oregon's pot overproduction problem

State regulators have been unable to keep cannabis overproduction under control, and now the federal government is planning to intervene.


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